Shim Joon-seok (aged 19), a right-handed pitcher about to graduate from Deoksu High School in Seoul, will wear the uniform of the Pittsburgh Pirates, one of the Major League Baseball (MLB) teams. On Monday, the opening day of the international amateur contract market, Pittsburgh announced on its social media account that it had signed with Shim. However, the terms and conditions of the contract were not disclosed in detail.
The young player, who is 194 centimeters tall and weighs 103 kilograms, was spotted by MLB scouts for throwing fastballs that reached nearly 160 kilometers per hour. MLB.com also ranked Shim as the 10th most promising international player in September last year. Considering that Cuban outfielder Brandon Mayea (aged 18, New York Yankees), who was in ninth place at the time, signed for 4.4 million dollars, and 11th-ranked Ariel Castro (aged 17, Minnesota), an outfielder from the same country for 2.5 million dollars, Shim Joon-seok is likely to have signed the contract for the amount in the middle.
MLB.com introduced Shim, saying, “He looks like ‘Korea Express’ Park Chan-ho, who throws a fastball and stays calm on the mound since his early teens.” Park Chan-ho, who made his MLB debut in the Los Angeles Dodgers uniform in 1994, ended his MLB career in Pittsburgh in 2010. Choi Ji-man and Bae Ji-hwan are currently in Pittsburgh.