Foreign players in outline… Shall we shake the pro baseball game?

A large number of new foreign players join the 2021 professional baseball. KT batter Joilo Almonte (from left) signing the contract, Hanwha infielder Lion Healy, pitcher Ryan Carpenter, and SK pitcher Art LeWiki arriving at Incheon International Airport on the 17th. Provided by KT Wiz, Hanwha Eagles, and SK Wyverns

The proportion of foreign players in professional baseball is absolute. Teams with good foreign players’ performances rise to the top of the league. So, while each club puts effort into renewing contracts with foreign players who are good at Stove League, they work hard to find new good foreign players. Now the results of that effort are outlined. This is because Kiwoom has completed the composition of 29 foreign players in 10 teams excluding one foreign batter.

This year, 15 people, half including one foreign batter in Kiwoom, who will be recruited soon, are replaced with new faces for half of their half, and there is high hope that it will bring about a change in the league. In particular, 20-winning pitcher Raul Alcantara and regular league best player (MVP) Mel Lohas Jr. all left Korea to win 4 batting titles, so how much they can fill the gap is also of interest.

◆Is the old building a famous building or a new wind?

Still, there is high expectation that foreign players who were verified last season will perform outstandingly. Drew Luchinski (33), who led the NC championship, and Lotte Dan Strayley (33), the strikeout king last season, Eric Yokishi (32), the average ERA leader, and Casey Kelly (32) from LG, Aaron Brooks (31), KIA. Samsung David Buchanan (32) and others are representative of such pitchers. However, if KIA Diel Mengden (28), LG Andrew Suarez (29), Doosan Walker Rocket (27), and SK Wilmer Font (31), who have extensive experience in big leagues, are equipped with skills that can threaten them, They are considered pitchers.

Among foreign hitters, Aaron Altair of NC (30), who hit 30 homers to 100 RBIs last year, and Jose Fernandes (33) of Doosan, who recorded the most hits for the second year in a row, are still standing. In addition, KIA Preston Tucker (31), LG Roberto Ramos (27), and SK Jamie Romac (36) are also the tested hitters. However, we are looking forward to seeing whether Hanwha’s ambitious recruiting Lion Healy (29) and Samsung Jose Pirella (32) will show off their hot hits. In particular, attention is focused on how much Joil Almonte (32), who was recruited by KT with faith in the major league and Japanese professional baseball experience, will fill the vacancy of LOHAS.

◆Concerns about immigration control due to self-isolation of domestic camps

In the aftermath of the spread of the new coronavirus infection (Corona 19), 10 clubs that are required to hold spring camps in Korea this year are burning their hearts as foreign players immigration management. This is because in order to normally participate in the spring camp starting on February 1, you must enter Korea by the 17th, considering the two-week self-isolation period. In particular, some clubs are struggling because they cannot even plan to enter foreign players due to delays in the local visa issuance process.

As of the 17th, only NC, SK, and Hanwha clubs have foreign players in Korea. NC Luchinski and Altair entered Korea on the 16th, and on the same day, Romac and pitcher Arty LeWiki entered Korea and entered self-isolation in Jeju Island, a spring camp site. Last year’s lowest ranked Hanwha, pitcher Ryan Carpenter and Healey hit Korea on the 17th, and pitcher Nick Kingham arrives at dawn on the 18th and is the first foreign player to enter the country.

KIA is also scheduled to arrive on the 18th for Mengden and Tucker and on the 22nd for Brooks. KT plans for Almonte to enter Korea on the 20th, but the other two players have not yet been scheduled. Lotte is adjusting its entry schedule as foreign players’ work visa issues have been resolved. On the other hand, Doosan and LG Kiwoom have not yet confirmed the entry schedule for foreign players. Foreign players entering Korea after February are highly likely to not be able to properly digest the spring camp, causing an emergency to prepare for the season.

Reporter Song Yong-joon [email protected]

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