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Kim Jae-yoon Scouting Report (김재윤)

Right-Handed Pitcher
KT Wiz (케이티 위즈 — KBO)

Tool (PV/FV)
Notes & Comments
Fastball (45/50)
Hardest fastball I observed at February 26 KT Wiz game; easy access to low 90s velocity with free, loose release out of the hand. Does well to extend and get the pitch out to glove-side, particularly from the windup; will struggle some to repeat extension and release point out of stretch. Fastball is pretty straight with some modest tail back to his arm side; it’s an establishing pitch for him, went to it early and often and used it to get ahead in counts before going to far more raw, untested off-speed stuff only with the count in his favor. Velocity: 86-91.

Splitter (35/45)
Either a splitter or some type of firm, hard split-change with downward bite. Inconsistent depth; will spin out and take off on him to arm-side without leaving plane; lacks feel for the pitch and buries it too often. Perhaps this has the makings of a putaway pitch, but lots of nuance and feel left before I can see it really being used. Granted, context matters; my first time seeing him is in an early spring training exhibition game, so no doubt some feel left to build out in the coming weeks. Would love to see more pronounced tumble late to the plate, though; too firm at present; bull in a china shop with good velocity behind it, but no feel to entice hitters to swing over it right now. Velocity: 80-82.

Slider (N/A)
Threw what looked to be one breaking ball (slider, or cutter perhaps) in warm-ups, didn’t throw it again after; didn’t get a game look to describe the pitch. Will include here if I see him again during this spring training trip. Velocity: N/A.

Command (40/45)
Control is pretty far ahead of command at this point, and fastball command is far better than off-speed. Feel for fastball side to side at times, particularly to his glove side with good extension and some pop when it hits the mitt. Splitter/split change shows only rudimentary feel for getting close to the strike zone; no side to side pinpoints in my look and never really showed feel like that might be possible soon. Off-speed stuff has a long way to go; needs to throw it for a strike even just now and then if only to keep hitters honest; struggled to do that in my (obviously brief) spring training look this week. Knowing his background, pretty clear he’s still raw on the mound.

High three-quarters release point with methodical balance point before it; uses plenty of lower half with drop-and-drive mechanics off the mound. Good arm strength and repeatable, fairly easy mechanics from a physical perspective, but inconsistent landing spot and varied release points betray command, particularly from the stretch. Timed in a tight cluster from 1.32 - 1.37 to the plate with runners on first base; quickens to the plate and can leave his arm lagging behind with more of a slide step than his pronounced balance point from windup.

Strong, thick upper half with slightly less power below the belt; somewhat top heavy, but no doubt powerful with muscle on him; no room left for good weight, though, already at 27 years old. Former Arizona Diamondbacks farmhand; was originally signed nearly a decade ago by the Diamondbacks as a catcher, and played four years in their minor league system before returning to Korea to be converted to the mound; conversion has worked out pretty well for him since then.

OFP (45 FV)
Kim Jae-yoon has been the closer for the KT Wiz the last couple years, racking up 29 saves in 93 combined relief appearances between 2016 and 2017. He has struggled some with getting hit hard; off-speed stuff is far from where it needs to be, even in my early spring look when timing and feel are still coming together, and it made sense to learn after the outing that he’s a converted position player. Plenty of arm strength here — I wouldn’t be surprised to see him top out in the mid 90s once the season really gets going — but there’s little discernible feel for his off-speed stuff now and little consistency in command execution to really carve up hitters. MLB ETA: N/A.

Kim Jae-yoon Scouting Report (김재윤), KT Wiz (케이티 위즈) — Game Video

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Bobby DeMuro

Bobby DeMuro is the founder of Baseball Census, the author of We Is Blaze, (obviously) a fan of minor league baseball, and an unlikely expert on the animated classic TV show King Of The Hill. For more on Bobby and the personal, human side of this site, follow him on Twitter and Facebook: @BobbyDeMuro.

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