Top Prospects From the Dominican - National League

January 9th, 2021

Myworld will go around the world to identify the top prospects from various areas of the world playing in the minor leagues. In order to do this effectively we have to find enough prospects who have a chance to appear in the major leagues. The Dominican Republic is one of the best places to find prospects so we have broken them out into American and National League. Below are the top Dominican prospects in the National League.

1. Marco Luciano SS (Giants) - You have to like a shortstop that has the potential to hit for power. At the rookie level in 2019 Marco slugged .564 with 10 homeruns and 13 doubles in just 47 games. He also showed some patience at the plate with 32 walks. At 6′2″ he has some length and his speed is not his greatest asset, so he could move to third base. This would slightly tarnish his prospect ranking, but finding a player to hit .300 with 30 plus homeruns at any position is still a skill any team would want. He has yet to play full season ball so how he adapts as he faces better pitching will soon be discovered. Next year will be his first season in full season ball.

2. Christian Pache OF (Braves) - He has gold glove potential as a centerfielder. His speed allows him to track down fly balls but it seems to be deficient when it comes to stealing bases. He did steal 32 in 2017 but the last two years he only combined for 15. The power is there for him to hit in double digits for homeruns, but he will not be a power source. The Braves would like to see him be more patient at the plate so he could draw more walks to better fit at the top of the lineup. In 2018 his OBA was only .307 but in 2019 he drew more walks to elevate it to .340. Last year he made a brief major league debut, appearing in just two games and getting four at bats. If he can show the bat and the patience to get on base consistently he could be the Braves starting centerfielder in 2021. The glove is ready, the bat is still a work in progress.

3. Sixto Sanchez RHP (Marlins) - By the end of the 2020 season Sixto had entrenched himself as one of the top three pitchers in the Marlins rotation. His fastball hits the upper ranges of the 90s and reaches triple digits. He complements that pitch with a changeup that dives into the dirt. He doesn’t get the swings and misses you would expect from a pitcher with his stuff, but he should fit in the middle of the rotation next year for the Marlins. If he can harness a quality third pitch those strikeout numbers could climb. The one concern myworld has is his 6′0 body carrying 234 pounds. That could have an impact on his health if he doesn’t improve his conditioning.

4. Brailyn Marquez LHP (Cubs) - Scouts drool when they see a lefthander consistently hit triple digits with his fastball. At 6′4″ Brailyn also carries an ideal pitcher’s frame. While the fastball is special his secondary offerings (slider and change) line the average spectrum and his command can be spotty. To be effective in the major leagues he needs to enhance those pitches. Last year he made one appearance in the major leagues and retired two hitters, giving up two hits and walking three for a 67.50 ERA. The Cubs will give Brailyn some time in AAA to enhance his secondary pitches and fine tune his control. Once he finds improvements there he could be the ace of the Cubs rotation. If those struggles continue he could always fill the closer role.

5. Ronny Mauricio SS (Mets) - Don’t know if the Mets trade of Amed Rosario and Andres Gimenez is a call of faith for the future of the shortstop capabilities of Mauricio. Ronny has not shown the power of Luciano and his speed could be described as below average, so staying at shortstop does not appear to be in the cards. But at 6′3″ the Mets are expecting the power to arrive, enough so that a move to third base is practical. His career slugging percentage in the minor leagues is .374, which falls short of what teams look for at the hot corner. However, gaining strength and learning how to elevate the ball could result in more power production. He still is a couple years away from the Mets, giving Francisco Lindor the reign at short for that time period.

6. Oneil Cruz SS (Pirates) - Hard to imagine a 6′7″ shortstop in the major leagues. That is Cruz at the moment in the minor leagues. He doesn’t seem burdened by the height. If the Pirates consider moving him the speed and the arm are good enough for him to patrol right field. There are few players that can match Cruz for power once his arms are extended. Despite all that power he has yet to slug .500 at any level in the minor leagues. With that height comes a larger strike zone and holes in his swing that pitchers can exploit. Cruz was involved in a traffic accident in the Dominican in which a couple people were killed. He appears to have avoided any major consequences for that event and is playing shortstop in the Dominican winter league. If there are no delays in getting a visa he could see some time with the rebuilding Pirates in 2021.

