Masan Yongma High School right-hander Jang Hyun-seok (19), who is considered the biggest player in the 2024 KBO Rookie Draft to be held in September, has been on hiatus for more than two months since the Gyeongbuk Classics in the quarterfinals of the Shinsegae E-Mart Cup on April 7th. In terms of injury management, he also did not participate in the 1st Hanwha Eagles High School vs. College All-Star Game held at Daejeon Hanwha Life Insurance Eagles Park on the 6th.메이저놀이터
The starting pitcher for the high school all-star team that day was Hwang Jun-seo (18), a lefty from Jangchung High School. He pitched 2 innings, giving up 2 walks, 1 strikeout and 1 run without a hit. Hwang Jun-seo, who lightly dropped the first inning with 9 balls, had a crisis by walking twice in a row, but only gave 1 point with an infield ground ball. He used a powerful ball in the mid-140km range, a falling splitter, and a large curve, and he induced 4 ground balls out by performing left and right corner walks with a ball deep inside the body and a low ball outside the foot.
Hwang Jun-seo said, “There was a sense of tension in the first inning, so I pitched with a focus on balance, so the ball went in well. In the second inning, a walk came out with a lot of strength.” He learned a lot and had a good experience.”
Hwang Jun-seo, who was selected for the youth national team last year as a sophomore and showed potential enough to play an active role as a pivotal pitcher, is recording 4 wins and 1 loss with a 2.03 ERA and 40 strikeouts in 31 innings in 9 high school games this year. His pitches are 8, which is just 2.3 per 9 innings. In April last year, he also broke his highest speed of 150 km on an E-Mart boat.
The value of Hwang Jun-seo is also soaring as the soft pitching form and outstanding command and restraint rise. Hwang Jun-seo said, “I did a lot of weight training since last winter. He also gained about 5 kg in weight. He currently maintains a weight of 80 kg, and he feels a lot of strength when he throws the ball himself. The ball seems to have gotten faster as much as he worked hard,” he said.
As Hwang Jun-seo grows rapidly while Jang Hyun-seok is taking a break, interest in the overall draft is increasing. Jang Hyun-seok, who announced the emergence of a large prospect by throwing a fastball of up to 156km last year as a sophomore, has a good pitching balance unlike other fastball pitchers and has a clear curve ball, so he is without a doubt the number one pitcher overall.
Even if Jang Hyun-seok challenges the US major league like Shim Jun-seok (Pittsburgh), who gave up his KBO draft application last year, Hanwha, who has the overall pick, has nothing to regret because Hwang Jun-seo is in the situation. Last year, Hanwha also hired Kim Seo-hyun, another fireballer, although Shim Jun-seok went to the United States.
If Jang Hyun-seok remains in Korea, he is likely to still be number one. However, the fact that left-handed pitcher Yoon Young-cheol (KIA) of a similar type quickly established himself as a starter from the first year of his pro debut is also a positive factor for Hwang Jun-seo. Currently, Hwang Jun-seo’s appearance is evaluated much higher than last year’s Yoon Young-chul. There is a big difference from restraint. Even after his restraint has risen, his pitch is not shaken. There is also an evaluation called ‘Yoon Yeong-chul, who is fast with balls’. At the current growth rate, Hanwha should have a happy thought.
Hwang Jun-seo said, “I don’t have a desire to be number one. I am always working hard to catch up with Jang Hyun-seok.” Regarding the growing interest of Hanwha fans, who have the first place as well as Doosan, who has the second overall nomination, “I know a lot of stories like that. I am always grateful to the fans who support me.”
Hwang Jun-seo, who was also included in the preliminary list for the Hangzhou Asian Games, said, “It is an honor just to be in the preliminary entry. I don’t expect much (final selection), but I’m trying to focus on what I’m going to do.” The KBO will confirm and announce the final 24-man entry for Asian Games baseball at 2:00 pm on the 9th.