Three Korean newcomers with heavy shoulders, Samsung’s fate depends on 2024
Three new foreigners of the Samsung Lions have heavy shoulders.
David Buchanan and Jose Pirella, who represented Samsung, are no longer in Korea. Samsung, which had no concerns about foreigners in recent years, chose new foreigners instead of renewing contracts with them. Conor Seabold-Deny Reyes will build a one-two punch for foreigners, and David McKinnon will be in the centerline.
Buchanan, who has been the ace of the Lions for the past four years. In fact, Samsung wanted to renew its contract with Buchanan. Fans wanted it, and Buchanan felt the same way.
Buchanan, who has been on the mound for Samsung since the 2020 season, has recorded 54 wins and 28 losses with a 3.02 ERA in 113 games. He has earned double-digit wins for four consecutive years. He won 15 wins and seven losses with a 3.45 ERA in 27 games in the 2020 season and 16 wins and five losses in 30 games with a 3.10 ERA in the 2021 season, winning the most games. He also elevated Samsung to the stage of fall baseball for the first time in six years. He finished the season with a record of two earned runs for the first time since his debut in the KBO with a record of 11 wins and eight losses in 26 games in the 2022 season and a record of 12 wins and eight losses and a 2.54 ERA in 30 games in the 2023 season. A man of fighting spirit who has won complete games for four consecutive years. He did not show off even when he was sick.
He was loved by players and fans not only by his fighting spirit but also by his energetic performance in the dugout. He has always been a player for his team.
Samsung offered Buchanan the highest treatment, and Buchanan expressed his desire to remain while sincerely engaging in negotiations with Samsung. However, it was not an easy task. In the end, they failed to narrow their differences, and Samsung announced the collapse of its contract with Buchanan less than a month before the start of the spring camp.
Samsung officially announced that negotiations for renewal of contract have unfortunately collapsed as the team rejected the final proposal in the process of considering entering the Major League recently. Buchanan also said, “I thought about retiring from Samsung, but it didn’t go as I wanted. Giving up the contract with Samsung was a difficult decision. There is always blue blood that symbolizes Samsung in my body. Now that I am leaving Samsung, I want to tell you how precious my fans are to me.”
Pirella was a man who showed off his fighting spirit as much as Buchanan. Pirella hit 0.305509 with 73 homers, 286 RBIs and 270 runs scored in 420 games during the first three seasons in Korea in the 2021 season. Notably, in the 2022 season, he displayed robust performance with a batting average of 0.342 192 with 28 homers, 109 RBIs and 102 runs in 141 games, and listed himself as an outfielder in the Golden Glove category.
However, he only posted a batting average of 0.285 and 159 hits, six homers, 80 RBIs and 66 runs in the 2023 season. The number of homers, RBIs and runs were all the lowest since he came to Korea. The Samsung Lions prepared to break up with Pirella early on, searching for a new foreign hitter instead of him.
Although he left in the middle of the season due to an injury, there is also no Albert Suarez, who solidly rotated with Buchanan. Suarez did not have good luck enough to be called “Sucra”, but he always played his role as an inning player with a heart of thinking about the team.
Seabold, who is supposed to play as Samsung’s one-two punch, signed a contract with Samsung for a total of 1 million dollars. He started his professional career after being drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2017 draft. He played 27 games with Colorado in the Major League in 2023, recording 87.1 innings 1-7 with 7.52 ERA and 13-7 ERA in Triple-A total.
“Seabold uses strong fastballs with an average fastball speed of 150 kilometers, changeups, sliders, and other high-quality breaking balls,” Samsung said. “We expect Seabold to play a role in the starting lineup for the 2024 season based on strong pitching and stable ball control as he is highly utilized in the left and right sides of the strike zone.”
Reyes, who signed the contract for 800,000 U.S. dollars, is expected to show strong performance against left-handed hitters and display competitive edge in the KBO league, which has many left-handed hitters. Reyes throws fastballs with an average speed of 147 kilometers and a maximum speed of 150 kilometers, and various breaking balls, including sliders, changeups, and cutters. Watchers say that Reyes’ pitching capability optimized for robot referees, which will be introduced from the upcoming season, is also very high-level.
The two players, along with the existing Won Tae-in and Baek Jung-hyun, should protect Samsung’s starting lineup by synergizing with young players.
McKinnon left a batting average of 0.294 with 36 homers and 210 RBIs in 357 games among minor league players, and hit 15 homers while playing in the Japanese league last season. He has one shot. As Samsung had no player exceeding 20 homers last season, it needs McKinnon’s shot.
“He is a mid- to long-range right-handed hitter with good pitching and excellent contact capabilities, and he is capable of stable first-base defense and third-base defense. He is expected to adapt quickly to the KBO league based on his sincere training attitude and Japanese baseball experience,” Samsung said. He is expected to keep the first base with Oh Jae-il.
Samsung ranked eighth last season. Over the past eight years, the number of players who entered the fall baseball league was only in 2021. There is a saying that foreign players account for half of a team’s power. Will Samsung be able to forget about its long-lived foreign players who had been at the center of Samsung. 스포츠토토