Hyun Soo Kim picked up three more hits Friday night and is hitting .391. He is adjusting to MLB play very nicely. Press play or read below for more.
After dropping the first two games of the Boston Red Sox series and looking like a team that may not be in the same class as their counterpart, the O’s found a way to win the next two games of the series despite horrific starting performances by Mike Wright and Ubaldo Jimenez. After a win on Friday night against the New York Yankees and another loss by the Red Sox, the Orioles are back atop the standings in the American League East.
It has been a wild three months for outfielder Hyun Soo Kim. After struggling in spring training and almost not making the team, to being booed on opening day and becoming best friends with the bench due to never playing, Kim has now found his role and is batting an incredible .391 after collecting three more hits on Friday night.
I think the lesson to be learned is that we need to be more patient when it comes to players. Kim was playing in what is the equivalent of Double-A in Korea and we expected him to immediately start in left field and bat near the top of the batting order. I won’t disagree that the contract the Orioles gave him made us assume he could start day one and the fact the O’s didn’t have in the contract that he could be sent to the minors, didn’t help the cause either.
However, Kim just needed time to get accustomed to not only the level of play in America, but the country itself. Buck Showalter loves to say the biggest jump in any sport is from Triple-A to the big leagues and we see players struggle all the time who dominate in the minors. It took Jackie Bradley Jr. basically three seasons to be where he is at now. Top prospect Byron Buxton from the Twins is still trying to figure out how to adjust from dominating in the minors to hitting big league pitching.
I’m just glad that it only took Kim the first month and a half or so of the season to finally show what type of player he is. This Orioles offense will frustrate us again when everyone gets cold at once and they are swinging at pitches three feet out of the strike zone, but having a player like Kim who has the ability to see pitches and draw walks will always been the calming presence this team needs when those struggles occur again.
And that is exactly what Dan Duquette was hoping for when he signed Kim in the offseason.