Aaron Wilkerson (34), a foreign pitcher newly recruited by Lotte, is a player who has lived a dynamic baseball life.메이저놀이터
On the 18th, the Lotte Giants said, “As a replacement for Dan Straley, we recruited Aaron Wilkerson, who played for the Hanshin Tigers in the Japanese professional baseball in 2022.” ),” he officially announced.
The Lotte club explained the background of Wilkerson’s recruitment, saying, “Wilkerson’s fastball movement is excellent and his breaking ball control is his strength.
Through the Lotte Club, Wilkerson said, “I am grateful to the club for giving me a chance to take on a new challenge in the KBO League. I am very proud and happy to be a member of the Lotte Giants, the most popular club in the league. Because of that, I am looking forward to my career in Korean professional baseball. I will try to win many games to contribute to the team’s victory.”
Wilkerson will enter Korea on the 19th and go through the necessary administrative procedures and conditioning before deciding on his starting schedule.
He really came all the way to Korea after many twists and turns. To describe Wilkerson’s baseball life in one word, it would be ‘dynamic’.
Wilkerson graduated from Cumberland University in 2012, but was not drafted by any major league club. This was due to his history of undergoing Tommy John surgery after seriously injuring his right elbow while in college.
Needing to make ends meet, Wilkerson returned home to Waco, Texas, and got a job at a nearby supermarket, working the night shift at the frozen food section for about six months. “He unloaded the truck and put it on the rack,” Wilkerson later recalled in an interview with the American press. When he appeared on the major league stage, his career in a cold storage became known, and he was nicknamed ‘Freezer’.
In the meantime, Wilkerson continued his life as a pitcher by receiving a call from the independent league club Gary Southshore Railcats, and joined the Boston Red Sox in July 2014, step by step from minor league single A at the age of 25. Having risen to Triple A, he could not avoid the transfer when Boston agreed to a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers in July 2016. At the time, Boston used Wilkerson and Wendell Reho as trade cards to acquire punchy infielder Aaron Hill.
Rather, the trade became a shortcut to stepping on the major league stage. Wilkerson, who made his first major league appearance against the Miami Marlins on September 16, 2017 Korean time, struck out two in one inning and pitched without a run. With two hits and one run in an inning, he was able to promise the future.
But that was it. In 2018, he appeared in 3 games and had an ERA of 10.00 with one loss, and in 2019, he only had an ERA of 7.31 in 8 games. Perhaps the last highlight of Wilkerson’s major league career was hitting Michael Waka’s 91-mile (146 km) four-seam fastball as a batter against St. Louis on April 18 of that year, hitting a solo home run in left-center field. Waka is a veteran starting pitcher who has won 82 major league victories currently with the San Diego Padres. Wilkerson, who came out as a relief pitcher following starting pitcher Corbin Burns at the time, pitched well with 5 hits, 3 strikeouts and 1 run in 4 innings.
After repeated demotion and call-up, Wilkerson did not get a chance to pitch in the major leagues anymore after a game against the Washington Nationals on August 19 (4⅓ innings, 8 hits, 5 runs).
Wilkerson, who spent a lot of time in the minor leagues canceled due to the novel coronavirus (Corona 19) pandemic in 2020, signed a contract with the Taiwan Professional Baseball Rakuten Monkeys in 2021, but the joining was canceled due to Corona 19 problems and joined the Los Angeles Dodgers. However, despite playing an active role in Triple A with an ERA of 8-5 and a 3.86 ERA, he had a difficult day without getting a chance to be called up to the major leagues.
Last year, he joined the Japanese professional baseball Hanshin Tigers, and at the time, the Japanese media also paid attention to his unusual career and said, “Hungry spirit is a weapon,” but failed to renew the contract with 5 wins and 5 losses with an ERA of 4.08. This year, while playing in Triple A under the Oakland Athletics, he recorded 3 wins and 2 losses with an ERA of 6.51, and in the last 6 days against the El Paso Chihuahuas (San Diego), he left no runs in 5⅔ innings, 2 hits, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts, which remained his last appearance record. there is.
Wilkerson entered the Korean stage after many twists and turns. Lotte is looking forward to Wilkerson taking the lead in the rebound as it gave up Strayley, who had kept the team’s mound for a long time. Previously, Lotte has completed reorganization prior to entering the second half, such as recruiting Nico Goodrum as a foreign player to replace foreign hitter Jack Rex.