KOREAN-BORN, AUSTRALIAN-BASED TEENAGER SIGNS WITH PITSSBURGH PIRATAES

Jayden Kim, makes a throw during a game in Australia, Dec. 20. Courtesy of Kim's father and major league scout, David Kim

Jayden Kim, a Korean-born, Australian-based son of a longtime major league scout, has signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates signed the 17-year-old shortstop prospect to a minor league deal last Thursday. Kim’s father, David Kim, told Yonhap News Agency that the Pirates had made a good offer and his son decided to pounce on that opportunity.T he senior Kim noted that his son, whose Korean given name is Joon-seok, is taking “the exact opposite career path” compared to the father’s playing career .David Kim, 52, was born and raised in Australia but later played professional baseball overseas in Korea, with the LG Twins in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO).Jayden was born in Korea and started out in Little League here. He played in Korea through middle school and then moved to Australia in 2021. He will now be playing pro ball in the United States. “”From the very beginning of my baseball journey, my goal was always to become a professional baseball player,” Kim was quoted as saying on the website of Baseball Australia, the national governing body of the sport Down Under. “I worked towards that dream from a young age, and as I gained attention from scouts and teams, it became evident that I could turn this dream into a reality.”

Jayden took huge steps after moving to Australia. He played for Victoria at the under-16 national championships in 2022 and then for the under-18 team in 2023. He played on Australia’s U-18 World Cup team in 2022 as one of the youngest players then and made the team for the same tournament in 2023. Andrew Riddell, Baseball Australia’s player development manager, said the teen prospect drew the attention of scouts immediately after arriving in Australia. “His defensive skills and ability to make routine plays consistently on the world stage is well beyond his years and his progression offensively since he came to Australia has seen him make huge strides as an all-round baseball player,” Riddell said. “He is loved by all his teammates and coaches and has really fit into the Australian culture well which is a credit to him as I know that was one of his worries when he moved from Korea .”Kim credited his time spent in Australia with being “pivotal in shaping my journey.” “Transitioning to baseball in Australia from playing only in Korea provided me with a completely new environment, people and language,” Kim said. “Adapting to these changes while learning a different style of baseball expanded my knowledge of the game. “David Kim had worked for the Minnesota Twins for over two decades until last year, and joined the Pirates earlier this year .Mindful of potential criticism that he might have played a role in his son’s signing, David Kim insisted that the Pirates 슬롯게이밍 first took interest in Jayden since before the father started working for the organization.

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