2016 Orioles preview: Hyun Soo Kim


With Opening Day almost upon us, we’ll take a look at a member of the 2016 Orioles every day as they try to return to the playoffs for the third time in five years this season.

March 1 – Adam Jones
March 2 – Chris Tillman
March 3 – Jonathan Schoop
March 4 – Brad Brach
March 5 – Nolan Reimold
March 6 – Yovani Gallardo
March 7 – Matt Wieters
March 8 – T.J. McFarland
March 9 – Dariel Alvarez
March 10 – Brian Matusz
March 11 – J.J. Hardy
March 12 – Mychal Givens
March 13 – Ryan Flaherty
March 14 – Ubaldo Jimenez
March 15 – Mark Trumbo
March 16 – Darren O’Day
March 18 – Pedro Alvarez
March 19 – Oliver Drake
March 20 – Mike Wright
March 21 – Zach Britton
March 22 – Caleb Joseph
March 23 – Dylan Bundy
March 24 – Christian Walker
March 25 – Chaz Roe
March 27 – Manny Machado
March 28 – Chris Davis
March 29 – Miguel Gonzalez (placed on release waivers on Wednesday)
March 30 – Kevin Gausman
March 31 – Joey Rickard
April 1 – Tyler Wilson
April 2 – Vance Worley

OF Hyun Soo Kim

Age: 28

Contract status: Under contract through the 2017 season

2015 stats (Korean Baseball Organization): .326/.438/.541, 28 HR, 121 RBI, 103 R, 11 SB, 630 PA

Why to be impressed: Kim was a career .318 hitter with a .406 on-base percentage over 10 seasons in the KBO and was coming off a season in which he set career highs in home runs and RBIs. The left-handed batter walked 101 times while striking out just 63 times in 2015, a profile that would help a Baltimore lineup consisting of several hitters who strike out too often and walk too little.

Why to be concerned: The South Korean outfielder has struggled to catch up to fastballs and did not record a single extra-base hit in his 8-for-45 spring that included an 0-for-23 start. The Orioles are not impressed with his defensive ability and started him just once in the final 11 spring games as they unsuccessfully tried to get him to accept a demotion to Triple-A Norfolk.

2016 outlook: This situation has been a mess with Kim not looking like the player he was advertised to be and the Orioles trying to strong-arm him into going to the minors. It will be interesting to see how much playing time Buck Showalter gives Kim when you wonder how much the Orioles even want him in the organization at this point, but expectations can’t be anything but low until he proves otherwise.

2016 not-so-scientific projections: .245/.294/.375, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 15 R, 1 SB, 140 PA

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Luke Jones is the Ravens and Orioles beat reporter for WNST BaltimorePositive.com and is a PFWA member. His mind is consumed with useless sports knowledge, pro wrestler promos, and movie quotes, but he struggles to remember where he put his phone. Luke's favorite sports memories include being one of the thousands of kids who waited to get Cal Ripken's autograph after Orioles games in the summer of 1995, attending the Super Bowl XXXV victory parade with his father in the pouring rain, and watching the Terps advance to the Final Four at the Carrier Dome in 2002. Follow him on Twitter @BaltimoreLuke or email him at Luke@wnst.net.