KBO News - Who Are These Guys That the Major Leagues Let Loose

Roberto Ramos is a 6′3″ first baseman who was born in Mexico but drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 16th round of the 2014 draft. He played baseball at the College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, California, making him eligible for the draft. In the minor leagues he started to have his breakout power years in 2018 when he hit 32 homeruns at High A and AA and then hit 30 homeruns in AAA. But power hitting first baseman are a dime a dozen in the major leagues. So Roberto Ramos signed a contract with the LG Twins.

On Sunday Ramos hit a walk off grand slam homerun, his league leading 7th homerun of the season in one of the largest parks in Korea. Yesterday he mashed his 8th homerun as the LG Twins shut out the Hanwha Eagles 3-0. Ramos is now one of the top hitting sluggers in the KBO, destroying the league with a .350 batting average and 17 RBIs in 18 games. Who do the Rockies have at first base that can match that power?

And what about Cuban Jose Miguel Fernandez. He played in the Cuban League for a number of years until he was suspended in 2015 for trying to defect. He was not much of a power hitter in Cuba failing to reach double digits in homeruns in his eight seasons with the Cuban League. He finally did defect, played in the Dominican Winter League in 2016/2017 where he was finally signed by the Dodgers in 2017. In the Dodgers first year in the minors he only played 90 games but still slugged 16 homeruns. Despite that, the Dodgers released him and the Angels picked him up.

He played 91 games in the Angels AAA system in 2018 but not enough to please them, despite his 17 homeruns. They released him at the end of the season. The Doosan Bears signed Fernandez for the 2019 season where his .344 batting average was second in the league. This year he is hitting .500 and is considered the most fearsome hitter in the KBO. Some talk about whether a hitter will hit over .400. With Fernandez he seems to have skipped that .400 talk and some talk whether he will become the first professional player to hit over .500. It appears the Bears gain is the Dodgers and Angels loss. Fernandez plays multiple positions but his best position in the KBO is probably DH.

Finally, there is Mel Rojas Jr., whose father was born in the Dominican Republic and played professional baseball. Mel was drafted in the third round by the Pirates in 2010 but never got a major league opportunity. He signed with the KT Wiz to play in the second half of the 2017 season and is now in his fourth KBO season. In 2018 he hit 43 homeruns and last year when the offense overall dropped he slugged 24 homeruns. Rojas continues to hit, this year batting .423 with four homeruns for the Wiz. The Wiz are glad to have him. The Pirates and the Braves might wonder how he might look in their outfield this year, especially the Pirates.

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