Before the 2012 season, Seong-Min Kim made Oakland A's franchise history when he became the first amateur free agent to sign with Oakland out of South Korea. The 6'2'', 240+ pound backstop made his professional debut in the Arizona Rookie League in 2012, but injuries limited him to just 12 games in 2012 and 10 in 2013.
Last season, Kim played in a career-high 42 games for the AZL A's and the Vermont Lake Monsters. He posted a .256/.331/.451 line in those 42 games and hit a career-best five homeruns. This season, Kim spent the first half of the year at extended spring training and then landed on the Opening Day roster for the Lake Monsters. In 14 games thus far this year, Kim is batting .218/.254/.418 with three homers in 55 at-bats.
Donald Moore spoke with the 22-year-old catcher during a recent Lake Monsters' trip to Troy, New York.
Donald Moore: Hi Seong-min, how is everything going for you so far this season?
Seong-min Kim: Not bad. I had a strain, but I'm feeling better right now.
DM: What are your goals for this season?
SMK: I want to get to High-A ball.
DM: What do you feel is your biggest strength as a baseball player?
SMK: Last year I weighed about 250 pounds, so I felt really heavy. I lost about 10 to 15 pounds and I feel really good. I got strong, too.
DM: What would you like to improve on?
SMK: I've got about a .500 batting average batting against left-handers right now and about .071 batting against right-handers. So I just want more hits against right-handed pitchers, you know, to get better.
DM: What do you like best about being a professional baseball player?
SMK: Playing baseball for a living.
DM: Any pregame routine?
SMK: Before a game I want to sweat to get warmed up.
DM: Any hobbies or things you like to do off the field?
SMK: Pitchers throwing to hitters to strike out, I feel it is very good. The more thinking as a hitter, the better the hitter, so...
DM: Favorite team growing up?
SMK: The A's.
DM: If there is one person who taught you the most about baseball, who would that be?
SMK: Coach Choo. He is a very good guy and he kind of has the Korean minor league guys, so he is really nice and cool and taught me a lot.
DM: Craziest thing you ever saw on a baseball field?
DM: Where do you see yourself in your future playing baseball?
SMK: In the major leagues and maybe as the A's catcher.
DM: Seong-min, thank you so much for your time and it was a real pleasure speaking with you.
SMK: Thank you.