“Kevin Shim’s father hit over 300 home runs in 15 years in the KBO.”
While all the attention has been on Ryu Hyun-jin (Toronto Blue Jays) and Kim Ha-seong (San Diego Padres), who have announced their intentions to play in Major League Baseball (MLB), there’s another big-league prospect on the horizon: Lee Jung-hoo (Kiwoom Heroes).
Kevin Shim (21, Korean name Shim Jong-hyun), the son of KBO legend Shim Jung-soo (48), is currently playing for the Arizona Diamondbacks’ minor league team.
Sports Illustrated’s (SI) Fan Nation Inside the Diamondbacks published an article titled “Arizona’s 30th Top Prospect for 2024: Kevin Shim” on Thursday, featuring Kevin Shim.
Kevin Sim was selected by Arizona in the second round (148th overall) of the MLB Draft in July. His contract was worth $421,000 (KRW 553 million).
His father’s history also made him a hot topic in Korea. Kevin Shim’s father, Jung-soo Shim, was an iconic right-handed slugger who hit .287 with 328 home runs over a 15-year career. He led the league in home runs (31) in 2007 and was tied with Lee Seung-yeop (now manager of the Doosan Bears) as the all-time home run leader. In 2003, he crushed 53 home runs. He was nicknamed “Hercules” because he was the most weight-trained player in the game, boasted massive arm thickness, and was so powerful.
Kevin moved to San Diego with his family at the age of 7 and played high school ball at Torrey Pines before attending the local university. He batted .285 with 27 home runs in three years before being drafted by Arizona.굿모닝토토
At 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds, Utauta is projected as a big league prospect with the same athletic build as his father.
In evaluating his tools, the media gave him a 50 for hitting, power, and throwing, a 40 for defense, and a 40 overall.
However, it’s the power that has everyone excited. “We think he’s a big-time third baseman, he’s always had power,” Arizona scouting director Ian Levine said, according to the outlet. “He’s a guy we scouted at the Chase Field Combine, and he did really well there, showing pure power. He has the ability to hold down third base and the ability to be a threatening right-handed hitter on the corners.”
Sim showed some promise this season. After playing just four games in the Rookie League, he was promoted to Class A to play for the Bisceglia. In 33 games, he batted .288 with three home runs, 14 RBIs, and an OPS of .777. The media called it “a solid summer debut.”
The key, of course, is hitting. In their 2024 expectations, they wrote: “The bat sums up his overall profile. Given his bat and power, Kevin Sim should face a minimum of left-handed pitching to carve out a future in the MLB. “He’ll likely start 2024 at High-A Hillsboro, the only extreme pitcher-friendly league in the Arizona system.”
“With power being his strength, the two stats to watch are his strikeout and ground ball rates.” This season, he had a 31/10 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Kevin Shim has played both first and second base this season, including third base, which is listed as his primary position. “The problem is that he’s a right-handed hitter and could be utilized in a platoon system,” said the outlet, which also projected him to play left field. “Given Arizona’s outfield situation, he may have some competition, but left field seems like the best spot for a potential starter.”
Of course, it’s unlikely we’ll see him in the big leagues anytime soon. Projecting 2026 as the earliest he could be called up to the big leagues, the outlet said, “He’s likely to make it to the big leagues, but he’ll be a useful bench player on a playoff team.”