Chris Flexen (30, Chicago White Sox) is at the crossroads of choice ahead of the 2020 season. His career in the Major League was stagnant. On top of that, the transfer market stopped due to the novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19). So he started to carefully consider entering the Eastern League. When rumors spread, not only KBO league teams but also Japanese pro baseball teams jumped in.
Doosan won the title. Doosan constantly monitored Flexen’s future and waited patiently. On the other hand, KBO League teams couldn’t wait for this and signed contracts with other foreign players one after another, and ended up winning competition with Japanese teams and embracing Flexen. Although Flexen once suffered from injuries and pitching patterns, Flexen continued to win in a typical “downward” graph. He had eight wins, four losses and an earned run average of 3.01 in 21 games in 2020. He displayed impressive pitching and performance at the end of the season.
Flexen was young at the age of 26 when he joined Doosan. In addition, he had three seasons of major league experience. To some extent, he had a sense of the Major League Baseball stage. The situation was favorable, too. The opening of the 2020 Major League Baseball was delayed due to the COVID-19 incident, and the season was shortened to 60 games. Suddenly, the management of innings by pitchers who had to play full time in 2021 was urgent. On the other hand, Flexen pitched 116 ⅔ innings in the 2020 KBO League. His shoulders were warmed up.
Seattle couldn’t send a scout to Korea due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Literally, I bet on Flexen only after watching the video. The result was awesome. Flexen played in 81 games (57 starts) with Seattle for two and a half seasons until Colorado was traded in the middle of last year’s season, leaving a pretty significant 22-19 loss with a 4.13 ERA. Notably, he played in 2021 with 14 wins, 6 losses and a 3.61 ERA. He also went bankrupt by winning an 8 million dollar option in 2023.
Although his performance was sluggish just before he exercised his free agent status, he failed to secure the contract he wanted. He recently signed a one-year contract with the Chicago White Sox for 1.75 million U.S. dollars and up to 2.75 million dollars including incentives. However, his return to the Major League was certain, and he is in his early 30s who can be treated again whenever he throws well this year. Korea has become a turning point in Flexen’s career.
There is a player who is trying to follow a similar course. Denny Reyes, 28, who recently signed a contract with Samsung for 800,000 U.S. dollars, is the main character. Samsung also started operation of Plan B when negotiations with David Buchanan, a former foreign ace, did not go as well as it wanted. It was a card designed to prepare for the collapse of Buchananan negotiations. Reyes was the last player to catch the ball, and made an official announcement on Tuesday.
In terms of career, Reyes has many similarities with Flexen. Originally from the Dominican Republic, Reyes was a promising player when he was young. He was even rumored to be one of the most promising pitchers in the Boston Farm. He actually graduated with excellent performances from the rookie league to the single-A level. However, local media say that the trend was completely cut off as the minor leagues were virtually shut down due to COVID-19 in 2020.헤라카지노주소
He made his Major League debut with the Baltimore Orioles in 2022, and played for the New York Mets last year. He was released by the Mets after recording two losses and an ERA of 6.26 in 12 Major League games (four starts). He was selected as a starting prospect but was released by the New York Mets, which is the same as Flexen. On the other hand, Flexen was frustrated that he failed to break through the starting rotation early in his career in the Major League. His age is similar. As a starting prospect, Flexen is similar in that he can use various breaking balls and did so in reality.
Major League Trade Rumors, which mainly deals with the news of the Major League’s transfer market, reported Reyes’ trip to Samsung on the 6th (Korea time), “A few years ago, he was a notable starting prospect in Boston. The pandemic wiped out the minor leagues in 2020, and Reyes’ performance has not been good since then,” adding, “Samsung and Reyes will be hoping that changes in the environment can get him back on track.” If things go well overseas, Reyes is young enough to return to North America within a year or two. This is the path chosen by players such as Eric Peddy, Josh Lindblom, and Merrill Kelly,” he expressed his expectation.
Reyes throws fastballs at an average speed of 92 miles (148 kilometers) and can play a variety of pitches, including sliders, cutters, changeups, and sinkers. Based on the 2023 Major League Baseball, the distribution of pitches was very even. Foursim was 31 percent, slider 22.5 percent, cutter 20.3 percent, changeup 15.1 percent, and sinker 11 percent. Sliders were pitches that could induce swings and misses in the Major League, and their four-sim hit rate was also low at 0.143 last year. Although the speed of pitches is not fast, the speed of pitches can be felt faster due to long stretches.
Samsung also expressed its expectation, saying, “He throws various breaking balls and also uses high-quality pitching, optimized for robot refereeing.” The sinker tends to control the lower right-handed batter well. It is a very threatening advantage in the KBO League. He tends to throw his foursim powerfully on the higher side, but it has the potential to be a good combo in the KBO League, where the average speed is low. Overall, it is clear that he is a pitcher who uses the border line well.
Of course, there are variables. In Triple-A this year, the rate of walks allowed was quite high, and the number of home runs per nine innings was 2.4. After Double-A, it is noticeable that the ratio of home runs is consistently high. For Lions Park, which is not large in size, the ability to suppress fly balls is important. It is also noteworthy whether Reyes will solve this task well.