7. Geraldo Perdomo SS (Diamondbacks) - The fourth and last shortstop in this list, but unlike the other three players above him Geraldo has a greater possibility of sticking at the position. He has good speed, a strong arm and all the other attributes to make a solid defensive shortstop. His hitting tools are not as strong as those others mentioned above. At 6′2″ the power could develop. In 2019 he had an impressive 70/67 walk to whiff ratio. This put his OBA at .397 and with his speed on the bases allowed him 67 steals. That would be enough to stick at the top of an order. He still is a couple years away from making his major league debut, but perhaps by the end of the 2022 season Geraldo could make an appearance.

8. Edward Cabrera RHP (Marlins) - Cabrera is another rotation candidate who could hit triple digits with his fastball. At 6′5″ that delivery would be more intimidating than Sixto. Early in his career Edward had challenges commanding his pitches. Hitters raked him at a .280 clip and his ERA was above 4. Last year the command improved, the slider had more break and hitters struggled with a .190 average, resulting in a breakout 2.23 ERA. With all the injuries in the Marlins rotation last year while they surprisingly fought for a playoff appearance, their was some talk of sliding Cabrera into the rotation. That did not happen. It could though as the 2021 season develops.

9. Jesus Sanchez OF (Marlins) - Sanchez was first a Devil Ray. At that time he had the speed to be considered a centerfielder. The Marlins sent the Rays some pitching help to acquire Sanchez. His speed depleted as his body matured so now he is probably better suited for the corners. It is hoped his bat can start generating power to justify the move. His last three years those power numbers have dropped from a .478 slugging percentage to .433, to finally .398 last year. In 2019 he also hit a career low .260. Last year he did make his major league debut, but he was able to piece together just one hit in 25 at bats. For the 2021 season he will try to show some improvement in his offense to justify putting him at a corner outfield position, where a modicum of power is expected.

10. Lewin Diaz 1B (Marlins) - The fourth Marlin on this list, but the third that was acquired via trade. Diaz was originally a Twin but the Marlins acquired him for Sergio Romo. Lewin had a nice breakout season last year from a power perspective hitting 27 homeruns and 33 doubles for a .530 slugging percentage. He was called up last year, appearing in 14 games while hitting just .154 with a .205 slugging. The Marlins will give him another opportunity before they spin the wheel again in search of a first baseman. His speed is below average but his defense can get him on the field. It will not win any gold gloves so the bat must come alive if he hopes to secure a permanent spot in the lineup. The Marlins will give him another chance in 2021, provided he hits in AAA.

Winter League Update - Gigantes Advances

January 9th, 2021

Gigantes advanced in the playoffs with their 5-3 win over Estrellas yesterday. Kelvin Gutierrez drove in four of the five runs with a two run homer in the first inning and a two run single in the fifth. Jose Siri drove in the other run, his seventh of the series. Fernando Tatis Jr. drove in all three runs for Estrellas with his two doubles. Chris Ellis got the win going six innings and allowing just one run. Jumbo Diaz worked the ninth inning to earn the save.

Toros extended their series with Aguilas to seven games with their 3-1 win. All the runs were scored in the first two innings. Toros got five innings from Cesar Valdes, then the bullpen limited Aguilas to two hits in the last four innings. Fernando Abad worked the last inning for the save. Miguel Andujar hit a solo homerun in the first and Jorge Mateo a two run shot in the second to score all the runs for Toros. Rangel Ravelo went 3 for 3 for Aguilas.

