Ha-seong Kim at a press conference after winning the Golden Gloves. yunhap news
Kim Ha-seong (San Diego Padres, 28), who has become a top-level player in the American Major League Baseball (MLB), looked back on his difficult experiences. He then gave affectionate advice to ensure that juniors who will enter the MLB do not experience the same difficulties as he did.
At the official Gold Glove Award press conference held at Hotel Riviera Versailles Hall in Cheongdam-dong, Seoul on the 20th, Ha-seong Kim gave realistic advice to professional juniors preparing to enter the MLB. He did not forget to say warm words to aspiring baseball players.
First, he emphasized the importance of communication in the United States. Ha-seong Kim advised, “It is natural that you have to be good at baseball (to enter the MLB). I think you will prepare well for that on your own,” and added, “It would be good for juniors to learn English.”
Ha-seong Kim confessed, “I felt firsthand that communication is really important. I never thought I would advance to MLB, so I didn’t study English and had a hard time.” He then smiled and said, “Even if I don’t go to MLB, (learning English) will help me survive.”
It was no exception for Lee Jeong-hoo (Kiwoom) and Go Woo-seok (LG), who are aiming to advance to the MLB. Ha-seong Kim emphasized to the two players, “If you are going to advance to the United States, you need to study English now. You need to approach the local players first.”
At the same time, Ha-seong Kim explained by comparing it to his own experience, “We have to do that because we are strangers. Such behavior is seen as good by the locals.” He also gave confidence, saying, “(Lee) Jeong-hoo and (Go) Woo-seok are very good players in Korea. I think he will be an example to other players when it comes to taking on challenges.”
He also mentioned Lee Jeong-hoo’s contract, whose stock price has been soaring recently. Ha-seong Kim predicted, “If Jung-hoo enters the United States, he will receive a lot of money and enter the major league,” and added, “There is no reason to cling to the minor league veto. I think it is right to include an ‘opt-out’ condition in the contract.” reported.
When Ha-seong Kim entered the MLB, he included ‘minor league veto’ as a condition of his contract. This is the player’s right to prevent the club from downgrading the player to the minor league. However, in Kim Ha-seong’s experience, this was not of much help. Since he was never demoted to the minor league, he never had to use his veto.
In addition, ‘opt-out’ is a system that allows a player to re-acquire free agent (FA) status early if he or she meets certain conditions without completing the contract period. In other words, it is better to obtain free agency qualifications at an earlier stage rather than losing out on other conditions due to the minor league veto, which is not often exercised.
Ha-seong Kim (left) and Jeong-hu Lee watching the Korean Series. yunhap news
Like this, all of Kim Ha-seong’s advice came from his own experience. Ha-seong Kim is said to have experienced great failure in his first year in MLB. Looking back on that time, he recalled, “It was the most difficult time of my career.” Ha-seong Kim confessed, “He always worked out thinking that he had to move up, but when his grades dropped, he couldn’t handle it.”
What was the driving force behind enduring difficulties? Ha-seong Kim replied, “Even if I got bad results, I trained a lot.” He went on to say, “We were down offensively, so we were looking for a way, and in the end, a lot of training was the answer.” He also looked back and said, “Defensively, I had the confidence that I could get the ball out once I caught it. I think my defensive indicators got better thanks to my confidence.”
Ha-seong Kim visited his alma mater, Bucheon Buk Elementary School, on the 19th to encourage young juniors. Kim Ha-seong said with a happy expression, “A lot of young students said that their dream was to be an MLB player. When I was young, it was difficult to confidently say MLB. I feel good that MLB has become closer to students.” At the same time, he said, “I hope these players grow up and follow the path of their seniors,” and pledged, “I am also walking the path paved by my seniors, and I will do my best so that my juniors can also run on a better road.”