SARASOTA, Fla. -- New Orioles outfielder Hyun Soo Kim was among a large group of position players to report to Spring Training early on Thursday, as Kim -- who has been in the United States since Jan. 23 -- starts the process of getting acclimated to Major League Baseball.Asked if
SARASOTA, Fla. -- New Orioles outfielder Hyun Soo Kim was among a large group of position players to report to Spring Training early on Thursday, as Kim -- who has been in the United States since Jan. 23 -- starts the process of getting acclimated to Major League Baseball.
Asked if he was nervous while standing in front of a large media scrum, Kim quipped "a lot" and made several jokes with interpreter Danny Lee by his side.
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Kim, signed to a two-year, $7 million contract this offseason, is projected to be the O's starting left fielder. The 28-year-old left-handed batter brings an impressive resume from the Korean Baseball Organization. But the transition to MLB is still a big one, and Kim spent the first two weeks in the country working with vice president of baseball operations Brady Anderson on his conditioning before arriving in Florida a week ago.
"[It helped] very much," Kim, speaking through Lee, said of his first taste of how the O's do things. "Working with Brady in California, the way the procedures of the workouts here, about 90 percent of the things [I'm doing in Spring Training] are about what I did with Brady. About 10 percent of the things additionally I did here. So it was very easy to adapt."
Kim said the first few days of Spring Training will be spent trying to get to know guys, and he admitted the language barrier will be one of the toughest things to overcome. As far as being in the minority around the league, Kim hopes to continue to change the perception on how well South Korean players can make the jump to MLB.
"Last year, [Pirates infielder] Jung Ho Kang did a great job in America, so now I have the responsibility to carry that on," Kim said. "Americans [now] know that Koreans can actually play just like Kang does. We've got Kang here."
Kim, who has spoken to Kang pretty much every day, said he's been very helpful in offering advice on how to adapt to American culture. As for what has surprised him most about the United States, Kim said: "Not so much until today, the media and the press were in the locker room. ... Without worrying or anything, it was a new culture shock."
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.