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Korean Pro League: First Step to Success in Other Leagues

Korean Pro League: First Step to Success in Other Leagues

Posted June. 08, 2003 21:50,   


Strong performance in the Korean pro baseball league indicates their success in the Japanese pro league.

Three foreign players who once played in the Korean pro league are now leading players in the Japanese pro league.

The first player is the American player Tyron Woods, who played for Doosan for five seasons starting in 1998. In five seasons, he hit 174 home runs, but despite Doosan`s persistent efforts to keep him, he went to Japan early this year, and signed a contract with the Yokohama Bay Stars. Now, he is leading the Japanese league with numerous home runs.

As of June 7, Woods leads the Central League with 18 home runs. He marked his Japanese debut on May 28 against the Hanshin Tigers with a firmly hit home run. After the debut, however, he went into a slump, raising fears about his future. He has returned and now maintains a .280 batting average.

Traded out from Samsung, despite excellent performance last year, Jose Fernandez joined the Lotte Marines on April 1, when the season already started. Now, however, he is in the group leading the home run race.

He has missed 15 games so far but started playing on May 18, with 10 home runs, putting himself within the top 10 in the Pacific League. His batting average, like in Woods` case, once went down to 0.200, but since then, has risen to 0.277. SK fired him for weakness in throwing curveballs. He has made up for his weakness through succeeding games.

Garry Res, who won 16 games for Doosan last year, joined the Yomiuri Giants, and secured his spot in the starting rotation.

Pain in his left shoulder pulled him out of the season opener in March. But he started pitching early last month. Through five games, he won two and recorded a 4.02 ERA. Among the Giants’ players, he ranks fourth with two wins.

Other players dismissed from Samsung returned to the major leagues and are doing relatively well. Probably, the success of players in the Korean pro league may indicate possible success in other leagues.

Hwan-Soo Zang zangpabo@donga.com