5 free agents the St. Louis Cardinals should keep in 2022
Kwang Hyun Kim
Expectations were high for Kwang Hyun Kim’s second season with the St. Louis Cardinals. But several unfortunate injuries involving his lower back and arm kept his season from really taking off.
In 2021, Kim pitched in 27 games, starting 21. He was 7-7 on the year with one save. He pitched 106.2 innings for the Cardinals and struck out 80 batters with a called strike + whiff rate of 26.4. He gave up 39 walks and 41 earned runs on the season.
With a season of growth in the Major Leagues under his belt, it will be interesting to see what Kim decides to do from here. It’s not clear if he wants to stay in the United States and play or return to South Korea to play closer to family. He really did play well when his family visited him in St. Louis over the summer.
If he wants to remain in the US, it would be great to see him with the Cardinals again. It would be good to see what KK is capable of when fully healthy all season long whether he is starting or in relief.
For now, here’s hoping he safely returns home to South Korea, gets some rest and relaxation and time with his family. After a rough season, he needs the break to gather clarity for what he wants to do next.