The one Mexican League matchup that had been postponed yesterday saw Mazatlan defeat Hermosillo 7-2. Hermosillo still leads the series three games to two. Edson Garcia drove in four runs for Mazatlan with two run singles in the first and third innings. Edgar Torres limited Hermosillo to just two hits and one run in his five innings of work to notch the victory.

Winter League Summary for January 7

January 8th, 2021

We’ll start with Mexico first. One game between Mazatlan and Hermosillo was suspended and will be played today.

Mexico

Jalisco stayed alive with their 10-6 win over Obregon. They still trail in the series two games to three. Veteran big man Japhet Amador was the big bat for Jalisco going 4 for 5 with a double, solo homerun in the sixth and three RBIs. Japhet weighs over 300 pounds and is one of those hitters that makes a bat seem like a toothpick as he comes to the plate. Andre Rienzo of Obregon had another poor outing, giving up six runs in three innings to raise his ERA in these playoffs to 31.91. Alonzo Harris hit a three run homer in the fifth inning in the losing effort.

Culiacan is now one game away from advancing in the playoffs with their 6-1 over Guasave. JC Ramirez worked six innings, allowing just one unearned run to score. Cuban pitcher Yoannis Yera was not as effective, giving up four runs in six innings. Hot hitter Joey Meneses took Yera deep with a two run homer in the first inning to give Ramirez all the runs he needed to win the game.

Monterrey also is one game away from advancing to the playoffs after their 7-4 win over Mexicali. Paulo Orlando mashed a two run homer in the fifth inning and Courtney Hawkins also contributed two RBIs in the victory. Jeff Johnson worked the last two innings without allowing a run to pick up the save.

Dominican Republic

Estrellas exploded for five runs in the third inning to beat Gigntes 5-3 to even their series at two games apiece. Jeremy Pena launched a two run homer to fuel the inning.

Aguilas had their own explosion, scoring nine runs in the last two innings to take a 9-6 win over Toros. A three run homer by Robel Garcia in the seventh and a three run homer by Johan Camargo in the eighth aided in the rally. Toros had three solo shots, from Peter O’Brien, Yamaico Navarro and Jordany Valdespin. Navarro did finish the game with three RBIs on three hits. Jorge Mateo went a perfect 3 for 3 for Toros.

Puerto Rico

Caguas swept their series against RA 12, wining the last game 4 to 2. Miguel Amaya went 2 for 3 with three RBIs to lead the offense. RA12 finally scored a couple runs after being shutout in their previous two games.

It is unclear when Manati and Mayguez will play. That series has been postponed for the last six days because of corona virus concerns.

Winter League Playoff Update

January 7th, 2021

Puerto Rico teams did not play. The only games were the Dominican Republic and Mexico.

Dominican Republic

Estrellas won a game, beating Gigantes 7-6 to put the series at two games to one. A four run seventh inning broke a 3-3 tie. Fernando Tatis Jr. mashed a two run triple into right field to break the tie. Robinson Cano drove in Tatis with a single to add to the onslaught. A fourth run scored on a steal of second, the catcher throwing the ball into centerfield to allow Cano to trot home from third.

Gigantes mounted a comeback scoring two in the ninth to pull within one. Oneil Cruz had an RBI double and later scored on a ground out. Jose Siri struck out with the tying run on first. Jose Siri finished the game 3 for 5 with two doubles and two RBIs, but fell short at the end. Oneil Cruz went 3 for 4 in the game and is now hitting .571.

Lewin Diaz was the hitting star for Estrellas with a perfect 3 for 3. The first three hitters in the Estrellas lineup, Jeremy Pena, Fernando Tatis Jr and Robinson Cano each went 2 for 4 with two runs scored. Tatis had a double and triple with two runs driven in.

In the other game Aguilas went up on Toros two games to one with their 4-1 win. Yuenesky Maya threw five shutout innings, allowing just three hits. The bottom three in the Aguilas order, Robel Garcia, Francisco Pena and Edmundo Sosa each drove in a run.

