Seung Song

From BR Bullpen

Seung-Jun Song.jpg

Seung-jun Song (송승준)

BR Register page

Biographical Information[edit]

The first three-time participant in the Futures Game, Seung Song never made it to the major leagues. A power pitcher, Song was known for his fastball, which reached the mid-90s, and his sharp curveball.

Song was signed by the Boston Red Sox as an undrafted free agent for $800,000 after leading his high school to a national title. He debuted in 1999 with the GCL Red Sox, going 5-5 with a 2.30 ERA. He struck out 61 in 55 IP and was fifth in the Gulf Coast League in ERA, but this was deceiving as he allowed more unearned runs than earned runs, giving him a RA of 4.75.

In 2000, Song was with the Lowell Spinners, where his record was 5-2, 2.60 with 93 strikeouts to 20 walks in 73 1/3 IP. He led the New York-Penn League in strikeouts, though he missed the top 10 in ERA. Baseball America rated him as Boston's 7th-best prospect.

Seung split 2001 between the Augusta GreenJackets (3-2, 2.04, .208 opponent average, .99 WHIP, 79 K in 75 IP) and the Sarasota Red Sox (5-2, 1.68, .163 opponent average, .95 WHIP, 56 K in 48 IP). He led Boston minor leaguers in ERA (1.90) and strikeouts (135) and was named the club's Minor League Player of the Year by Baseball America. In the 2001 Futures Game, he pitched one scoreless inning of relieg for the world, walking one and striking out one. Baseball America rated him as the #12 prospect in the Florida State League, the #7 prospect in the South Atlantic League, the 60th-best prospect in baseball and the #1 prospect in the Boston farm system.

In 2002, Song started the year with the Trenton Thunder, where he disappointed, going 7-7 with a 4.39 ERA. He struck out over a batter per inning again. He pitched in the 2002 Futures Game, striking out two of the three batters he faced and retiring the other. On August 1st, he was traded to the Montréal Expos with fellow Korean prospect Sun-woo Kim for Cliff Floyd. He pitched one game for the Harrisburg Senators, allowing two runs (both unearned) in five innings, striking out five and walking none. Baseball America rated him as the #16 prospect in the Eastern League.

Song made history early in 2003. On April 28th, Song threw the firstno-hitter in the modern (post-1987) era of the Senators. Against the Erie Sea Wolves, he retired 25 of the first 26 batters he faced. Song walked two and allowed an unearned run in the 9th thanks to a sacrifice fly. He also made an error on a bunt in the 9th. It took Song 119 pitches to complete the feat. He fanned four overall, including the game's last out. Leo Daigle came the closest to getting a hit. In 2006, it was rated as the 4th-best moment (and second-best game) in the modern history of the Senators.

Overall, Song went 5-2 with a 2.35 ERA for Harrisburg. He only struck out 44 in 72 2/3 IP but opponents hit just .207 against him. Promoted to the Edmonton Trappers, his AAA debut gave him a 7-2, 3.79 line, with 40 K in 73 2/3 IP. In the 2003 Futures Game, Song was roughed up for three hits in his one inning of work, including a solo homer to Grady Sizemore.

Song appeared at three levels in 2004 as he battled injury. He pitched for Edmonton (3-1, 4.26), the Brevard County Manatees (0-1, 6.75) and GCL Expos (1-0, 5.79). His strikeout rate improved on his disappointing 2003, but overall, he was clearly less effective.

Picked up by the San Francisco Giants system, the fading Song split 2005 between the Fresno Grizzlies (2-4, 4.42, 36 BB to 37 K in 55 IP), the Norwich Navigators (3-2, 2.48) and the San Jose Giants (5-2, 1.95, 47 K in 37 IP, .199 opponent batting average).

With the 2006 Wichita Wranglers of the Kansas City Royals system, Song only went 5-10 with a 5.37 ERA, with a WHIP of 1.59 and 99 K in 130 2/3 IP. His days as a prospect seemed long past as he reached age 26.

Song then signed with the Lotte Giants, but began the year in the minors on a rehab stint. He debuted in the Korea Baseball Organization on April 21, allowing a hit and walk in two scoreless innings, striking out two against the Hyundai Unicorns.

Song was 1-0 with a 2.19 ERA, striking out 12 in 12 1/3 IP and allowing 7 hits. He tossed six shutout innings in a no-decision against the Chinese national team and was the winning pitcher in the round-robin victory versus the Cuban national team as South Korea went on to take Gold. He tied Hideaki Wakui for third in strikeouts in the round robin, trailing Chris Begg and Yoshihisa Naruse.

Song was a late addition to the South Korean National Team's roster for the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

Sources: bio, 2006 Harrisburg Senators Program, 2000-2007 Baseball Almanacs, "Comeback Players Enliven Baseball" by Kang Seung-woo in the 4/5/07 Korea Times, 2003 Korean Heroes, Song's KBO player page, 2008 Olympics

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