This just in, via SK media outlet Naver Sports, multiple MLB teams have been confirmed to make a “serious push” in signing South Korean slugger, Choi Hyoung-woo of the Samsung Lions this upcoming off-season, 32 years of age (will turn 33 this December, 16). Choi, who is currently the left-fielder for the Lions team, will be an International Free Agent by the end of the season, and is considering to play Baseball overseas.
9 teams from the Major leagues, mostly from the AL have scouted Choi during the previous years, also along current St. Louis Cardinals reliever Oh Seung-hwan when he was still with the Samsung Lions team… Via sports Naver link above, at least 2 (which are currently unnamed in the article) out of the 9 ML teams have been said to seriously consider the signing of Choi, and should not waste time as soon as the off-season transactions starts…
With the success of Pittsburgh Pirates Kang Jung-ho in his first year with the Pittsburgh Pirates, many Major league scouts have called this as the “Kang Jung-ho effect”, a sign showing scouts all over have the confidence in which that said player from the KBO will be succesful in his first year debut in the Major leagues coming off from the posting system, or via International free agency (ex: M’s Lee Dae-ho and O’s Kim Hyun-soo), it may sound a bit high, I know, but a chance for it to happen, and for that player to be successful is still a likely possibility, and these Major league teams that has shown interest in Choi just see that in him, for him to be successful in his first year in the Major leagues.
Both Choi Hyoung-woo and his agent are more than okay to sign a one, or two-year contract deal in the Majors, and teams who’re interested in him may do just that, a similar contract deal to Mariners Lee Dae-ho is also a possibility – a minor league deal at first that grants spring training invitation, a battle to compete for a spot, or back-up spot, in the Major leagues -.
Though scouts have rated him as someone who’s a lefty-bat with average power and contact, many scouts are still concerned with his defense, rating him as a below average outfielder with average to below average throwing arm. But still, knowing the majority of those teams has expressed in him are coming from the AL, many scouts are thinking he’d be better off DH’ing instead, a late inning bat off the bench, or playing his secondary position at first base.
Currently in this 2016 KBO regular season, Choi Hyoung-woo owns a batting line of .368 AVG/.454 OBP/.626 SLG, with 21 homeruns and 105 RBI… the .368 batting average leads all averages in the KBO, same also with his 105 RBI mark. In his career, he owns a batting line of .311 AVG/.399 OBP/.548 SLG, and has hit a total of 224 homeruns and 872 RBI in his 11 years in the KBO, all with the Samsung Lions.