Mexico

Mazatlan prevented a four game sweep with their 7-6 win. Hermosillo rallied for three runs in the top of the ninth, but Alejandro Soto came on to strike out Yadiel Hernandez with the tying run at third to earn the save. Isaac Paredes drove in three runs for Mazatlan. Ricardo Valenzuela hit a two run homer in the fourth.

Mexicali evened their series at two games apiece with their 8-0 drubbing of Monterrey. David Reyes slung seven innings of shutout ball to get the win. Luis Juarez slammed a two run homer and finished the game with five RBIs. Daniel Castro was a perfect 4 for 4 with a triple and two RBIs.

Guasave evened their series with Culiacan with a 2-1 win. Culiacan strung together 13 hits but only one runner could cross the plate. They also made three errors proving to be the difference in the game. Alan Lopez roped the go ahead single in the seventh inning to break the 1-1 tie. Edgar Arredondo carried a two hitter through 6.1 innings for Culiacan. Geno Encina retired the four outs he needed to pick up his second save of the playoffs. Culiacan had a wasted 5 for 5 effort from Joey Meneses.

In the last game Obregon went up three games to one over Jalisco with their 6-4 win. Leandro Castro went 4 for 5 with one run scored and Juan Carlos Gamboa drove in three runs with his 3 for 4 performance. Alonzo Harris had an eighth solo shot for Obregon. Jalisco scored two in the ninth to make the game close.

Winter League Playoff Updates

January 6th, 2021

The Dominican Republic had the day off yesterday. Venezuela is still in regular season play. Below are the summaries of the winter league playoffs.

Puerto Rico

Games between Manati and Mayaguez continue to be postponed because of the corona virus. So the only playoff game played was between Caguas and RA12. For the second straight game RA12 was shutout, this time 4-0. Caguas now leads the series three games to none. Tommy Romero threw five shutout innings, allowing just two hits and striking out 10. Four different relievers finished the job, elevating the strikeout numbers to 15. Noel Cuevas went deep to lead off the seventh inning to provide the only runs Caguas really needed, but they scored two more runs in the inning on an RBI double from Jancarlos Cintron and an RBI single by Johneshwy Fargas. The first run was scored in the fourth inning when a wild pitch scored Isan Diaz.

Mexico

Monterrey (2) Mexicali (1)

Down in Mexico, Mexicali pulled out their first win, a 3-2 victory over Monterrey. It took 12 innings to snatch out the win. The winning run scored on a wild pitch. Monterey scored both their runs in the opening frame. Mexicali got a solo homer from Xorge Carrillo in the fifth to score their first run. He also got the single that eventually scored the pinch runner in the 12th. A wild pitch in the sixth scored the second run, tying the game. Isaac Jimenez pitched three shutout innings to get the win for Mexicali.

Obregon (2) Jalisco (1)

Obregon took a 2-1 lead in their series with a ten inning 3-2 win. The winning run scored without benefit of a hit. Carlos Sepulveda led off the inning with a walk, was balked to second and bunted to third. Victor Mendoza drove him in with a sacrifice fly. Victor Arano worked the bottom of the tenth inning to salvage the save. Both teams scored two runs in the fourth inning. Obregon did it with back to back homers from Sebastian Valle and Juan Carlos Gamboa. Gabriel Gutierrez drove in both runs for Jalisco with a clutch two out double.

Culiacan (2) Guasave (1)

Culiacan also went up two games to one on Guasave with their 6-1 win. Anthony Vasquez pitched 5.1 innings, allowing just one unearned run. He was supported by a pinch hit grand slam homerun by Francisco Lugo in the five run sixth to break the 1-1 tie, putting the game out of reach. Sebastian Elizalde hit a solo homerun in the fourth to score the first run.

