Whether the Twins make a strong play for Korean right-hander Suk-min Yoon remains to be seen. What seems clear is that Yoon, an international free agent represented by powerful agent Scott Boras, is on their radar. "He's got some talent," Twins general manager Terry Ryan said recently. Mike Radcliff, Twins vice president for player personnel, added recently that the team was "fully engaged" in the Yoon process after watching him pitch numerous times in Korea and on the world stage at such events as the Olympics and the World Baseball Classic. There had been talk of a showcase for Yoon, 27, but Radcliff made it sound as though the Twins had already placed a value on him. "It doesn't really matter to us," Radcliff said. "We've watched him forever." Radcliff and international scouting coordinator Howard Norsetter make trips into Korea every year, and David Kim, who scouts the Pacific Rim for the Twins, is based in Korea. The Twins also had Se-Wan Hong, one of Yoon's coaches with the Kia Tigers, in Fort Myers as a guest instructor during the instructional league this year. Yoon, who would not require a posting fee, would be the youngest established starting pitcher on this year's free-agent market, a month younger than New York Yankees right-hander Phil Hughes. However, Yoon is coming off a season in which he was plagued by shoulder woes in the wake of the WBC. "Is it a concern? Yeah," Radcliff said of those shoulder issues. "He would have to pass a physical." Yoon also finished the year in the bullpen after making the move in early August, which makes it unclear whether he would be able to withstand the workload of starting in the major leagues. If he's not a starter, the Twins wouldn't figure to have nearly as much interest considering their bullpen was a strength. "He pitched as a reliever this year," Radcliff said. "Could he start again? We'd have to determine that before, during and after the process." Slightly built at 6 feet and 187 pounds, Yoon posted a 4.00 earned-run average in 87 2/3 innings and 30 appearances (13 starts) this season. He struck out 7.8 batters per nine innings while walking 2.9. In his Korea Baseball Organization MVP season of 2011, Yoon threw only 172 1/3 innings while posting a 2.45 ERA.
Twins keep tabs on Korean right-hander Suk-min Yoon
St. Paul Pioneer Press | Oct 30