The KIA Tigers are struggling to find a replacement for their foreign pitching staff. While foreign slugger Socrates Brito has fully regained his batting 안전놀이터 form, the foreign starting duo of Shawn Anderson and Adonis Medina are still in a quandary. In this situation, a key KIA scout traveled to the United States to scout the foreign player market.

KIA is smiling at Socrates’ performance in June. After a somewhat frustrating April (.278 batting average), Socrates started to come alive in May (.318 batting average) and rebounded perfectly in June with a .438 batting average (14 for 32).

Socrates now ranks fourth in the league in batting average (.319) and leads a team-centered offense. He shares the dreaded No. 3 and No. 4 spots with Choi Hyung-woo, who leads the league in batting average (0.323) and is on pace for a batting title.

“Socrates and Choi Hyung-woo have been hitting their best since June,” said KIA manager Kim Jong-guk. If the table-setters in front of them can get on base often, the team’s scoring will be much better. As for Socrates, he seems to be showing the upward trend that he showed in May last year in June, and he said that he gets better as the weather gets warmer. I hope he can keep it up through the summer,” he smiled.

With outfielder Na Sung-bum and infielder Kim Do-young, who could return as early as the end of June, and Choi Won-jun, who will return to the first team this week after being discharged from the Commercial Baseball Organization, KIA has one of the best batting lineups in the league.

On the other hand, the starting mound is full of problems. This is due to the jagged and up-and-down pitching of foreign pitchers.

Anderson, who was brought in with the expectation of being a “No. 1 starter,” has appeared in 11 games (60 innings) this season, posting a 3-5 record with a 4.20 ERA, 49 strikeouts, 24 walks, and a 1.40 WHIP. After a strong April (6-3, 2.58 ERA) faded in May (4-3, 7.71 ERA), Anderson recently made a trip to the second level due to back-to-back struggles.

Anderson made his return on June 8 against the Gwangju SSG Landers and pitched 5.1 innings, allowing three runs on five hits with five strikeouts and two walks. While it was an improvement from his May struggles, it wasn’t the overwhelming first-inning performance that clubs and scouts have come to expect from Anderson. His two-pitch mix is limited to a fastball and slider, with little in the way of a slow changeup that drops to the bell.

Medina has also shown a string of ambiguous pitches. In 10 games (52.2 innings) this season, Medina is 2-6 with a 5.64 ERA, 36 strikeouts, 24 walks, and a 1.52 WHIP. He has only three quality starts in those 10 appearances. While he has rebounded recently with pitch design tweaks, Medina had a disappointing outing against the Jamsil Doosan Bears on June 9, giving up three runs on five hits and four walks in 4.1 innings.

His inconsistency is the biggest drawback for Medina. In his 10 starts, Medina has only had one game where he allowed two runs or less. As a result, he doesn’t have the innings-eating ability that a foreign pitcher needs.

Recently, a key KIA scout reportedly traveled to the United States to take a look at the foreign player market. With the return of Choi Won-jun, Na Sung-beom, and Kim Do-young, KIA will look to make a big comeback in July. To do so, they will need to stabilize their starting mound. Stable performances from foreign starting pitchers are a prerequisite for fall baseball and challenging for the grand prix.

The word “ambiguous” fits the situation, as both Anderson and Medina have distinct strengths and weaknesses. With a wait-and-see attitude prevailing for now, it will be interesting to see when the KIA organization will make a decision.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *