KBO Round Up: May 23
Greg Jewett goes around the KBO and gives you the best hitting and pitching performances to be aware of for DFS purposes
Saturday’s action featured a return to recent normalcy in the KBO: import pitchers racking up wins and baseballs continuing to fly out of ballparks. In Doosan’s visit to Samsung, seven home runs occurred in a 10-6 win for the defending champion Bears while four of the five wins recorded on the slate went to import arms.
Keeping pace with injury news across the league, this update on Ben Lively does not bode well for the struggling Lions of Samsung:
Samsung’s lost it’s last three in a row and won only one of its last seven contests sinking in the standings. Losing another pitcher along with import hitter Tyler Saladino off to an anemic .128/.209/.231 slash line over 43 plate appearances and David Buchanon coming off his worst start of the season giving up 10 earned runs in five innings against the LG Giants takes the mound on Sunday against a surging Doosan offense.
It’s been a rocky indoctrination to the KBO for Taylor Motter with Kiwoom. Luckily his team’s playing well without any production by him. Motter’s wife entered required quarantine while coming to South Korea which also can be a factor for his slow start (.111/138/.222). However, Motter can return to Kiwoom on Tuesday and this information could make him a target in DFS going forward:
#KBO update: Kiwoom Heroes' Taylor Motter has homered in 4 consecutive games in the minors (Futures League). In KBO, a demoted player must spend at least 10 days in the minors before getting called up again. Motter is eligible to rejoin the Heroes on May 26.— Jeeho Yoo (@Jeeho_1) May 23, 2020
While the MLB negotiations continue, keep in mind how the KBO treated its players and employees leading up to a late start to the season:
Players in #KBO are paid in full in 2020 and there were ZERO employee salary cuts/front office downsizing. In fact, possibility of furloughs/pay reductions were not even a conversation. Yes, #KBO teams have much smaller commitments, but #MLB teams made a lot more $ over the yrs— Daniel Kim ??? ? (@DanielKimW) May 22, 2020
Keep in mind, KBO teams are owned by corporations, not individuals hence their naming by the company and not the city. It’s tough to believe teams focus on the game and not the bottom line in the KBO but it sure seems that way. Maybe the KBO can teach us something about love for the game?
Here’s the noteworthy game action from Saturday broken down by pitching and hitting across the league.
Starting Pitcher Spotlight
Drew Rucinski recorded his third win tossing eight shutout frames allowing four hits and one walk with nine strikeouts.
Being a stopper for a team can be just as valuable as strikeouts in the KBO and Rucinski kept the Dinos atop league standings. Rucinski’s notched a quality outing in three of his four starts so far with a 23:7 K:BB through 25.1 innings resulting in a 2.49 ERA and 1.26 WHIP. Reliever Jong-hyun Won closed out his KBO leading sixth save working around two hits in a scoreless ninth.
Kia import Aaron Brooks registered his first win in the KBO on Saturday working 6.2 innings giving up seven hits, three earned runs and three walks with six strikeouts. He also set an intriguing record:
#KBO (random) record: Kia Tigers' RHP Aaron Brooks set a record for most consecutive innings pitched without a walk by a foreign pitcher at 21 1/3 innings. Lotte Giants' Bryan Corey (2011) had the previous mark at 20 innings. Brooks issued his 1st walk of '20 in 4th inning vs. SK— Jeeho Yoo (@Jeeho_1) May 23, 2020
Avoiding free passes leads to success in the KBO and Brooks should continue to improve as the season progresses. Brooks owns a tidy 23:3 K:BB with a 3.18 ERA over his first 24.2 innings.
Kiwoom’s Eric Jokisch logged six innings yielding six hits, two earned runs and two walks with four strikeouts en route to his third win. Jokisch continues to dazzle for the Heroes with a minuscule 1.17 ERA and 0.87 WHIP during his first four starts spanning 23 innings.
A sort of wonky but productive start for Raul Alcantara of Doosan. He recorded his third win in four decisions, throwing six innings allowing six hits, four runs (three earned) and a walk with three strikeouts. Alcantara’s 4.13 ERA and 1.33 WHIP displays his pitch to contact approach along with his 19:3 K:BB in 24 innings this season. Good, but not great even in the KBO.
