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S. Korean catching prospect signs with Kansas City Royals: source

All News 20:25 July 04, 2022

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, July 4 (Yonhap) -- South Korean high school catcher Um Hyung-chan has signed with the Kansas City Royals, an informed source said Monday, as the teenager follows in the footsteps of his father in taking his talent to America.

Um's father, Um Jong-soo, played for the Atlanta Braves' Class A-Advanced affiliate in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, in 2001, appearing in 24 games as a 27-year-old. The Ums are now the first South Korean father-son duo to sign with a major league organization.

The junior Um, 18, plays for Gyeonggi Commercial High School in Seoul. So far this year, Um has batted .452/.500/.694 with three home runs and 25 RBIs in 15 games. He has logged 101 2/3 innings behind the plate and has thrown out 70 percent of would-be base stealers. Um was seen as an early round prospect at this year's Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) draft.

Um is the first South Korean catcher to join a major league club since 2011.

Per the source, the Royals had been interested in Um since his middle school days. The source added that the Royals thought highly of Um's fundamentals and leadership as a backstop and also gave high marks on his strong throwing arm and bat-to-ball skills.

The source said Um is also proficient in English, a rarity for a South Korean high school prospect making the leap to the United States.

Gyeonggi Commercial High School catcher Um Hyung-chan poses in a Kansas City Royals uniform after signing a deal with the major league club on July 4, 2022, in this photo provided to Yonhap News Agency by a source. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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