The Kia Tigers of the Korea Baseball Organization announced that they’ve re-signed outfielder Socrates Brito to a one-year deal, Jee-ho Yoo of South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reports. Brito will be guaranteed $800K and can earn an additional $300K via incentives. That’s a raise for his second season with the Tigers, after he earned a guaranteed $600K with $300K of incentives in 2022. Brito is represented by the MAS+ Agency.
Brito, 30, enjoyed a strong debut campaign in the KBO this past season when he batted .311/.354/.494 with 17 home runs, 29 doubles, seven triples and a dozen stolen bases. He walked at a tepid 6.1% clip but also struck out in only 14.6% of his plate appearances.
A longtime Diamondbacks prospect, Brito has appeared in parts of four Major League seasons. He’s managed just a .179/.216/.309 slash in 218 plate appearances between the D-backs and Blue Jays, but Brito has been much more productive with regular playing time both in the KBO and in Triple-A, where he’s a lifetime .287/.339/.467 hitter in just 1960 plate appearances. He’s played primarily right field (5126 innings) and center field (4883 innings) in his professional career, with the Tigers opting to deploy him as their primary center fielder this past season.
If Brito continues to thrive against KBO pitching and play display the ability to play a competent center field, he’s young enough that he could yet engineer a big league return, but for now he’ll focus on replicating his 2022 success next season.