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Former MLB Pitchers Denyi Reyes and Enmanuel De Jesus Winning Games in the KBO

There have been a number of guys that have pitched in the majors, only to take their talents across the globe and pitch in the Korean Baseball League.

Two pitchers that were on MLB rosters in 2023, have both taken their game to the KBO and are putting up great numbers thus far in 2024.

Enmanuel De Jesus

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De Jesus made his MLB debut in relief with the Miami Marlins on September 9, 2023 and appeared again in a game on September 27, 2023 before the Valencia, Venezuela native elected to be a free agent. Prior to his debut, De Jesus spent seven seasons in the Boston Red Sox minor league system from 2014-2021, then the 2022 season with the San Francisco Giants Triple A squad, before moving on to the Marlins system in 2023.

After De Jesus elected free agency, he chose to sign a contract to play in the Korean Baseball League with the Kiwoom Heroes. In eight starts, De Jesus is 5-3, with a 3.13 ERA, and 45 strikeouts in 46 innings pitched.  He has won his las two starts and previously won three starts in a row.

On March 31st, he tossed seven shutout innings, allowing four hits, no walks and struck out seven batters. He then topped that off with a six shutout inning gem on April 12th, allowing just one hit, no walks and struck out 10. Then in his last outing on May 11th, De Jesus tossed six shutout innings, with two walks and three strikeouts.  In all three gems, he earned the victory.

De Jesus is tied for the league in wins with five.

Denyi Reyes

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The other league leader with five wins, Denyi Reyes, also decided to join the KBO for the 2024 season, after electing to be a free agent after playing with the New York Mets for the 2023 season. Previously, he made his MLB debut with the Baltimore Orioles on May 13, 2022 and after appearing in a game on May 28th (His first MLB start) and June 3rd, he was designated for assignment by the O’s in August which eventually led him to electing free agency and signing an offseason contract with the Mets.

Reyes also spent time in the Boston Red Sox minor league system, which started in 2016 and lasted until the 2021 minor league season.

The San Cristobal, Dominican Republic native is with the Samsung Lions and so far he is 5-2, with a 3.86 ERA, with 45 strikeouts spanning 49 innings and nine starts.

In his first outing for the Lions on March 24th, Reyes tossed six innings, allowing one run on six hits and struck out two. Then after two straight losses, Reyes came back with a gem on April 11th, tossing 6.2 innings of shutout baseball, with six hits and five strikeouts.

Since then, he is 3-0 with two no decisions and set a career KBO high in strikeouts with 10 in his May 12th victory.

Both Reyes and De Jesus are talented young arms who could’ve been viable starters on any MLB staff, but taking a stab at pitching in the Korean Baseball League, will allow them to showcase their worth for all to see. It only takes one MLB scout to realize what the Marlins and Mets failed to see, two young arms with a great amount of upside.

David is the Co-Founder and Executive Editor of Legends On Deck®, as well as a Co-Host on Legends On Deck Podcast. David was a Senior Editor for, and Contributor for that spanned from 2010 to 2014. David made his MLB Debut as a writer in June 2014, while covering the NY Mets at Citi Field, for David also managed his Cape Coral 16U Rec Ball team for the past two seasons and on May 13, 2024 they won their league Championship. On May 15th, David started the first ever Legends on Deck 16U Travel Baseball team in SWFL. David's passion is teaching the game he loves to the future Legends of Tomorrow as well as making available a website that people can have fun sharing and reading. David is also passionate about his career as a Mortgage Loan Officer which allows him to help many families reach their dreams of owning a home. Connect with David via his Social Media pages as he loves to chat all about baseball.

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