Foreign Players in the KBO

The Korean Baseball Organization allow three foreign players on the KBO roster. Unlike Taiwan, they must be broken out into either two position players and one pitcher or two pitchers and one position player. A team can not have three position players or three pitchers. Most teams choose to stock their team with two pitchers and one position player.

NC Dinos

Wang Wei-Chung (RHP) - He is the first pitcher from Taiwan to pitch in the KBO. He got a major league opportunity with the Brewers as a Rule V pick but did not pitch well. He never really got another opportunity. He won his first two starts in the KBO, creating some excitement in the Taiwan community. His ERA sits at an impressive 2.08 with 13 whiffs in 13 innings. In the offensive oriented KBO this is an impressive start for Wang.

Logan Veret (RHP) - This is also Logan’s first year in the UBL. Logan has been a bit wild in his first two starts walking 7 in 10.2 innings but a 3.38 ERA is still excellent in the KBO.

Xavier Scruggs (1B/DH) - There was some pressure on Xavier, replacing MVP Eric Thames on the roster. Last year he passed the test with a .300 average, 35 homeruns and 111 RBIs. The Dinos resigned him for the 2018 season. In eight games he is only hitting .261 with two homeruns and four RBIs. It is still early with the Dinos in first place. Pitchers are certainly showing him respect with 8 walks and four whiffs.

SK Wyverns

Merill Kelly (RHP) - This is his fourth season with the Wyverns. He seems to get better with each year he pitches. Last year he was 16-7 with a 3.60 ERA in 30 starts. In his one start this year he struck out 10 in just five innings of work but gave up four runs.

Angel Sanchez (RHP) - This is his first season in the KBO. So far so good, giving up just one run in each of his starts for a 1.50 ERA.

Jamie Romak (RF) - Last year Jamie slugged 31 homeruns but only produced 64 RBIs. A .242 average with 116 whiffs in 102 games gave him an all or nothing bat. This year he hopes for a little more consistency, hitting .367 with four homeruns and 9 RBIs in his first 8 games.

Doosan Bears

Seth Frankoff (RHP) - His first year in the KBO. His first start he did not give up any runs in six innings of work. His next start he gave up two bombs for three runs. Overall his ERA sits at a 2.45 ERA which should keep him on the team for a few more starts.

Josh Lindblom (RHP) - His first three years in the KBO Josh pitched for the Lotte Giants. His third year injuries limited him to 12 starts after he had a down second year. The Giants chose not to resign him and the Bears pounced on the opportunity to sign the veteran KBO hurler. He got smacked around in his first start but gave up just one run in his second start leaving his ERA at 4.35.

Jimmy Paredes (OF) - Myworld never liked Jimmy Paredes as a minor leaguer. His first year in the KBO is not going well, with a .207 average. His one RBI for the season was a solo shot. Korean teams do not have a lot of patience for a hitter to start producing, especially the Doosan Bears, who were prevented from three peating last year.

Nexen Heroes

Esmil Rogers (RHP) - He’s made a return to the KBO after pitching for the Hanwha Eagles in 2015/2016. An arm injury ended his Eagle career after a half season. He appears healthy now, though Samsung put a hurt on him with six runs in six innings allowing his ERA to climb to 5.54.

Jake Brigham (RHP) - This is his second year with the Heroes. His first was pedestrian (4.38). He gave up a lot of hits and doesn’t get swings and misses with his pitches. In his first two starts this year he has gotten the swings and misses (14 K’s in 11 IP) but still gives up hits for a high ERA (4.91).

Michael Choice (OF) - The one time top prospect of the Oakland Athletics is in his second year with the Heroes. In a half season last year he slugged 17 homeruns in just 46 games. There have been some early season struggles this year with a .212 average that have been absent of any long ball. The KBO does not have a lot of patience for consistent failure in their foreign players.

KT Wiz

Ryan Feierabend (LHP) - In his first year in the KBO in 2015 he pitched for the Nexen Heroes. This is his third year with the expansion Wiz. Last year his 3.04 ERA was his career best. In two starts this year he has a 4.50 ERA, numbers that will not get him through the season if he does not improve.

Dustin Nippert (RHP) - He pitched seven seasons for the Doosan Bears, winning an MVP in the 2016 championship season when he went 22-3 with a 2.95 ERA. He was too average last year (4.06 ERA) even though he finished 14-8. The Bears chose not to resign him. Mediocrity does not allow for high salary demands. The Wiz pounced. He has yet to pitch this year, though his signing was relatively late.

Mel Rojas Jr (OF) - A late season signing of the Wiz last year, his 18 dingers in just 83 games convinced the Wiz to sign him for one more year. Early season returns are good with a .343 average and 4 homeruns in just 8 games.

