Jae Seo: Former Korean Born Mets Pitcher (2002-2005)

Jae Weong Seo was born May 24, 1977, in Gwangju, South Korea. The tall six foot one right hander was a bright prospect in his home land.

South Korea: He brought his South Koren Inha University team all the way to a Korean College championship in 1997. He pitched one season in the Korean Baseball league before getting signed by the New York Mets in 1998.

American Baseball: That season he went 3-1 with a 2.31 ERA for the St. Lucie Mets at the A ball level. The next year he was 2-0 & needed reconstructive elbow surgery missing all of the 2000 season.

The surgery took a lot of speed off his fastball & although he had a good change it effected his pitching. At times he showed good control when he was pitching well other times he struggled. 

Mets Career: Seo got to the Mets staff for one game pitching on July 21st, finishing off a 0-1 Mets loss in Cincinnati.

In 2003 he made the Mets rotation pinching his first game on April 6th, vs. the Montreal Expos earning, no decision, allowing three runs over 4.2 innings. On April 17th, he earned his first win shutting out the Pirates for seven innings, in Pittsburgh in a 7-2 Met victory. 

The Mets lost the next seven games he started, although he gave up a run or less in three of those outings & did not get any losing decisions in the seven games. 

At the end of May he started a personal four game win streak, beginning with a 4-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves. He allowed just one earned run in a 3-2 win over the Seattle Mariners at Shea. Seo next, pitched eight innings at Texas allowing just two runs in an 8-2 win over the Rangers. 

One Hitter: On June 17th, he went into Mets history combining with David Weathers & Armando Benitez to throw the 25th one hitter in Mets history. 

Seo allowed a base hit to Juan Encarnacion in the 5th inning. He pitched into the 7th inning seven inning, striking out four & walking no one before being relieved by Armando Benitez by Manager Art Howe. The Mets went on to win the game 5-0. The one hitter lowered his ERA to 2.66 one of the best on the staff. It came in front of just 10,000 South Florida fans.

Seo would be streaky the rest of the way, losing six decisions in a row, then winning three straight before losing another four straight games.

On the year he was 9-12 with a 3.82 ERA, striking out 110 batters & walking 46 in 188 innings of work, in 32 games (31 starts).

2004: He started out going 0-3 but battled to best his record at 4-5 at the end of June. Things just got worse for him as he lost five straight not earning another victory until his last outing of the year. 

He finished up the 2004 season at 5-10 with a 4.90 ERA. In 2005 he began the year at AAA Norfolk getting called up in early August.

Flushing, NY: He was popular in Flushing with the large Korean population, as many of Korean / Americans would come to watch him pitch.

Unfortunately, he did not get along well with Mets pitching Coach Rick Peterson, who tried to keep changing his pitching style to make up for his lack of a good fastball. He finally seemed to use Peterson’s advice and developed a splitter & good slider.

2005: He soon had the most success of his career, staring out 2005 with a win in April 23rd. After a loss he went on a personal six game win streak, where he also threw 20 scoreless innings, allowing just one earned run in 30 innings over four starts.

On May 4th, he pitched 7.1 shut out innings to beat the Phillies, striking out a season high batters. He then had to miss two months of action, returning on August 6th. In that start he shut out the Cubs in 7.1 innings, then pitched eight innings in Los Angeles giving up one earned run, in a 5-1 Mets win. 

His next start came against the Nationals, he pitched another eight shut out innings for his fourth straight win. He won in Arizona giving up two runs, the most he had allowed since April 29th. Then on September 4th, he earned a victory in Florida, giving up just a run in seven innings of work. 

In September 9thm he gave up three runs & took his first loss since April. He closed out the year with a 3-1 win over the Rockies.

On the year he was 8-2, posting a career best 2.59 ERA in 90 innings pitched over 14 starts. His ERA & winning percentage were best among the starters although he only had 14 starts.

 In January of 2006 he was traded with Tim Hamulack to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Dauner Sanchez and Steve Schmoll.

Mets Career Stats: In his Mets career he was 22-24 with a 3.85 ERA, 224 strike outs 112 walks in 397 innings pitched in 71 appearances.

Post Mets Career: Seo would struggle going 3-12 with a 5.33 ERA pitching for the Dodgers & Tampa Rays that season. In 2007 he pitched in just eleven games closing out his MLB career.

In six seasons he was 28-40 with a 4.60 ERA 340 strike outs 184 walks in 606 innings of work in 118 games pitched 102 starts.

He pitched for South Korea in the 2006 World Baseball Classic, pitching six scoreless innings against Japan in the semifinals.

Family: Jae & his wife Joo Hyun have a daughter Ellen.


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