The KBO is now a market that major league scouts can’t afford to ignore. After the success of Ryu Hyun-jin (Toronto), the perception that “the best players in the KBO have the ability to play in the major leagues” has become widespread. In addition, foreign players who have honed their skills in the KBO are also observed.먹튀검증
There are many cases where the ‘price/performance ratio’ is better than what you can find in the US or Japan. Ryu Hyun-jin was not that expensive when he joined the LA Dodgers, and Kang Jeong-ho, Kim Kwang-hyun, and recently, Kim Ha-sung are also examples of players who hit the jackpot by signing relatively cheap contracts. There are failures, but it’s an attractive market. There is also the myth of the reverse export jackpot: Eric Thames, Merrill Kelly, Brooks Reilly, etc.
Typically, East Asian scouts watch the KBO alongside their Japanese counterparts, but some clubs have assigned personnel to look a little deeper into the KBO. And this year, there is speculation that the number of such scouts will be record-breaking. That’s because there are more players to watch. The interest has also increased as young talents representing the KBO League have been widely introduced to the United States.
Immediately, Lee Jung-hoo (25, Kiwoom) was scheduled to enter the major leagues through the posting system (closed competitive bidding) at the end of this season. Major league clubs have already evaluated him. Nevertheless, there was a parade of scouts at the beginning of the season to see how much he had improved and how much he was working on his weaknesses. While watching Lee Jung-hoo, it was also noticeable that other players were also being checked out. Teammates Ahn Woo-jin and Kim Hye-sung were among them.
Suddenly, the major league scouts’ work stopped. Of course, there are still a lot of scouts traveling around the KBO unnoticed. But it’s clear that they’re seeing less and less, and they’re not getting as many opportunities to write impressive reports.
There are several young players that scouts from major league clubs recognize as having the talent to make it to the major leagues in the future. Lee Jung-hoo is a prime example. On the mound, Ahn Woo-jin, Go Woo-seok, Jeong Woo-young (LG), Choi Sang-joon (KT), and Won Tae-in (Samsung). In the outfield, Kang Baek-ho (KT) and Kim Hye-sung (Kiwoom) have consistently attracted attention. However, many players have been sluggish or disappeared due to injuries.
First of all, Lee Jung-hoo, who attracted the most attention, is out for the season due to an ankle injury. Major league scouts are disappointed. There is plenty of data on Lee, but it’s clear that he missed his last chance to check in. Ahn Woo-jin, who was also on the radar of major league clubs, disappeared from view when he decided to undergo elbow surgery. Ahn also has to deal with military service. It’s more likely that the wait will be longer than expected. Choi Soo-joon, whose hand sensitivity was the center of attention, underwent elbow surgery early on.
Ko Woo-seok, one of the best bullpen pitchers in the KBO and a potential setup man in the majors, is also struggling with his mechanics. He was a surprising hot commodity as the deadline approached, and the shoulder and back injuries he suffered a season ago certainly affected his start to the season. In 38 games this season, he has a 3.47 ERA. That’s a big jump from last year’s ERA (1.48).
Sidearm Jung Woo-young, who is considered by some scouts to have more success than Ko Woo-seok, has also been uneven this year. After posting a sub-2 ERA in 137 games over the last two years, Jung has a 4.63 ERA in 53 games this year. He’s been bouncing back and forth between the first and second divisions, but he’s still missing his best stuff and balance. Scouts’ evaluations are also confused.
Kang Baek-ho, who attracted attention with a different appeal than Lee Jung-hoo, has also been out of shape all season. At this point in September, he has only appeared in 57 games. Meanwhile, Kim Hye-sung, who has been heavily influenced by Lee’s success, is emerging as a blue-chip player, but his lack of long balls has led to mixed reviews.