Chicago Cubs showing plenty of interest in Japan this winter

CHIBA, JAPAN - NOVEMBER 12: Pitcher Kim Kwanghyun #29 of South Korea is withdrawn in the top of 4th inning during the WBSC Premier 12 Super Round game between South Korea and Chinese Taipei at the Zozo Marine Stadium on November 12, 2019 in Chiba, Japan. (Photo by Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images)
CHIBA, JAPAN - NOVEMBER 12: Pitcher Kim Kwanghyun #29 of South Korea is withdrawn in the top of 4th inning during the WBSC Premier 12 Super Round game between South Korea and Chinese Taipei at the Zozo Marine Stadium on November 12, 2019 in Chiba, Japan. (Photo by Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs Rumors: A star on the other side of the world

Kim began his professional baseball career when he was just 18 years old. In his rookie season, Kim was already close to a decade younger than that of the average player in the Korean Baseball Organization. As a teenager, Kim joined the SK Wyverns.

During his inaugural year in the KBO, Kim faired seemingly well. He appeared in 20 games while making 13 starts. In that span of 77 innings, Kim finished with a 3.62 ERA and 52 strikeouts. It was the start of a pitching star.

In each of his next three seasons, Kim finished with ERA’s of 2.39, 2.80, and 2.37, respectively. Over two of those seasons, in 2008 and 2010, Kim finished with 150+ strikeouts, including a career-high of 183 in 2010 as a 21-year-old.

The 2011 and 2012 seasons were rough ones for Kim. His ERA ballooned out of control, and everything seemed to fall apart. The following season was the same story. Kim finished the year with a 4.47 ERA in 22 starts. Kim’s strikeouts bounced back in a big way. However, it was a problematic direction in which to travel.

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