His price has risen sevenfold since coming to Korea. Ronnie Dawson, 28, the “best value for money” foreign hitter who re-signed with the Kiwoom Heroes, has realized his Korean dream.
Kiwoom announced on Nov. 11 that it has re-signed outfielder Dawson through 2024 for a total of $600,000, including $550,000 in salary and $50,000 in incentives. That’s a seven-fold increase from just $85,000 when he signed with Keum in July as a replacement for Edison Russell.
Midway through the season, Dawson was worth less than $100,000. Dawson, who was selected by the Astros with the 61st overall pick in the second round of the 2016 Major League Baseball draft, was once considered a highly touted prospect, but he never developed as expected and his major league career was limited to four games over two years.랭크카지노
He made his big league debut with Houston in 2021, but it lasted just three games in April. After the season, he was acquired by the Cincinnati Reds in the Rule 5 draft, but only appeared in one game in the big leagues. He was released by Cincinnati as a free agent after the season, but was unable to secure a minor league contract and had to move to the independent leagues.
Signed by the Lexington Counterclocks of the Atlantic League in April, Dawson caught the eye of Keum after batting .248 (70-for-70) with 13 home runs, 39 RBIs, 13 doubles and an .875 OPS in 64 games. After releasing Russell, who was battling a wrist injury, Keum picked up Dawson for $85,000.
At the time of his signing, the outside world didn’t pay much attention to Dawson, undervaluing him due to his low salary. However, he quickly landed in the KBO without much of an acclimatization period, getting a hit in his first at-bat against Sasik Lotte on July 22. He showed off his hitting ability by making accurate contact with both left and right-handed pitchers. His cheerful personality and friendliness made him an atmosphere maker and he quickly integrated into the team. He also made fans laugh with his antics.
Dawson’s stat line for the season was 3-for-6 in 57 games (229-for-77) with three home runs, 29 RBI, 18 doubles, 41 walks, nine stolen bases, a .398 on-base percentage, a .454 slugging percentage and an .852 OPS. He ranked eighth in batting average and 13th in OPS in the second half. First in batting average and third in OPS among foreign hitters. Although his home run power dropped as a foreigner, he showed steady hitting without any major ups and downs until the end of the season, and his quick feet helped him contribute in the field and on the bases.
Amidst the bad luck of injuries to their two hitting pillars, Ahn Woo-jin and Lee Jung-hoo, Kiwoom finished the season in last place, but the performance of Dawson, the ‘best value for money’, along with outfielder Lee Ju-hyung, who was traded from LG, was a great consolation. Dawson, who was classified as an early re-signing candidate, signed for a total of $600,000.
Although $600,000 is not a large amount of money compared to other foreign players, it is not unreasonable to say that Dawson came to Korea for so little money. Coming to Korea in the midst of a career crisis was a godsend. Kiwoom’s scouting skills also shone through as they found a pearl in the rough in the independent league.
In announcing the signing of Dawson, Kiwoom said, “Dawson is a five-tool player who contributed to the team’s victory by playing various positions such as offense, defense, and baserunning. His cheerful personality allowed him to get along well with his teammates, and his diligence in training brought a positive energy to the team,” the team explained.
“I’m very happy to be able to play in the KBO again, and I’m especially happy to be reunited with the Kiwoom Heroes fans who have given me so much love,” Dawson said after signing with the team. “I will do my best to help the team win more games next season.”