“It will be an inspiration to all Korean Americans”
The Arizona Diamondbacks selected Kevin Shim (Korean name Jong-hyun Shim) with the 148th overall pick in the fifth round of the 2023 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on June 11 at Lambeau Field in Seattle, Washington.
Kevin Shim is the second son of Jung-soo Shim of Hercules fame, and has drawn a lot of attention as a long-hitting prospect. MLB Pipeline ranked Kevin Shim as the 180th best prospect in the game, and graded him 45 points for hitting, 50 points for power, 40 points for baserunning, 50 points for shoulders, 45 points for defense, and 40 points for total on a 20-80 scale. A 50 in power is a sign of a “Hercules II” player.
The scouting report from MLB Pipeline says, “Kevin Shim has hit double-digit home runs in each of the last two seasons, and he hit five home runs in 92 at-bats last summer while using a wooden bat. He has power and doesn’t strike out much. He has power, he doesn’t strike out a lot, and he gets on base quickly with solid contact,” he said, giving a thumbs-up to his hitting talent.
MLB Pipeline also praised his defensive versatility: “Along with his power, Kevin Sim has a lot of positional versatility. He’s spent a lot of time in the corner infield, but looked pretty good in the corner outfield this spring.” “At the next level, he could play primarily first base and left field. He’s a strong right-handed hitter who could play in the major leagues.”
Kevin Sims was selected by Arizona in the first round of the draft after a stellar amateur career at the University of San Diego, where he hit .285 with 27 home runs, 21 doubles, 113 RBIs and a .904 OPS in three years, as well as being a two-time West Coast Conference Player of the Week and a 2022 All-West Coast Conference First Team and 2023 All-Conference Second Team selection.
MLB.com took the time to spotlight Kevin Shim after he was selected by Arizona. They wrote, “Kevin Shim is the son of ‘Hercules’. His father, Jung-soo Shim, hit 300 home runs in 15 seasons in the KBO, earning him the nickname Hercules for his ‘power,'” the article noted, adding that Shim’s son has a chance to continue his father’s legacy in the United States.
Shim made his debut with the OB Bears in 1994 and went on to play for the Doosan Bears, Hyundai Unicorns, and Samsung Lions, finishing his KBO career with 1,450 games, 1,451 hits, 328 home runs, 1029 RBIs, 859 runs scored, and a .287 batting average in 15 seasons. He is one of the ‘legends’ who was always followed by the nickname ‘Hercules’ based on his freakish ‘power’ during his active career.
According to MLB.com, “Shim moved to San Diego with his family in 2009. He wanted to find the best environment for kids who wanted to be baseball players to realize their dreams. In Korea, baseball players have to dedicate a lot of their time to the sport, but in the U.S., they can combine their studies with baseball. She wanted to make sure her kids had the talent to succeed on the field,” says Kevin and Jung-Soo Shim.
She put a lot of effort into helping her son, Kevin, develop as a baseball player. He created an environment where he could experience a lot of things outside of baseball, and he put in a lot of know-how to help him become a good player inside of baseball. Over time, Kevin Sim developed a swing form similar to his father’s.
“My dad was a great hitter throughout his career,” says Kevin Sim. Me and my dad practiced batting nonstop. Everything I show on the field is to simplify my swing and find what works for me,” he said, adding, “I’m very fortunate to have learned from him and to have inherited his techniques.”바카라사이트
Shim had his sights set on the major leagues during his playing days. In the 1990s, he would wake up at the crack of dawn to watch major league games, and before the 2003 season, he was invited to the Florida Marlins (now the Miami Marlins) spring training camp to train with major leaguers. However, he was unable to fulfill his dream of playing in the big leagues and ended his career. Kevin Sim can fulfill his father’s unfulfilled dream. According to MLB.com, “Jung-soo Shim will now live to see his son follow his dream.”
Despite spending more time in the United States, Kevin Shim is incredibly proud of his Korean heritage. MLB.com wrote, “Kevin Shim was proud to be Korean at the WBC. A total of 26 Koreans have made it to the major leagues. If he succeeds in the big leagues, it will be an inspiration to Kevin Shim, Jung-soo Shim, and all Korean Americans.”
If the younger Sim has inherited his father’s talent, it won’t be long before we see him on the biggest stage.