Shim Jun-seok (19), who was evaluated as the No. 1 fireballer in high school baseball last year, took his first step towards the Major League (MLB). Wearing the Pittsburgh Pirates uniform of the ‘Pirate Corps’ where Korean big leaguers such as Ji-Hwan Choi and Ji-Hwan Bae are playing.
MLB.com reported on the 16th (Korean time), “Pittsburgh has agreed to a contract with Shim Jun-seok, who is ranked 10th in the international prospect list (selected by MLB.com).” On January 15, local time in the United States, MLB renews the deposit limit for international amateur players under the age of 25 (players over the age of 16, other than nationals of the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico). Pittsburgh can spend a total of $5,825,500 (7.2 billion won) on international amateur signings through December 15 of this year. Part of it was invested in Shim Jun-seok.
Shim Jun-seok has been in the spotlight since 2020, when he was a freshman at Deoksu High School. He threw a fastball in the late 150 km/h range with an outstanding body (height 1m94cm, weight 103kg). At the time, a scout from a KBO league team admired, saying, “A monster of a different dimension has appeared.”
Rumors that Shim Jun-seok would challenge the American stage began in 2021, when he was in his sophomore year. In March of last year, he signed a contract with MLB super agent Scott Boras to materialize his overseas expansion. Shim Jun-seok was sluggish that year (2022) with an average ERA of 5 points (5.14) in the high school baseball national tournament and weekend league, but the interest of MLB club scouts for him did not wane. He was recognized for his unique qualities. Shim Jun-seok eventually gave up his application for the 2023 KBO League rookie draft and chose to challenge the big leagues.
MLB.com said of Shim Joon-seok, “A right-handed pitcher with excellent physical condition, he has a four-seam fastball (fastball) with a maximum speed of 100 miles (161 km per hour) and an average of 94 to 96 miles (151 to 154 km per hour). The control of the curve that falls in the 6 o’clock direction is good, and there is room for improvement in the ability to use breaking balls such as sliders and changeups.”
MLB.com continued, “Looking at his growth process, such as throwing a fast ball and pitching calmly from his early teens, it reminds me of Park Chan-ho’s childhood.” Park Chan-ho, the first Korean major leaguer, recorded 124 wins, the most wins in MLB by an Asian pitcher. 카지노사이트
Park Chan-ho drew attention by throwing a fastball at 156 km/h while attending Hanyang University, and caught the attention of MLB scouts at the 1993 Buffalo Universiade. Los Angeles Dodgers acquired him with a contract of 1.2 million dollars. At the time, Park Chan-ho was evaluated as having to refine his control. The Dodgers took notice of his fast pitch and potential for growth.
The background of Shim Jun-seok’s contract with the Pittsburgh is similar. Junior Vizcaino Pittsburgh International Stout Manager Joon-seok Shim said, “Since Jun-seok Shim’s fastball has a lot of rotation and velocity, I’m sure (from the batter’s point of view) he will feel like he’s floating, not sinking. He has a natural talent.” He explained why he was recruited.
Pittsburgh posted the pitching of Shim Jun-seok as the main photo on the club’s social media (SNS), announcing the news of contracts with 22 international amateur players. Pirates Prospect, a local Pittsburgh media, showed keen interest by attaching a video of Shim Jun-seok pitching in high school to an article.
Now the focus is on the size of the contract. On that day, Ethan Salas (Venezuela), the No. 1 promising catcher who signed a contract with the San Diego Padres, signed for 5.6 million dollars (6.915 billion won). Brandon Maeya (Cuba), the ninth-ranked outfielder who signed a contract with the New York Yankees, received 4.4 million dollars (5.43 billion won).
The Korean player who signed a contract with an American club as an amateur and received the most signing money is Kim Byung-hyun (retired), who signed for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 1999 for $2.25 million. Attention is focusing on whether Shim Jun-seok will break this record.