The best prospect the Pirates added this past winter was Korean right-hander Jun-Seok Shim. Shim opted to head to the United States instead of going into the KBO draft, and the Pirates inked him for a $750,000 signing bonus. Shim was regarded as a top-ten talent in this year’s international class and has a very high ceiling.
Many factors make Shim highly talented. The first is his fastball, which already tops out at 100 MPH. Keep in mind that Shim won’t turn 20 until early April of next season. He typically sits 94-96 MPH and projects to have good command. He has clean mechanics and good athleticism, which should help him improve in the long run.
His fastball isn’t the only pitch that is effective. Shim also has plus 12-6 curveball, which is his best secondary offering. He also throws a slider and change-up, both of which have flashed average potential. But with his athleticism and mechanics, there’s a possibility of four pitches here that end up as above average.
Shim should be on the top 100 watch, given his high ceiling. He also has the makeup to help him develop, such as his athleticism and mechanics. But the one thing that might hold him back is that he likely won’t play a full season. Shim will probably begin the year at the FCL but could work his way up to Bradenton later in the year. But if he performs well, there’s a chance he will start getting some top-100 recognition. If he doesn't this year, then he certiantly should in 2024.