Kia Tigers

Pat Dean (LHP)- His second season with the defending champion Tigers. His first season he gave up 211 hits in 176 innings so the Tigers must have seen something in him to bring him back. Despite the number of hits his ERA was a respectable 4.14. He also throws strikes. In two starts this year he has a win with a 3.86 ERA.

Hector Noesi (RHP) - This is his third season in the KBO. His first season he was 15-5, 3.40. He topped those numbers last year with a 20-5, 3.48. With only a 144 game season it is harder to win 20 games in the KBO than the major leagues. He did give up 14 more homeruns last year than he did in 2016. This year he is just getting started with a 4.76 ERA in two starts.

Roger Bernadina (OF) - In his first season in the KBO last year Roger did it all. He hit for average (.320), power (27 homeruns) and showed some speed (32 stolen bases). He started the season as the leadoff hitter but moved to number three in the order where he drove in 111 runs. He has gotten off to a good start this season with a .394 average, 2 homeruns and 7 RBIs in 8 games with four stolen bases.

LG Twins

Henry Sosa (RHP) - This is his seventh season in the KBO. His first two were with the Kia Tigers, then he spent one year with the Nexon Heroes. This is his fourth year with the Twins. He seems to bounce around between having a good year followed by a bad year. Last year his 11-11 record with a 3.88 ERA can be defined as having a good year. He has only one start this year, not getting a decision and giving up two runs in six innings.

Tyler Wilson (RHP) - This is the first year for the former Bowie Bay Sox to pitch in Korea. He lost both his starts but pitched well, striking out 16 in 12 innings with a 3.75 ERA. In both starts he went six innings and did not give up more than three runs.

Adonis Garcia (3B) - The Cuban got a couple years in the major leagues. He has not shown a lot of power in his first 8 games in the KBO with only two doubles, but he has a .394 average. He has driven in 9 runs with at least one RBI in his last five games.

Samsung Lions

Tim Adleman (RHP) - His first year in the KBO. He got rocked in his first start giving up five runs in just over six innings. His next start was much better, allowing just two runs in six innings.

Lisalverto Bonilla (RHP) - Another rookie to the KBO he took the loss in his first start, being assaulted for 9 runs in just over three innings. He gave up three dingers. The Lions will give him a little more rope, but they expect better results from their foreign pitchers.

Darin Ruf (1B) - Last year was his first year in the KBO and he slugged 31 homeruns, driving in 124 with a .315 average. That got him another year with the Lions where he has started out strong with a .333 average, three homeruns and 9 RBIs in eight games.

Hanwha Eagles

Keyvius Sampson (RHP) - I always liked Sampson and wondered why he didn’t get more of an opportunity with the Padres. In his first year in the KBO he is working on getting a one way plane ticket back to the United States. He lost his first two starts, failed to reach the fifth inning and sits with a 12.46 ERA. He has struck out 16 in his 8.2 innings of work but he has also walked 8 and allowed three homeruns.

Jason Wheeler (LHP) - Jason is also experiencing his first season in the KBO. He got one of the two Eagles wins this year in his first start, limiting Nexen to just one run in seven innings. He got rocked in his next start, not last five and giving up seven runs. Not looking good for the two Eagles starters.

Jared Hoying (RF) - Also a rookie in the KBO, the Eagles went for the obscure foreign player, saving some coin in signing him. He’s been raking in his first seven games with a .462 average with two homeruns and five RBIs. Myworld will be surprised if this lasts.

Lotte Giants

Felix Doubront (LHP) - Also a KBO newbie he has been finding the mound rough in his first two starts. He has given up five runs in each of his starts for an 8.10 ERA and has an unimpressive 8/5 walk to whiff ratio, with six of his walks occurring in his first game.

Brooks Raley (LHP) - The lefty never impressed with his stuff in the major leagues but he has pitched three seasons with the Giants, going on his fourth year. Last year he was 13-7 with a 3.80 ERA. Brooks is a very consistent pitcher who gives a team 180 innings with his arm. In his first two starts this year he has a 3.75 ERA with one loss.

Andy Burns (2B) - The Giants appear to be saving money with Burns. He hit .303 but only slugged 15 homeruns with 57 RBIs with the Giants last year. Most teams try to get 100 RBIs plus from their foreign player. Andy is back for a second season with a .214 average and only one RBI in 8 games. Giant fans have started to throw chicken boxes at their players for the one win performance in their first eight games. Getting a more productive foreign bat would be a way to try to appease those fans that they are trying to win. Even Dae-Ho Lee is hitting .226 but they will not let him go.

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