On January 26 (local time), snow was blowing at Pittsburgh’s home stadium, PNC Park. However, unlike the cold outside of the stadium, the inside of the stadium was heated up. It was thanks to the initiation ceremony of Shim Jun-seok (19), who recently signed a contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates and took the first step in the major league challenge.
Shim Jun-seok, who was considered one of the best prospects in high school last year, chose to challenge the major leagues instead of submitting a draft application to the KBO League. Eventually, he signed a contract with Pittsburgh, which showed the greatest interest, and embarked on a journey toward his dream. Pittsburgh has observed Shim Jun-seok since 2020, and last year, the head of international scouting personally visited Korea, and after putting great effort into recruiting Shim Jun-seok, they achieved their goal.
Pittsburgh didn’t just offer good signing conditions. He captivated Shim Jun-seok by presenting a blueprint for how to exercise and what steps to take in the future. I put a lot of effort into showing all the details, such as which facility I will be exercising in, with pictures. Shim Jun-seok was also attracted to Pittsburgh’s meticulous consideration.
After his international contract, Pittsburgh is heating up in praise of Shim Jun-seok. This initiation ceremony was also special. It is not uncommon for players who have signed an international contract to have an initiation ceremony at the home stadium. However, Pittsburgh willingly opened the door of PNC Park, which had been sleeping for a while, for Shim Jun-seok. It was impressive that he invited the player and his family by paying all the airfare.
Local media also showed great interest. ‘CBS Pittsburgh’, a leading local channel, even broadcasted the initiation ceremony of Shim Jun-seok by connecting it to the site of the initiation ceremony with a large subtitle reading ‘Breking News’. Although the length was not long, the Pittsburgh club’s utmost sincerity was impressively reflected in the local media, and it can be seen that it was connected to the rare event of a rookie player’s initiation ceremony.
‘CBS Pittsburgh’ said of Shim Jun-seok, ‘On Thursday, Pittsburgh signed a player ranked 10th in the international draft class this year.’ Shim Jun-seok is an 18-year-old power pitcher. Growing up, Shim Jun-seok’s favorite player was Gerrit Cole, a Pittsburgh draftee, so it was only fitting that he came to the Pirates.” 스포츠토토
Shim Jun-seok already packed up and went to America. He won’t be back in Korea until the end of this season. According to Shim Jun-seok’s official, he is planning to move to the Dominican Republic soon. He doesn’t have a special season schedule, but for visa issuance. He is to settle the visa issuance without coming back to Korea.
After that, he plans to move to Bradenton, Florida, USA, where Pittsburgh’s spring training is held, to participate in a pitching camp. At this pitching camp, Pittsburgh will figure out Shim Jun-seok’s overall condition and send him to his minor league team. Some are raising the possibility of going straight to Single A rather than the rookie league, which has many players younger than Shim Jun-seok.