Lee Jung-hoo and An Woo-jin injured, Go Woo-seok and Jung Woo-young sluggish, and Kang Baek-ho disappeared… MLB scout flies flying
- on Sep 04, 2023
The KBO League is now a market that major league scouts cannot ignore. After the success of Ryu Hyun-jin (Toronto), the perception that “the top players in the KBO league have the ability to succeed in the major leagues” became widespread. In addition, foreign players who have honed their skills in the KBO league are also subject to observation.
There are many cases that have a better price/performance ratio than those found in the United States or Japan. Ryu Hyun-jin wasn’t that expensive when he joined the LA Dodgers, and Kang Jung-ho, Kim Gwang-hyun, and recently Kim Ha-seong also signed contracts at relatively low prices and hit the jackpot. Although there are cases of failure, it is an attractive market. There are also reverse export hit legends such as Eric Thames, Meryl Kelly, and Brooks Reilly.
Usually, East Asian scouts watch the KBO league together with Japan, but some clubs allocate personnel so that they can only look at the KBO in more depth. And it is predicted that this year, the number of such scouts will reach a record high. This is because there are more ‘ball players’. As young talents representing the KBO League were widely introduced to the United States, interest increased.
Right now, Lee Jeong-hoo (25, Kiwoom) was planning to advance to the major league through the posting system (private competitive bidding) at the end of this season. The Major League teams’ evaluation of Lee Jeong-hoo has largely been completed. Nevertheless, a procession of scouts continued at the beginning of the season to check ‘how much Lee Jeong-hoo has improved and how much he is improving his weaknesses.’ While watching Lee Jeong-hoo, I also noticed that other players were also checking. Representative examples include teammates Ahn Woo-jin and Kim Hye-seong.
But suddenly, major league scouts had nothing to do. Of course, there are still quite a few scouts roaming the KBO field knowingly or unknowingly. However, it is clear that the number of subjects to observe is decreasing, or opportunities to write impressive reports are rarely found.
There are several young players that major league club scouts select as talented players who can advance to the major leagues in the future. Lee Jeong-hoo is a representative example. On the mound, Ahn Woo-jin, Ko Woo-seok, Jung Woo-young (LG), So Hyeong-jun (KT), and Won Tae-in (Samsung) are selected. In the batting lineup, Kang Baek-ho (KT) and Kim Hye-seong (Kiwoom) are players who have continued to attract attention. However, many players performed poorly or disappeared due to injury.스포츠토토
First of all, Lee Jeong-hoo, who attracted the most attention, was virtually out for the season due to an ankle injury. This is the part where major league scouts express regret. There is a lot of information about Lee Jeong-hoo, but it is clear that the last opportunity for inspection was missed. Ahn Woo-jin, who had consistently attracted attention from major league clubs, also disappeared from sight after deciding to undergo elbow surgery. Ahn Woo-jin also has to deal with his military service. There is a higher possibility that the observation will last longer than expected. Small Jun, who was noted for his hand feel, had to undergo elbow surgery early on and left the team.
Go Woo-seok, who is the best bullpen pitcher in the KBO League and is considered to have the potential to be an advanced setup man in the major leagues, is also not as good with the ball as he used to be. With not much time left until his application for posting, he emerged as an unexpectedly popular item, but the shoulder injury he suffered before the season clearly affected his start to the season. He has a 3.47 ERA in 38 games this season. The ERA jumped significantly compared to last year (1.48).
Sidearm Wooyoung Jung, who is considered by some scouts to have a greater chance of success than Wooseok Ko, has also been fluctuating throughout the year. Jung Woo-young, who recorded an ERA in the 2-point range in 137 games over the past two years, has an ERA of only 4.63 in 53 games this year. He’s been in and out of the first and second divisions, but he still doesn’t have the velocity and balance he had when he was good. Scouts’ evaluations are also bound to become confused.
Kang Baek-ho, who attracted attention with his different charm from Lee Jung-hoo, is also not in good shape throughout the season. He remains at 57 appearances as of this point in September. His performance (OPS 0.744) also plummeted. Meanwhile, Kim Hye-seong, who has been greatly influenced by Kim Ha-seong’s success, is emerging as a blue chip, but it is known that evaluations are still mixed due to her lack of long shots.