Joo-chan Kim

From BR Bullpen

Joo-chan Kim (김주찬)

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 0", Weight 194 lb.

Joo-chan Kim has had an inconsistent career in South Korea but has been chosen for the Korean national team a few times. An outfielder, Kim is noted primarily for his speed.

Kim debuted in 2000 with the Samsung Lions and hit .313/~.365/.458 over 60 games but only had 48 AB. He was traded to the Lotte Giants and batted .313/~.368/.450 and stole 29 bases in 37 tries in 2001. He was with South Korea for the 2001 Baseball World Cup, hitting .379/.419/.517 as their second baseman. His production was similar to the All-Tournament second baseman, Antonio Pacheco of Cuba.

In 2002, Kim slumped to .220/~.272/.379 and stole only 9 bases while being caught 8 times. The next year, his batting line was just .160/~.192/.288. He batted .242/~.311/.356 in 2004 but swiped 44 bases in 54 attempts. Kim did not play for the Giants in either 2005 or 2006.

In 2007, the 26-year-old Kim batted .261/~.299/.349 with 22 steals in 30 tries. He was the right fielder for South Korea for the 2007 Baseball World Cup and hit .229/.289/.400 but did manage the team's only run in their loss to the Gold Medal-winning USA, scoring off of Jeff Karstens. He stole 3 bases in 4 tries. He remained with the national team for the 2008 Final Olympic Qualification Tournament, in which he was the unexpected star. He went 10 for 16, reached in 13 of 19 plate appearances and slugged .813. He stole successfully in all three tries, scored six and drove in five in eight games. He made no errors in four games in center and four at first base. He led the tourney in average (.069 ahead of Jimmy Van Ostrand) and tied Cristhian Presichi for the most swipes. Korea locked up a spot in the 2008 Olympics with the tournament.