The noisiest season in the history of the Korean baseball organization starts in full force for the Korean playoffs on Sunday. With the start of the KBO play-offs, many of the league’s big stars will be in the spotlight – some of them are likely to play in the big leagues next season.
The KBO play-offs differ slightly from the MLB format. The top five teams in the standings qualify, but the top five NC Dinos automatically say goodbye to the best of the seven Korean series – the KBO version of the World Series and the other teams – in the standings to decide who they will play. From the second to the fifth seed: KT Wiz, Doosan Bears, LG Twins and Kiwoom Heroes.
There are five players in the KBO play-offs (starting at 1 a.m. and Sunday evening on ESPNews and in the ESPN application) who could get the MLB-sign sooner or later.
Ha Seong Kim, shortstop, hero of Ki Um.
Fault! The file name is not specified. Han Myung Goo/Getty Images
In the sixth full season, Kim started working with Heroes, the same organization that produced former great champions Jung-ho Kang and Byung Ho Park, and it seems that after the season he is destined to take advantage of the opportunities that MLB has to offer. The Scouts believe Kim can play shortstop every day and also play second or third base. He should be in the top half of Kiley McDaniel’s ESPN insider ranking.
In 137 games this season, Kim has scored 30 homeruns in his career with 109 runs and .308/.399/.526 with 24 doubles and 23 stolen bases.
I would say that he is now the best player in the BWC, said journalist Daniel Kim. He’s only 25 years old, but he’s got a lot of experience. So it’ll be ready for low season. But he didn’t have a single moment at the KBO to play like Muki Betts in World Series style.
Kim had previously shown interest in the top leagues, although at that time he realised that some KBO fans doubted his ability to succeed there.
Byung Ho Park] told me that not many players succeed, Kim told the Korean newspaper Jung Ang Daily last December. He encouraged me by saying that I should try if I had the chance, and it helped me to gain confidence. Even though it is not an easy path, I am the one who takes it, so I will worry less about [negative remarks] and follow my own path.
Sung Bam Na, outfielder, Sergeant DiNos.
Na, 31, is one of the most complete players in the Buy More, with 32 home runs and 108 RBI’s in 124 games in eight seasons this year, scoring .318/.385/.543 and .330/.397/.604. The left Na has long been the subject of speculation about jumping in the first division.
The players who have played against him and against him, who have experience in a big league, think he can take a place in the first division, said Daniel Kim. At the end of the season, he had some problems with his hamstrings, but NC Dinos will make a big breakthrough here because when [the team] won first place, they got an automatic request for the Korean playoffs.
Raul Alcantara, the pitcher, the bears of Dozan…
Alcantara, 27, had experience with Auckland’s major track and field events in 2016 and 2017 and played at 7.19 ERA in 46 1/3 sets for 13 games and nine starts, but spent the last two seasons at the BWC where he played for Wiz in 2019 and the Bears in 2020.
The bat is waving after the bullets. Dinos versus the Wizard, bullshit. And the incessant search for fresh produce. That’s what it’s like when you jump into a KBO orchestra. Dan Mullen
Following the publication of 4,01 ERA’s at 27 launches in the first BWC season, Alcantara has reached a new level in 2020 with 2,78 ERA’s and 1,056 WHIP’s at 29 launches. The signatures of former BWC kickers Josh Lindblohm of the Milwaukee Brewers and Merrill Kelly of Arizona Diamondbacks may have paved the way for Alcántara to make his success in the BWC one of the places on the MLB list.
I know the teams are watching it now, Daniel Kim said. In this low season it’s called [follow Lindble and Kelly].
Baek Ho Kang, outfielder, KT Weez.
The 21-year-old left-handed player is one of the brightest young stars of BWC. Born in Seoul, he won the KBO Rookie of the Year Award in 2018 and set a new record for homosexuals at the age of 29. In 2020, he kept wiping the ball clean and reached .324/.407/.533 with 22 homeruns, 82 RBI’s and 32 doubles in 124 games.
McDaniel stated that he sees Kanga as a potential candidate for the first round of the MLB project.
Mel Rojas Jr., outfielder, KT Weese.
Rojas, 30 years old, whose father played for the Majors for 10 years, never made it to the show after the Pittsburgh Pirates of 2010 took him to the third round. Instead, he spent the last four seasons of his career in Wizard and became one of the most important projectiles of BWC. In 2020, the outfielder came close to winning the triple crown with a .349 – a good result for third place of BWC – and led the league with 47 home games and 135 RBIs.
After the play-offs Rojas will probably have to decide whether he wants a job with MLB or a promotion with Wizard.
I hear mixed reviews and warm interest despite the vulgar numbers. He’s likely to receive a huge pay increase, nearly $2 million guaranteed, from KT Wees, Kim said. I don’t expect a large organization to be able to guarantee that. But he wants to play in a premier league – he’s never played in a premier league before.