Hermosillo (3) Mazatlan (0)

Mazatlan pitcher Matt Gage did not allow a hit in his six innings of work. He walked three. Claudio Vargas threw 5.2 innings of three hit shutout ball. The game was finally decided in the eighth on a Luis Alfonso Cruz RBI single to score the only run. The run was ruled unearned because a passed ball advanced a baserunner to third. Mazatlan is one win away from advancing in the playoffs.

Credit Padres Acquisition of Kim to Park

January 6th, 2021

Myworld did not realize the Padres have legendary Korean pitcher Park Chan-Ho as an advisor for their team. He participated in the negotiations for the Padres in their acquisition of Kim Ha-Seong. That had to make the Padres the favorite to sign Kim, no matter how many dinners Ryu Hyun-jin bought Kim to try to convince him to play for Toronto.

Park is a legend in Korea. He pitched for the Padres in 2005 and 2006. His 124 wins in the major leagues are still the most for any Asian born pitcher. He first signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1994 before ever playing in the Korean professional league. Once his major league career ended he pitched two years in Japan with the Orix Buffaloes and finally made his Korean debut in 2011, pitching one year for the Hanwha Eagles. After his one year with Hanwha he retired from baseball in 2012.

The contract for Kim does not allow the Padres to send him to the minor leagues without his consent for the 2023, 2024 and 2025 seasons.

Winter League Playoff Review

January 5th, 2021

Below are the summaries of the games played in the Winter League playoffs. Venezuela is still playing their regular season. Puerto Rico and Mexico had off days.

Dominican Republic

Gigantes is a game away from advancing in the playoffs with their third straight victory. It took 10 innings before they escaped with a 3-2 win. For Estrellas all three losses have been by one run.

Jose Siri has been the big bat for Gigantes. He was at it again. He homered in the eighth inning to tie the game at 2-2. After a Abiatal Avelino lead off walk and stolen base in the tenth Siri blooped a game winning hit to give Gigantes the victory. He finished the game with three hits and is now hitting .429 for the playoffs.

Oneil Cruz hit a solo shot in the fourth to give Gigantes an early 1-0 lead. Robinson Cano blasted a two run dinger in the top of the eighth to give Estrellas a 2-1 lead. Ervin Santana pitched well for Estrellas, working five innings and allowing just one run, the solo shot from Cruz. Cesar Valdez worked five shutout innings for Gigantes. Socrates Brito had three hits for Estrellas and is now hitting .500 for the playoffs.

In the other match, Aguilas won their first game, scoring all their runs in the first inning in the 3-1 win. Melky Cabrera mashed an RBI double to score Luis Liberato with the first run. RBI singles from Rangel Ravelo and Robel Garcia finished the scoring. Yasiel Puig drove in the only run for Toros with a double in the eighth inning.

Yoanner Negrin threw six innings of one hit ball for Aguilas. He walked four and struck out six. Gregory Soto pitched the ninth inning to squeeze out the save.

Mexico Winter League Playoffs

January 4th, 2021

The Mexican Winter League began their playoffs. Below is the summary of the results.

Monterrey vs Mexicali

A couple one run games won by Monterrey. In the first game Monterrey won 3-2. All the runs were scored on a three run homer by Ricardo Serrano in the fourth inning. Jeff Johnson pitched a perfect ninth to earn the save, striking out two of the three hitters he faced.

In the second game Monterrey rallied for three runs in the bottom of the seventh to pull out the 4-3 win. Jeff Johnson again pitched a perfect ninth to pick up his second save. Serrano started the seventh inning with a leadoff double. Courtney Hawkins made it back to back with his double to score Serrano. Roberto Valenzuela tied the game with an RBI single. Carlos Alvarez drove in the go ahead run with a sacrifice fly.

Jalisco vs Obregon

These two teams split their first two games. Jalisco had their offense churning in the opener with an 11-5 win. Manny Rodriguez was the big bat with his three RBIs. Andre Rienzo could not survive the first inning only retiring two batters and being charged for 7 runs.

