Pittsburgh has closely observed Shim Jun-seok (19) since childhood. He saw that he had the potential to succeed even in the major leagues. Shim Jun-seok said that the reason he chose Pittsburgh among the numerous teams that showed interest in him was because he saw their sincerity.
Pittsburgh explained in detail to Shim Jun-seok how he will be fostered once he advances to the United States and what kind of roadmap he has. He showed the training ground facilities and worked hard. Shim Jun-seok explained the background of the choice, “I focused on trivial things that are not so big. He approached me by telling me in detail how to grow my future.”메이저놀이터
Pittsburgh, after signing a contract with Shim Jun-seok, immediately began to unfold their plan. For a while, rather than competing, I gave him time to balance and improve his physical condition. When Shim Jun-seok was pitching in the bullpen or live pitching, the coaching staff from the training facility flocked to him to watch his pitches closely. He also spared no consideration so that Shim Jun-seok could do what he wanted to do.
As such, it is revealed that Shim Jun-seok plays a very important role in the future of the club. He can feel this when he looks at the real-life ‘Baseball America’ and ‘Major League Pipeline’ prospect rankings. For a player who has just debuted in the rookie league, he is ranked quite high.
‘Baseball America’ released an updated ranking of Pittsburgh’s 30 prospects on the 14th (Korean time). Sim Jun-seok, who was ranked 18th immediately after his signing, maintained that position despite having few appearances. ‘Major League Pipeline’ puts Shim Jun-seok at 24th overall.
Among players born in 2004, only left-hander Michael Kennedy is ranked 19th, higher than Shim Jun-seok. However, as a player nominated in the 2022 rookie draft, Kennedy had one more year than Shim Jun-seok. There are only two rookie pitchers, Kennedy and Shim Jun-seok, who are ranked in the top 30 according to the ‘Major League Pipeline’. The reason why Pittsburgh is strategically trying to raise Shim Jun-seok is clearly revealed.
▲ Shim Jun-seok is considered a strategic prospect in Pittsburgh ⓒPittsburgh club official social media capture
▲ If you take steps in good health, you may be able to debut in the big leagues faster than expected ⓒ Capture the Pittsburgh club’s official SNS
He also made his rookie league debut as a starter. His will to develop as a starter is clearly evident. Kennedy gave up one run in 3⅓ innings in his first appearance all season on the 9th. Three walks led to a run. However, Shim Jun-seok surprised everyone by recording 8 strikeouts in 4 innings. According to officials, the highest speed of the four-seam fastball that day was 97 miles per hour (about 156.1 km), and the average exceeded 95 miles (152.9 km).
It is not bad in that it is the first actual appearance after slightly correcting the pitching form. He showed a more concise pitching form because his velocity came out as it was. During his training period, he honed not only the highly regarded curve, but also the sweeper, which has recently become popular in the major leagues, and used it in practice. His rapid growth has also given him a green light to achieve his goal of promotion to Single-A this season.
Shim Jun-seok said at the time of his major league challenge, “My goal is to get promoted to the major league within three years.” In fact, no matter how good a prospect is, it is not easy for a 19-year-old to rise to the major leagues in three years. It is possible only if there is a super-fast promotion. However, the ‘Major League Pipeline’ suggests 2025 as the date of Shim Jun-seok’s major league debut.
It looks fast, but it’s not impossible if Shim Jun-seok takes steps without injury. Pittsburgh is not a rich team. It is not a team that can buy starting pitchers with good performance, rather, there are many cases where aces are replaced with promising players ahead of free agent (FA) qualifications and leave the team. It is said that the speed of promotion from the minor leagues is faster than that of the big club teams.
Currently, many of the pitchers ahead of Shim Jun-seok in the prospect rankings are at the Triple A level. They are expected to achieve promotion to the major leagues at some point this year or next year. If they go up to the major leagues, the next time is quite empty, and Shim Jun-seok is a strong target for promotion in 2025. If he can keep his body healthy, he may be able to hear the news of his promotion to the big leagues sooner than we expected.