Kwang Hyun Kim
32-Year-Old PitcherSP
2021 Fantasy Outlook
Kim came with plenty of intrigue last offseason following several strong seasons in Korea, but questions about his role added another layer of uncertainty to that which always follows players joining the league from overseas. The picture only got murkier early on, as he was named the team's primary closer shortly before Opening Day and went on to record a save in his MLB debut, something he'd never done in the KBO. The Cardinals' season was paused due to a COVID-19 outbreak shortly thereafter, however, and he served exclusively as a starter the rest of the way, finishing with a stellar 1.62 ERA in 39 innings. Quite a lot of luck went into that figure, however, given his .217 BABIP and 86.6% strand rate. That's not to say he deserves none of the credit, as his 50.0% groundball rate and 7.8 BB% were both solid, but he looks much more like a back-of-the-rotation option than a frontline starter given his low 15.6 K%. Read Past Outlooks
RANKS
#268
ADP
$Signed a two-year, $8 million contract with the Cardinals in December of 2019.
Focuses on lower-body training
PSt. Louis Cardinals
February 18, 2021
Kim, who enters spring training slotted into the No. 2 spot in the Cardinals' starting rotation, focused on training his lower body this offseason in an effort to improve his command, Zachary Silver of MLB.com reports. "[I learned] from last year that command is really important in this league," Kim said Wednesday. "... To better get the command [this offseason], I focused on my lower body, so that when I pitch, my upper body and lower body flows like water."
ANALYSIS
The left-hander was an immediate hit in his first season stateside following a successful career in the Korea Baseball Organization, posting a 3-0 record, 1.62 ERA and 1.03 WHIP across 39 innings over eight appearances (seven starts). Kim also held hitters on both sides of the plate to a sub-.200 average and posted an impressive 0.7 HR/9, but with a subpar 5.5 K/9, he headed into the offseason looking to improve his ability to miss bats and believes more efficient lower-body mechanics will help him achieve that goal. Kim is also in a somewhat advantageous position as a second-year pitcher due to the uniqueness of the 2020 schedule, as he'll get the benefit of another season as a largely unknown quantity to a substantial allotment of hitters since he only faced other NL Central teams in his debut campaign.
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Pitching Stats
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2020
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Pitching Appearances Breakdown
Average Pitch Count
77
Last 10 Games
77
Last 5 Games
90
How many pitches does Kwang Hyun Kim generally throw?
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
What part of the game does Kwang Hyun Kim generally pitch?
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
% Games Reaching Innings Threshold
% Games By Number of Innings Pitched
Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2018
 
 
-3%
BAA vs LHP
2020
 
 
-3%
BAA vs LHP
2019
No Stats
2018
No Stats
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2018vs Left .192 30 9 4 5 3 0 0
Since 2018vs Right .198 124 15 8 23 6 0 3
2020vs Left .192 30 9 4 5 3 0 0
2020vs Right .198 124 15 8 23 6 0 3
2019vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2019vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
More Splits View More Split Stats
Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2018
 
 
-53%
ERA at Home
2020
 
 
-53%
ERA at Home
2019
No Stats
2018
No Stats
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2018Home 1.00 0.89 18.0 2 0 1 4.5 1.5 0.0
Since 2018Away 2.14 1.14 21.0 1 0 0 6.4 3.9 1.3
2020Home 1.00 0.89 18.0 2 0 1 4.5 1.5 0.0
2020Away 2.14 1.14 21.0 1 0 0 6.4 3.9 1.3
2019Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2019Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
More Splits View More Split Stats
Stat Review
How does Kwang Hyun Kim compare to other starting pitchers?
This section compares his stats with all starting pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 120 innings)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity, Barrels/BBE %, Balls Hit 95+ MPH %, and Spin Rate are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 120 IP). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • K/BB
    Strikeout to walk ratio.
  • K/9
    Average strikeouts per nine innings.
  • BB/9
    Average walks per nine innings.
  • HR/9
    Average home runs allowed per nine innings.
  • Fastball
    Average fastball velocity.
  • ERA
    Earned run average. The average earned runs allowed per nine innings.
  • WHIP
    Walks plus hits per inning pitched.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many balls in play against a pitcher go for hits.
  • GB/FB
    Groundball to flyball ratio. The higher the number, the more likely a pitcher is to induce groundballs.
  • Left On Base
    The percentage of base runners that a pitcher strands on base over the course of a season.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Barrels/BBE
    The percentage of batted ball events resulting in a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
  • Spin Rate
    Spin Rate is the rate of spin on a baseball after it is released. It is measured in revolutions per minute (rpm).
  • Balls Hit 95+ MPH
    The percentage of batted balls hit that met or exceeded the 95 MPH threshold.
  • Swinging Strike
    The percentage of pitches that result in a swing and a miss.
K/BB
2.00
 
K/9
5.5
 
BB/9
2.8
 
HR/9
0.7
 
Fastball
89.9 mph
 
ERA
1.62
 
WHIP
1.03
 
BABIP
.225
 
GB/FB
2.03
 
Left On Base
86.6%
 
Exit Velocity
82.2 mph
 
Barrels/BBE
2.5%
 
Spin Rate
2115 rpm
 
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
22.1%
 
Swinging Strike
7.6%
 
Advanced Pitching Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Stats Vs Today's Lineup
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2020
2015
Kim is moving to MLB after a 12-year career in South Korea where he was among the best pitchers in the KBO. He almost moved to MLB in 2014 when he was posted by the SK Wyverns, but the Padres and Kim couldn't reach a contract deal. Kim missed the 2017 season due to Tommy John surgery, but returned better than ever. He went 17-6 with a 2.51 ERA and 8.5 K/9 last season (6th among starters). He has a low-to-mid 90s fastball but an excellent slider. At age 31, and without dominant velocity, he may not have tremendous upside. However, he could be a valuable swing man after signing with the Cardinals. He'll likely compete for the 5th starter role this spring and could shift back-and-forth from the bullpen.
Kim has been regarded as one of the top pitchers in South Korea's top professional league, the Korea Baseball Organization. He battled injury and inconsistency for several years but bounced back strong last season at age 26 with a 3.42 ERA and 7.5 K/9 over 173.2 innings. The Padres won his rights for $2 million via the posting system with the KBO, but he was unable to come to terms on a contract with the Padres. He may try to move to MLB for 2016.
More Fantasy News
Short hook in playoff debut
PSt. Louis Cardinals
October 1, 2020
Kim allowed three runs on five hits and two walks while striking out two batters over 3.2 innings in a no-decision against the Padres on Wednesday in Game 1 of the NL Wild Card Series.
ANALYSIS
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Starting Game 1
PSt. Louis Cardinals
September 28, 2020
Kim will start Game 1 of the NL Wild Card Series against the Padres on Wednesday, Jeff Jones of the Belleville News-Democrat reports.
ANALYSIS
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Earns third victory
PSt. Louis Cardinals
September 24, 2020
Kim (3-0) earned the win over Milwaukee on Thursday, pitching five innings and allowing one run on five hits and two walks while striking out three.
ANALYSIS
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Mediocre in no-decision
PSt. Louis Cardinals
September 20, 2020
Kim allowed four runs on six hits over 5.1 innings Saturday as the Cardinals beat the Pirates 5-4. He walked one, struck out four and did not factor in the decision.
ANALYSIS
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Fires seven shutout innings
PSt. Louis Cardinals
September 14, 2020
Kim allowed three hits and three walks over seven shutout innings in a loss against Milwaukee in the first game of Monday's doubleheader. He struck out six and did not factor in the decision.
ANALYSIS
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