Ah yes, another offseason of waiting. I should be used to this by now. The Winter Meetings have come and gone and we’re still anticipating how the Orioles will replace holes at first base, in the outfield and in the starting rotation.
I just hope we’re not left waiting until April 4.
The O’s reportedly offered Chris Davis a seven-year, $154 million deal, but they’re now looking at other options according to GM Dan Duquette. One of those other options could be Hyun-soo Kim, a 27-year-old left handed hitting left fielder from Korea’s KBO.
So what can Kim do in the major leagues? I played with and against Kim in 2009 and 2010, and I talked to a scout who has seen him extensively recently, as well as other players who have played against him. And while drops in what he produced in KBO are certainly to be expected, a .275 batting average with a .350 on-base percentage, 10-12 homers and 60 walks are all reasonable expectations for Kim in 2016, his age-28 season.
After searching outfielders who put up all those numbers or better in 2015, I was floored at what I found. Just four outfielders in MLB hit .275+/.350+OBP/10+HR/60+BB. They were Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Andrew McCutchen and Shin-Soo Choo. Of all position players in baseball last season, that number jumps to 18. These are very reasonable benchmarks for Kim to achieve in MLB.
According to The Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly, the Orioles have made a two year offer in the range of $3-4 million to Kim. However, other MLB teams are expressing interest and KBO clubs are making a push to keep him.