It is rare to see a player bypass the professional ranks in his own country. No matter how much of a prospect someone in Japan or South Korea is, and whether or not they’re on the major league radar, they usually end up joining Nippon Professional Baseball or the Korean Baseball Organization.
At least, that’s the case most of the time. There have been exceptions, like Shin-soo Choo, but they are rare. According to Naver.com’s Bae Ji-heonCasting hopeful Jun-seok Shim didn’t apply for the KBO draft, making it likely he’ll consider a hike in the United States.
Jun-seok Shim may join major league organization
As noted by Sung Min Kim, Shim is a client of Scott Boras. It’s possible that Boras is looking for Shim to try his luck in the United States as he could earn a higher signing bonus there than he would in the KBO Draft.
Kim also provided a bit of scouting report on Shim too. A right-handed pitcher, he has a fastball that has been clocked at around 98 MPH in high school tournament games this year, and has unofficially hit 100 MPH in scrimmage. He has a tall frame at 6’4″ and weighs 227 pounds. This build certainly lends itself to its impressive speed and possible gains on the road.
There are a few issues. Kim noted that Shim struggled with his command, especially after dealing with back pain and cramps. A prospect’s back problems are definitely a concern, especially for a younger one. These issues could also have a lot to do with his leadership issues, as Kim alluded to.
Despite these worries, Shim is an intriguing prospect. That one fastball speed alone is going to get attention, and he could definitely get a solid signing bonus. The only real question is whether or not he would sign during this signing period or next year.
Jun-seok Shim has decided to forfeit the Korea Baseball Organization’s draft. This could mean that he will seek to come to the United States.