After missing out on Kwang-Hyun Kim in 2014, the San Diego Padres have a second chance.
Back in 2014, Kwang-Hyun Kim was posted by the SK Wyverns in the Korean Baseball Organization. The San Diego Padres won the rights to negotiate with Kim that offseason, but were unable to come to an agreement with the Korean lefty following a physical. Kim then returned to Korea, where he continued to dominate, but also missed the entire 2017 campaign due to Tommy Joh surgery.
Healthy once again, Kim continued his place as one of the dominant pitchers in the league. And, once again, the Wyverns have made Kim available through the posting system. And, again, the Padres have interest in bringing Kim stateside.
This time, there should not be any reason for concern when it comes to his health. The Wyverns have provided additional medical documentation about Kim to Major League Baseball, which would allow any interested teams the opportunity to view that documentation.
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Kim had another successful season in 2019. Even in a league that has typically been dominated by offense, he posted a stellar 17-6 record with a 2.51 ERA and a 1.240 WHiP, striking out 180 batters with 34 walks in his 190.1 innings. With that profile, there is the hope that he can be a middle of the rotation arm in the majors upon coming over.
The question is – how will Kim’s stuff translate to the majors? He has a plus slider that works as a strikeout pitch, but the rest of his arsenal is average at best. Kim does change speeds well, particularly with his low 90s fastball and upper 70s change, but is that enough?
Back in the 2014 offseason, the Padres felt that Kim could succeed in the majors. Obviously, time is no longer on his side, as he will be at the end of his peak next year. However, given his track record of success, it may be well worth the gamble to bring him in. And, considering the Padres own pitching depth, they can afford the risk.
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The San Diego Padres were interested in Kwang-Hyun Kim once before. It makes sense that they are interested once again.