Obregon came back and won game two 6-2. Victor Mendoza was a perfect 3 for 3 with one RBI. Leandro Castro was the big bat with his two runs scored and two RBIs. He drove in both of his runs in a four run fourth and also scored in the inning that gave the Yaquis an early 4-0 lead.

Culiacan vs Guasave

Culiacan and Guasave split their first two games. Culiacan used three run homeruns from Jose Chavez in the seventh and Joey Meneses in the eighth to lead the Tomateros to a 11-6 win. Alexis Wilson stroked a solo shot in the fifth. Guasave scored six early runs in the fourth and fifth to take an early 6-1 lead. Cuban Yoannis Yera was taken out in the sixth after an error put the leadoff man on. The bullpen failed to hold the 6-1 lead, giving up 10 runs in the sixth through eighth innings.

Guasave received a seven inning one run pitching performance from Adam Quintana to take a 5-1 win in game two. Jessie Castillo hit a solo homerun in the fourth and drove in two runs to share the RBI lead with Josuan Hernandez.

Hermosillo versus Mazatlan

Hermosillo took the first two games from Mazatlan. Both pitchers were excellent with Edgar Torres for Mazatlan giving up an unearned run in his six innings of work. Hermosillo veteran Juan Pablo Oramas threw six shutout innings until Anthony Giansanti took him deep in the seventh to tie the game. Oramas finished eight innings. Isaac Paredes committed a two out throwing error to allow Norberto Obeso to drive in the first run with a single. Yadiel Hernandez got the game winning hit with an infield bases loaded one out single in the 12th.

Hermosillo got another solid pitching performance to win the second game 3-1. Ryan Verdugo worked seven innings, allowing just one run. He had some trouble finding the plate, walking four batters. Fernando Salas worked the ninth inning to earn the save. Yadiel Hernandez got the first inning started with an RBI double. Norberto Obeso drove in what proved to be the go ahead run with a sacrifice fly in the second.

Winter League Playoff Summary

January 4th, 2021

The Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico have ended their regular season and are into their playoffs to see what team will represent their country in the Series del Caribe. Below is a summary of the results.

Dominican Republic

Gigantes vs Estrellas

The Gigantes have won the first two games in the best of seven series. The opener was a pitchers duel with Gigantes coming out on top 1-0. Richelson Pena pitched the first 5.1 innings of shutout ball for the Dominican Republic. Three other relievers followed for the last 3.2 innings, allowing just one baserunner on a ninth inning walk. Ryan Kussmaul issued that two out walk in the ninth but still earned the save. Gigantes scored their lone run in the seventh inning on a sacrifice fly hit by Moises Sierra. Jose Siri had the key hit with a double to put runners on second and third with no one out. The closest Estrellas got to scoring was in the fifth when they had runners on first and second with no out, but a failed bunt snuffed out the rally, with a strikeout and ground out to follow.

Jose Siri was also the hero in game two with two solo homers to lead the Gigantes to a 4-3 win. The solo blasts came in the third and seventh innings. The seventh inning bomb gave the Gigantes a 3-2 lead. A Ronald Guzman triple and Juan Francisco sacrifice fly upped the lead to 4-2. Kussmaul picked up another save in the ninth but coughed up a run in the process. With the tying run at third he struck out Erik Filia to end the game. Fernando Tatis Jr. hit a solo homerun in the first for Estrellas.

Toros vs Aguilas

Toros also took the first two games from Aguilas. The opener was a 9-1 rout. Peter O’Brien was the hitting star with his two homeruns and six RBIs. He hit a two run homer in the third and a three run homer in the seventh. He also walked to lead off the second and scored the first Toros run on a Yermin Mercedes double. His other contribution was an RBI single in the fifth that scored Yasiel Puig. The Aguilas actually took a 1-0 lead after one inning when Melky Cabrera hit a solo homerun in the opening frame.

