A general view of PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
By Leif Skodnick
World Baseball Network
The Pittsburgh Pirates, the Major League Baseball club that has scoured the world for international talent, has signed another prospect from a far corner of the globe.
Shortstop Jayden Kim inked a contract with Pittsburgh this week as an international free agent, and will report to spring training with the Buccos in Florida this coming February.
“From the very beginning of my baseball journey, my goal was always to become a professional baseball player,” Kim told Baseball Australia’s official website. “I worked towards that dream from a young age, and as I gained attention from scouts and teams, it became evident that I could turn this dream into a reality.”
Kim’s father David, who is of Korean heritage, was the first Australian to play in the Korea Baseball Organization in South Korea.
Jayden was born in South Korea and began playing baseball there before moving to Australia with his family in 2021. He’s since developed rapidly.
“His defensive skills and ability to make routine plays consistently on the world stage is well beyond his years and his progression offensively since he came to Australia has seen him make huge strides as an all-round baseball player,” Andrew Riddell, Baseball Australia’s Player Development Manager, said in a story on Baseball Australia’s website. “He is loved by all his teammates and coaches and has really fit into the Australian culture well which is a credit to him as I know that was one of his worries when he moved from Korea.”
While Kim was pursued by other clubs and college programs, he signed with the Pirates after being scouted by Pittsburgh’s Pacific rim scouts Tony Harris and Max Kwan.
“As I learned more about them, they have one of the best farm systems in MLB, and their staff are really professional and good people. Especially Tony Harris and Max Kwan,” Kim told Baseball Australia. “They made me feel like family and that really left a memorable impression on me.”