Shim Jun-seok (19-Pittsburgh Pirates), who traveled to the United States to play Major League Baseball (MLB), is in full swing in his quest to become a Korean Big Leaguer.
Shim’s agent said on Aug. 8 안전놀이터 (local time), “Shim Jun-seok is scheduled to start pitching for Pittsburgh’s affiliated rookie league on the 11th.”
Shim joined Pittsburgh earlier this year, but only appeared in practice games. Since joining the Pittsburgh organization in January, he has been training at the organization’s extended spring training camp in Bradenton, Florida. On April 4, he started a scrimmage against the Baltimore Orioles and pitched three innings, striking out six, walking one and giving up two hits. “He threw lightly and his fastball reached up to 156 kilometers,” his agent said, “and his fastball averaged 153 to 154 kilometers per hour.”
Shim’s hard-hitting pitches have also been recognized in the United States. Baseball America wrote last month, “Shim’s fastball rises right in front of home plate. It’s one of the best fastballs among the high school graduates who have joined the organization this year,” and another outlet, Lumberjack, said, “He has the potential to be a top 100 prospect at the end of this season.”
However, Shim still has a few hurdles to clear before he makes it to the big leagues. After reaching the Rookie League this season, he will need to be promoted to Single-A and High Single-A early on. From there, he’ll need to move up to Double-A to get a taste of the big league mound. However, the fact that he made it into the starting rotation as soon as he was promoted to the Rookie League shows that the team has high hopes for him, so the future is bright.