Two More Pitchers Going to South Korea’s KBO
Two more young pitchers are going to South Korea’s KBO for the 2013 season, RHP Charles Shirek and LHP Adam Wilk. Both signed with the NC Dinos, an expansion team that will make its debut during the 2013 season.
Shirek looks like the kind of pitcher usually targeted by KBO teams. He’s 27 years old and has never pitched in the majors but is coming off a strong year at AAA Charlotte, where he went 11-5 with a 3.65 ERA, 117 Ks in 170.1 IP and a Ks/BBs ratio slightly better than four to one.
While Shirek clearly knows how to pitch, he doesn’t look like a pitcher with significant major league prospects. As such, a move to the KBO makes a lot of sense for his professional future.
Adam Wilk, on the other hand, has much better major league prospects, and it’s a little hard to understand why the Detroit Tigers were willing to sell him to a KBO team. Although Wilk pitched poorly in three April starts for the Tigers, after being sent back down to AAA Toledo, he had an extremely promising season.
While Wilk went an unimpressive 7-11, all of his other numbers were terrific. His 2.77 ERA was the 4th best in the International League, his 128 Ks was tied for 6th best, his 1.01 WHIP missed the league lead by a fraction of a point, and he had the best Ks/BBs rate of any of the 21 pitchers in the International League with at least 100 Ks. Wilk also had fine minor league seasons in 2010 and 2011.
Wilk was only 24 last year, so, like I said, it’s hard to understand why he would give up on a major league career so young or why the Tigers were willing to let him go. At any rate, the Tigers’ loss should be the KBO’s gain, unless Wilk blows out his arm.