Kim, 27, spent parts of 10 seasons with the Doosan Bears of the Korean Baseball Organization, batting .318/.406/.488 with 142 home runs and 771 RBI. Nicknamed Korea’s “Iron Man,” he played in 1,131 career games in the KBO.
A four-time KBO Gold Glove Award winning outfielder (2008-2010, 2015), awarded annually to the best overall player at each position, he also won the league’s batting title in 2008 with a .357 batting average (168-470) over 126 games.
In 2015, Kim helped guide the Doosan Bears to the Korea Series title, setting career-highs with 141 games played, 28 home runs, 121 RBI, 103 runs scored, and 101 walks. Last season, Kim hit .326/.438/.541 (167-512) and ranked sixth among KBO batting leaders in RBI, tied for seventh in home runs and runs scored, eighth in hits, and tied for 14th in batting average.
As a member of the Korean National Team, he helped Korea to their first Olympic gold medal in baseball during the 2008 Beijing games. Kim also played in the 2009 and 2013 World Baseball Classics, earning All-Tournament Team honors as a designated hitter in 2009 after batting .393/.514/.500 (11-28) with three doubles, four RBI, six runs scored, and seven walks in nine games.
He led South Korea to the 2014 Asian Games gold medal and in 2015, paced South Korea to the WBSC Premier 12 championship, was named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament, and was selected to the All-World Team as an outfielder. He would become the first Korean-born player in club history when he makes his Major League debut.