The NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization have announced the signing of first baseman/outfielder Xavier Scruggs, as Dan Kurtz of MyKBO.net shares on Twitter. Scruggs will earn $1MM in the new arrangement.
Though Scruggs, 29, has reached the majors in each of the past three seasons, with the Cardinals and Marlins, the right-handed hitter has failed to gain much traction at the game’s highest level. All told, he has received just 130 plate appearances and slashed a meager .227/.292/.303 in the big leagues.
That being said, there’s also a lengthy backdrop of success throughout the minors on Scruggs’s resume. Most recently, in 2016, he posted an excellent .290/.408/.565 batting line and swatted 21 home runs over 382 plate appearances at Triple-A. While he has been plenty productive in the past, Scruggs had never hit at quite those levels. He has also delivered increasingly impressive plate discipline numbers in the upper minors, culminating in a promising distribution of 58 walks against ninety strikeouts in his latest campaign.
Scruggs will have some big shoes to fill in his first stint in Asian ball, as he’ll effectively be replacing perennial MVP candidate Eric Thames on the Dinos’ roster. Thames emerged as a superstar in the KBO over his three years in that league before testing free agency and latching back on in MLB by signing a three-year, $15MM deal with the Brewers.