St. Louis Cardinals Sign South Korean Pitcher Kwang-Hyun Kim
The St. Louis Cardinals have signed South Korean pitcher Kwang-Hyun Kim. The contract is for two years and eight million dollars with incentives. The incentives could add another three million dollars to the contact. The Cardinals are paying 1.6 million dollars in posting fees to Kim’s former team.
Kim with Cards: 2 yrs 4M per total of 8M with 1.5M each year in incentives
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 17, 2019
The Profile on Kwang-Hyun Kim
Kwang-Hyun Kim made his professional debut in April 2007 with the SK Wyverns of the Korean Professional Baseball League. Kim showed promise as a starting pitcher but was inconsistent at times. In January of 2008, Kim was selected to pitch with the South Korean national baseball team. Also, 2008 was the best year of Kim’s career. Kim had a record of 16-4 with a 2.39 ERA. In 162 innings pitched Kim struck out 150 batters.
During the 2008 Olympic Games, Kim help pitched his team to the silver medal. He pitched in the semifinal game and gave up one earned run in eight innings. In 2009 Kim was also on the South Korean team that participated in the World Baseball Classic. Kim was not effective in his first start which led to his demotion to the bullpen.
Kim was posted once before in 2014. The San Diego Padres won with a bid of two million dollars. But Kim and the Padres could not work out a contract so he was returned to the SK Wyverns.
In 12 seasons with the SK Wyverns, the left-handed Kim went 136-77 with a 3.27 ERA and a 1.328 WHIP. In 1,673 innings pitched Kim struck out 1,456 batters. Kim was the MVP of the KBO in 2008. He also won the Golden Glove award and the wins and strikeouts titles in that same year. In 2009 Kim won the ERA title and in 2010 he won the wins title.
In addition to playing in the Olympics and World Baseball Classic Kim played in the 2014 Asian Games. In 2015 Kim played in the World Baseball Softball Confederation.
Kim 31, has an overhand delivery. His fastball tops put at 96 MPH but on average it’s 91-92. He has an above-average slider that he throws at 85 MPH. He also has a curveball and forkball in his repertoire.
Kim is expected to compete for a spot in the Cardinals starting rotation. There are a number of pitchers vying to be one of the five starters for the Red Birds. With Jack Flaherty, Dakota Hudson, Adam Wainwright and Miles Mikolas locks there are four other pitchers besides Kim with eyes on the starting rotation.
Kim joins a competition that includes Austin Gomber, Carlos Martinez, Daniel Ponce de Leon, and Alex Reyes. Kim has also stated he has no problems pitching out of the bullpen if needed. The Cardinals have a ton of starting pitching and could definitely trade away some excess pitchers for help in other areas.