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(Yonhap Interview) In new tour of KBO duty, Ryan Sadowski hopes to offer 'most advanced scouting info'

All Headlines 16:19 February 10, 2015

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, Feb. 10 (Yonhap) -- In his new tour of duty in South Korea's top baseball league -- first as a pitcher and now as a scout -- Ryan Sadowski has a clear idea of what he can bring to the table for his team, the Lotte Giants.

The 32-year-old American once pitched for the Giants in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO). Then last month, the same Giants hired Sadowski as their "scout coach."

In an e-mail interview with Yonhap News Agency, Sadowski admitted he got "an unusually creative job title," though his job description itself is rather straightforward.

"Nowadays everybody wants a fancy title," he said. "My job duties are clear. I am working to help scout for the Lotte Giants, specializing in foreign player evaluation."

When asked what he can provide in his current capacity, Sadowski said simply, "The most advanced scouting information in the KBO."

He was with the Giants from 2010 to 2012 and went 29-24 with a 4.03 ERA in 81 appearances, spanning 460 innings. He said he tried to play in the United States after leaving South Korea, but "a broken elbow and some nerve damage" ended his career prematurely. Sadowski said he started pursuing a job in the KBO late last summer and ended up back with the Giants after speaking with a few teams in the league.

He also became a fan favorite for his off-field activities: He was the rare foreign athlete who made an active attempt to learn the Korean language and his proficiency later allowed him to tweet in his second language.

He now hopes the Giants' three foreign players -- pitchers Josh Lindblom and Brooks Raley, and outfielder Jim Adduci -- can make a similarly smooth transition to their new surroundings. All three players are entering their first seasons in South Korea.

"The three new Lotte players are extremely talented and very young for foreigners in the KBO," Sadowski said of the three who are still in their late 20s. "It would be great if Josh, Brooks, and Jim could continue to develop as players and make the cultural adjustments to Korea."

During the 2013 World Baseball Classic (WBC), Sadowski made headlines for his scouting report on South Korea that he provided to the Netherlands. South Korea lost to the Netherlands 5-0 in the opening round, a shocking result that eventually led to an early elimination for the 2009 WBC runner-up.

Though it may be difficult to determine precisely how much Sadowski's report contributed to the Dutch's success, the Giants are hoping that Sadowski can help turn around a franchise that has missed the playoffs over the past two seasons.

"The game is always changing. I am focused on helping our guys win in 2015 under the conditions that will exist in the league," Sadowski said, referring to the addition of an expansion club, KT Wiz, for 2015. "If offensive numbers are off the charts (as they were in 2014), it simply means that I will need to make bigger charts."


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