Pil-jung Jin (진필중)
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 11", Weight 192 lb.
Pil-jung Jin was a top reliever in South Korea. He is a former Bronze Medalist.
Jin debuted in 1995 with the OB Bears, going 6-2 with two saves and a 3.21 ERA in 36 games. In 1996, he went 13-10 with 4 saves and a 3.11 ERA. During 1997, he faded to 7-12, 3.72. He became a closer in '98, going 8-6 with 19 saves and a 2.33 ERA in 61 games.
In 1999, Jin had a monster year. He went 16-6 with 36 saves and a 2.37 ERA. He fanned 114 in 114 innings and allowed 84 innings. He was two saves behind leader Chang-yong Lim and three wins behind leader Min-tae Chung. He led the Korea Baseball Organization in save points. He played for South Korea in the 1999 Asian Championship to help them qualify for the 2000 Olympics.
Jin went 5-5 with 42 saves and a 2.34 ERA for the 2000 Bears. He led the KBO in both saves (breaking Myung-won Jeong's 6-year-old record by 2; Seung-hwan Oh would later top Jin's mark) and save points. He allowed 3 runs in 2 2/3 IP in the 2000 Olympics, two of the runs coming on a Doug Mientkiewicz grand slam (Jin-woo Song had left two inherited runners for Jin) in a 4-0 loss. Jin did get one win in the Olympics as Korea took a Bronze Medal.
Jin was 9-6 with 23 saves and a 3.22 ERA in 2001 and led the KBO in saves. He went 4-5 with 31 saves and a 3.47 ERA in 2002 to capture his third and last save title.
In '03, Jin signed with the KIA Tigers as a free agent. He was 4-4 with 19 saves and a 3.08 ERA, striking out 71 batters in 64 1/3 innings. It was his last productive year. A free agent once more, Pil-jung moved to the LG Twins. In 2004, he went 0-4 with 15 saves and a 5.23 ERA, allowing 49 hits in 32 2/3 IP. In 2005, he was just 3-7 with a 5.82 ERA.
Through 2005, Jin was 2nd all-time in the KBO in saves behind Yong-soo Kim and 10th in ERA.
For the 2006 Twins, Jin was 0-3 with a 3.95 ERA. He did not pitch in 2007. He signed with the Woori Heroes for 2008 but did not make it out of the minor leagues. He apparently signed with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for 2009 and was released before he pitched in a minor league game.
Jin's career KBO record was 75-70 with 191 saves and a 3.20 ERA in 510 games.