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Burning questions - Geelong-Korea
Three burning questions for the GK in 2018/19
11/02/2018 12:40 AM ET
 

Geelong-Korea will make history on November 15 when they face Sydney, becoming the first expansion team to play in the ABL.

South Korean legend Dae-Sung Koo will take the helm of the newcomers and has put together a roster with KBO experience.

Here are three burning questions for GK ahead of the ABL season getting underway:

 

1. Can Jin-Woo Kim be an ace in the starting rotation?

Jin-Woo Kim brings a wealth of experience to the ABL.

The now 35-year-old pitcher was drafted by the KBO's Kia Tigers in 2002 as a highly-touted high school prospect.

He went 12-11 with a 4.07 ERA in his rookie season and a year later went 11-5 with an ERA of 3.45.

Health concerns sidelined Kim from 2008 to 2010 before he made a comeback with the Tigers in 2011.

He was recently cut by the Tigers after a 247-game career.

Kim compiled a 74-61 record and 4.07 ERA across 13 seasons in the KBO.

Despite recent struggles - and spending time as a reliever - the right-hander could be a key weapon for manager Dae-Sung Koo.

 

2. Will Kwang-Min Kwon put it all together in the ABL?

Twenty-year-old Kwang-Min Kwon has spent the past three years in the Chicago Cubs organisation, amassing 102 Minor Leagues games.

The left-handed hitting outfielder signed for US$1.2 million in 2015 but is yet to progress beyond short-season baseball.

He split the 2018 season between rookie ball and Class-A short season, totalling 44 games.

Kwon hit .225 with 10 RBIs.

Kwon struck out 42 times and recorded a .317 OBP.

All up he has hit .212 in three years of Minor League baseball.

He was highly rated out of high school - as reflected by his price tag - but has yet to put it all together at a professional level.

A 40-game stint in the ABL could be the kick-start his pro career needs.

 

3. How quickly can they gel as a team?

From 217 hopeful athletes at their September tryouts, Koo has hand-picked Geelong-Korea's inaugural 25-man ABL roster.

It was far from a simple task but the expansive list of prospects has helped Koo select the strongest possible roster.

Now he has to take talent from all over Korea and shape them into a competitive outfit.

Working in Geelong-Korea's favour is Koo's unrivalled access to players.

While local talent at the rest of the league's teams split time playing baseball and working, Geelong-Korea are here for one reason.

Koo already has his charges training hard and will have the luxury of extra sessions if needed.

It might take a little bit of time, but they will soon be a well-oiled machine.

 

What are your burning questions for GK?

 

This story was not subject to the approval of the Australian Baseball League or its clubs.