Please check out the Projections Primer, to see how I come about getting these projections.
Prior to getting started, I want to take a look at the last three years of KK's career and his total career numbers, showing the statistics that I utilize in my projections.
The 2019 season is our most recent sample size and professional sports are often reduced to a "what have you done for me lately" business. Here is his 2019 season (majors only) separated from the rest 1) to highlight it and 2) to more easily come back to it for comparison purposes.
in Korea 30 starts, 190 1/3 innings, 6.344 IP/GS 2.51 ERA, 2.75 FIP, 1.240 WHIP 8.5 K/9, 1.8 BB/9, 4.74 K:BB
This year, I plan to incorporate a couple of (I hope) interesting items to go along with the mean (average) projection. I am going to be adding in "THE GOOD" (an everything goes right)" projection and "THE BAD” (an everything went wrong)" projection prior to giving THE CERUTTI (my actual projection). THE GOOD is basically if a player is 10% better in a few of the listed categories while THE BAD is basically if a player is 10% worse in a few of the listed categories - based on THE CERUTTI projection, which is my 50th percentile-type projection that gets made every year by other projection services like STEAMER or ZiPS.
32 starts, 195 1/3 innings, 6.104 IP/GS 2.95 ERA, 3.05 FIP, 1.300 WHIP 9.3 K/9, 2.3 BB/9, 3.73 K:BB
So THE GOOD has Kim as, ummmm...., REALLY FREAKIN' GOOD, no? Holy cow. If he comes over and does that, then John Mozeliak is GM of the year.
32 starts, 161 1/3 innings, 5.041 IP/GS 3.57 ERA, 3.83 FIP, 1.573 WHIP 7.7 K/9, 2.7 BB/9, 3.1 K:BB
Even this is not terrible. You'd think a higher ERA/FIP would come from a WHIP like that, though. That seems to me to be a fairly wide variation between K/9 between the bad and the good. This could be because my system treats Korea like a high-ish level of the minors and he's never pitched in the majors before. That's less of a true sample to go on.
(my system projection)
32 starts, 177 1/3 innings, 5.35 IP/GS 3.24 ERA, 3.44 FIP, 1.43 WHIP 8.4 K/9, 2.5 BB/9, 3.39 K:BB
If all of my projections come true, I foresee the Cardinals going 19-13 in his starts.
So my projections nailed Miles Mikolas' return from overseas and basically hit Shohei Ohtani's numbers (both as a hitter and as a pitcher) right on. I am hoping that is the case here for KK. (I also missed wildly on Kikuchi coming over last year, however...but let's just pretend that didn't happen, okay? I like optimism.)
If you haven't seen Kim pitch this spring, here is some video of him. Look at that swing he gets, on all 3 pitches. Dang.
Author Edit: I originally was not going to project KK for so many innings, but if Mikolas is out and Kim pitches like THIS, then he'll stay in the rotation for 32 starts.
Link back to all of my projections.