The second game was a bit closer with both teams scoring all their runs in the 8th inning. Carlos Martinez pitched six innings of two hit shutout ball for Aguilas. The veteran Raul Valdes pitched five innings of three hit shutout ball for Toros. Melky Cabrera broke the duel shutouts with his two out RBI single in the top of the eighth. Toros roared right back with two in the bottom frame, Miguel Andujar hitting a sacrifice fly to score the first run. The second run was driven in by Yamiaco Navvaro when he grounded into a forceout to right field, Jorge Mateo scoring from third with the force out at second. Fernando Abad pitched the ninth inning to earn the save.

Puerto Rico

Caguas vs RA12

The RA12 team is an All Star youth team put together by Roberto Alomar. They finished last in the standings. With two traditional teams dropping out because of the corona virus, the Puerto Rican league needed one more team to have a season.

Caguas won the first two games. Jose de Leon dominated the RA12 bats for six innings, allowing no runs, just three hits and striking out 10 in the 5-1 win in the opener. The Criollos bats were not much better, getting only one hit in the game, but seven walks, three hit batsman and three errors assisted them in scoring five runs.

The second game RA12 could not score in the 2-0 loss. Hector Santiago pitched five shutout innings and four different relievers followed with one inning each of shutout ball. An errant pickoff throw after Edwin Diaz is hit by a pitch allowed Diaz to advance to third. He scored on a Johneshwy Fargas sacrifice fly for the first run in the third inning. Jonathan Morales hit a solo shot to lead off the fourth to give Caguas their second run and final run.

RA12 strung together two hits each in the eighth and ninth innings but failed to score both times. A ground out double play soured the eighth inning rally. In the ninth inning the two hits came together after two outs but they could not finish the rally.

Mayaguez vs Manati

The second game was postponed. The first game was a 12-2 shellacking by the Indios against the expansion team Manati. Henry Ramos and Christian Colon each drove in three runs.

Padres and Heroes Exchange Late Christmas Present

January 1st, 2021

The Kiwoom Heroes of the Korean Baseball Organization posted Ha-Seong Kim to allow major league baseball teams to negotiate a contract. The San Diego Padres won out, signing Kim to a four year $28 million contract. A fifth year mutual option could up that total to $39 million. The Padres get a talented player who could fill a valuable utility role in their playoff hopes. The Heroes get a $5.25 million posting fee to scout for another Kim or sign a top foreign player to a contract.

For those who follow the KBO, Kim is the player who replaced Jung-Ho Kang at shortstop after Kang signed with the Pirates. The deal worked out well for the Pirates for two years until drunken driving issues ruined his career. The Heroes were able to replace Kang with Kim and as a 20 year old shortstop he had a pretty good season (.290, 19, 73).

Next year the Heroes will replace Kim at shortstop with another Kim, Hye-Sung Kim. The 21 year old Hye-Sung played in a utility role last year for the Heroes, hitting .285 with seven homeruns and 61 RBIs. This is his fourth year in the KBO and it was about time the Heroes gave him a starting spot. The Heroes lose some power with the loss of Ha-Seong, but they hope to make up for that by investing the $5 million for a top foreign contract.

The Padres infield appears to be crowded with Manny Machado at third, Fernando Tatis Jr. at short, Jake Cronenworth at second and Eric Hosmer at first. In a 162 game season injuries happen and players need rest so Kim should be able to play in more than 120 games. There is also talk of using either Kim or Cronenworth in the outfield. Cronenworth also played a lot of first base when Hosmer got injured so he could possibly be tried out in the outfield and used at first base, allowing Kim to play second.

The Padres saw what the Dodgers did with their roster, using a couple players to fill in at multiple positions to either replace an injured player or give regular rest to their regulars to keep them fresh. The Padres could have the same plan for either Kim or Cronenworth, or possibly both. Spring training will ultimately define both players roles for the 2021 season.