Re-entering the KBO League after 3 years… Eyes on Alcantara and Russell

Can Raul Alcantara (Doosan Bears) and Edison Russell (Kiwoom Heroes), who return to the KBO League after 3 years, succeed in the 2023 season?

A total of 24 foreign players signed new season contracts with 10 KBO league teams by the 15th, of which 15 players have already experienced the KBO league.

Among them, there are players who have made a comeback to the KBO league after a long absence from other leagues, and Alcantara and Russell are the main characters.

Alcantara, who debuted in the KBO League as part of KT Wiz in the 2019 season, recorded 11 wins and 11 losses and an average ERA of 4.01 in 27 games. After the season, he was unable to renew his contract with KT, but as Doosan decided to recruit him, he will play on the Korean stage in the 2020 season as well.

After moving to Jamsil, Alcantara became a completely different pitcher. He pitched in 31 games in the 2020 season and played 198⅔ innings, recording 20 wins and 2 losses with an earned run average of 2.54. That year, he won the most wins and ranked second in the league in innings and strikeouts (182).

Alcantara, who transformed into a top-notch pitcher, left the KBO League after receiving a love call from the Hanshin Tigers of Nippon Professional Baseball 메이저사이트 (NPB) after the season. However, his life in Japan was not satisfactory. Over the two seasons he posted a mediocre record with 4 wins, 6 losses, 1 save, 25 holds, and a 3.96 earned run average, he was ejected.

Doosan reached out to Alcantara again and signed a contract for a total of $900,000. An official from Doosan explained the background of the recruitment, saying, “After examining Alcantara’s pitching and detailed data, it was confirmed that he maintains the highest level of pitch and command in the KBO League.”

Alcantara also said, “I’m happy to return to Doosan, where I was a happy player.”

While Alcantara succeeded and left the KBO League, Russell has a painful memory in the KBO League.

Russell, who was recruited as a replacement for Tyler Motor, who was released in the middle of the 2020 season, was highly anticipated because of his career as a key player in the 2016 Chicago Cubs World Series victory.

However, when I opened the lid, it was below expectations. Russell, who played in 65 games, had a batting average of 0.254, 2 homers, 31 RBIs, and an OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) of 0.653. He also made 12 errors in defense, which was his strong point, and fell below expectations. Eventually, after the season, he failed to renew his contract and left the KBO League.

After leaving Korea, Russell played an active part in the Mexican League. He joined Acereros Monclova and recorded a batting average of 0.319 and 8 home runs in 66 games in the 2021 season, and a batting average of 0.348 and hitting 24 home runs in 80 games in the 2022 season, showing off his improved skills.

Kiwoom, who failed to renew the contract with Yasiel Puig, who had personal problems, contacted Russell again and signed a new contract for a total of $700,000.

Russell pledged to restore his honor, saying, “I am grateful to the Heroes club for giving me the opportunity to return. Learning from the regrets of 2020 as a lesson, I will prepare steadily from spring camp in 2023. I will be with my colleagues to win the Korean Series.”

If Alcantara and Russell, who have returned from the current situation where it is difficult to supply and demand high-quality foreign players, write a success story for next year’s season, interest in those with experience in the KBO will likely grow even hotter.