Who is Kwang-Hyun Kim, you may ask? Well, he’s quite possibly the newest left-handed pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals, hailing from the Korean league.
At 31-years-old, Kim boasted a 3.27 ERA in 12 years. Yes, 12 years with 1456 strikeouts in 1673.2 innings. He has also made 23 relief appearances in his career, including last season — if you’re concerned about him bumping the likes one of the current starters out of the rotation.
In 2019, his full year back from Tommy John, Kim posted a 2.51 ERA over 190.1 innings, allowing only 1.8 walks per 9 and striking out 8.5 per 9. (Which if even he has a dip in SO rate by coming over to play in America, he will have a better rate than both Miles Mikolas and Dakota Hudson during the 2019 season.)
Despite falling victim to Tommy John and his age, it seems Kim is still a promising asset for the Cardinals to snag. He was previously posted back in 2014, unable to come to a deal with the San Diego Padres — who had won exclusive rights for $2 million in posting.
According to Sung Min Kim on Twitter, Kim’s fastball sits in low-90’s but can reach mid-90’s when needed. His slider has a sharp break as well. Which depending on the situation and the health of Martínez, Kim’s slider could play a valuable role in the starting five or in relief. (See Andrew Miller’s slider for example.)
Kim's slider, 140 kmph (~87 mph) pic.twitter.com/5rHc8fZop5— Sung Min Kim (@sung_minkim) August 14, 2019
The last really successful KBO transition pitcher was Hyun-Jin Ryu — who has his own nasty artillery of pitches himself. But it should noted: Ryu was significantly younger than Kim when he joined the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Curveball at 111 kmph (~69 mph) pic.twitter.com/9mn4Wa1yWZ— Sung Min Kim (@sung_minkim) August 14, 2019
The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that there will be a press conference at Busch Stadium 3:30 CST. It’s safe to assume the presser will announce Kim, who is in St. Louis, as the newest member of the St. Louis Cardinals. (Considering the Cardinals and Kim have until Jan. 5 to cut a deal.)
But Chelsea, the 40-man is already full?
Yes, that’s true. So this is where things might end up a tad bit hairy. It is currently unknown as to who will be taken off the 40-man to make room for Kim. We’ll keep you updated as soon as we find out!
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Photo credit: Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images