Have yourself a day Mel Rojas Jr. He launched two home runs (3,4) in the Wiz’s win over the LG Twins on the road and with some flare:
As noted in the quote tweet, Rojas Jr. becomes the second player in league history with a home run from each side of the plate in consecutive at-bats. Entering play on Sunday, Rojas Jr. owns a robust .455/.493/.742 slash line ranking second in batting average, on-base percentage and hits (30) in the KBO. Pretty, pretty good.
Jose Miguel Fernandez (DH) - Just another multiple hit game for Fernandez accomplishing this feat in 11 of his first 16 games for Doosan with 10 hits his last 13 at-bats. On Saturday, Fernandez went 4-for-5 scoring three runs, hit his fourth home run and drove in one.
Joo-hwan Choi (1B) - Also launched his fourth home run of the season among his two hits with two runs and two RBI.
Jae-won Oh (2B) - Went 2-for-4 with his third home run, a grand slam. Oh finished with two runs, four RBI and also walked in five plate appearances.
Dong-yeop Kim (DH) - Blasted two home runs (3,4) in a loss to Doosan going 3-for-5 with two runs and two RBI.
Min-ho Kang (C) - Homered for the second time in his last three starts, Kang also doubled, drove in two and walked in four plate appearances.
Keon-chang Seo (2B) - Extended his hit streak to 12 games going 1-for-4 with a run, RBI and a walk.
Ha-seong Kim (3B) - Returned to the lineup and stayed hot with three more hits including his third home run of the season. Kim scored three runs, drove in two and walked. Over his last five starts, Kim’s 11-for-19 (.579) with 10 runs, four doubles, two home runs, eight RBI and a stolen base.
Jung-hoo Lee (OF) - Salvaged his day with a late home run finishing 2-for-5 with his fourth dinger and four RBI. Lee currently owns a .381/.446/.673 slash line.
Byung-ho Park (1B) - His breakout game? Park launched two home runs (3,4) driving in two runs and walked. One home run occurred with an exit velocity of 105 MPH according to reporter Jeeho Yoo. This marks Park’s first home run in 13 contests.
Dong-won Park (C) - Went 2-for-5 with a run and improved his slash to .346/.382/.673 on the year.
Joo-hyung Kim (SS) - Racked up two hits, scored two runs, doubled and drove in a run.
Chan-ho Park (SS) - Moved his hit streak to eight games with a hit in five at-bats while scoring two runs.
Sun-bin Kim (2B)- Tallied two hits in four at-bats with a double, three RBI and a walk.
Joo-hwan Na (3B) - Finished 3-for-4 with two runs, his first home run and drove in one.
Soo-kwang Noh (OF) - Went 2-for-4 with a run and a double.
Jamie Romak (1B) - Racked up two hits in three at-bats with an RBI and walked.
Jin-gi Jeong (OF) - Recorded his first home run of 2020 among his three hits along with scoring two runs and driving in one over four at-bats.
Min-woo Park (2B) - Another multiple hit game for Park going 2-for-4 with a run and his second stolen base. His steal could signal his leg’s feeling better, more good news for the Dinos.
Sung-bum Na (OF) - Went 3-for-4 with an RBI moving his average up to .277 on the season. It’s been boom or bust for Na so far and it’s intriguing to see he’s hit four home runs with no other extra-base hits.
Eui-ji Yang (C) - Notched one hit in two at-bats but also walked and stole a base? Yang’s often seen jogging to first on ground outs like Park above, could Yang’s leg be improving? If so, his power may soon return as well.
At first glance, the Sunday slate could feature more runs in the Doosan at Samsung match-up. The NC Dinos send their import pitcher (Mike Wright ) to the mound looking for the series win against Hanwha. Plus, can William Cuevas of the KT Wiz record his first win on the road in Lotte? Stay tuned and be sure to stay with Fantasy Alarm to remain ahead of the competition.
Also on tap, a NASCAR race in Charlotte covered by Dan Malin and Matt Selz, another MMA event on tap with Mike Alexander providing updates along with the eSports contest by our own Sean Mitchell.