Jang Hyun-seok (19, 3rd year at Masan Yongma High School), ‘the biggest game in high school baseball’, finally wore the LA Dodgers uniform. Through a grand initiation ceremony, the official anchor of the US deployment was raised.
At a press conference held at Seoul Dragon City, Yongsan-gu, Seoul on the 14th, Jang Hyun-seok said, “The Dodgers have watched over me for a long time. I knew the interest from before, but I didn’t even think about the contract. It’s an honor to wear a Dodgers uniform like this.”
Jang Hyun-seok, a right-handed pitcher born in 2004, is considered the biggest prospect. Since last year, he has attracted the attention of KBO League and Major League scouts by throwing a fast ball with a maximum speed of 157 km. In this season, he also installed a high-quality curve and achieved an outstanding performance of 3 wins and an average ERA of 0.93 (3 earned runs in 29 innings) in 9 games.
The press conference began with a congratulatory video from Dodgers team officials. First, President Andrew Friedman said, “I am happy that Jang Hyun-seok has become a member of the Dodgers family. I believe that when Jang Hyun-seok’s talent meets talented coaches, he will head towards a bright future. I look forward to the day when we can be together at Dodger Stadium soon.” “Congratulations,” said minor league pitching director Rob Hill. I watched Jang Hyun-suk for a very long time. He will bring out his outstanding potential to the fullest.”
Jang Hyun-seok, who appeared in a suit with a blue tie symbolizing the Dodgers and wore an official uniform, said, “The club officials showed me an analysis report containing videos of my past and current pitches. Also, isn’t the Dodgers a familiar club to Korean players? He explained the reason for the contract, saying, “I chose the Dodgers because I heard that they are the best at developing pitchers among the 30 clubs.”
In the past, pitchers representing Korean baseball such as Park Chan-ho and Ryu Hyun-jin were active in the Dodgers. Jang Hyun-seok is also evaluated as a lumber that can succeed them. Jang Hyun-seok said, “I have a desire to become a starting pitcher for the Dodgers club like Park Chan-ho and Ryu Hyun-jin.” He continued, “I wish I could go up to the major leagues soon. It’s hard to say when that will be. Still, like Clayton Kershaw, I want to become a major league starter who plays for a long time with the Dodgers.”메이저놀이터
Jang Hyun-seok, who has a sturdy body of 1m90cm and weight of 90kg, also wore the Taegeuk mark ahead of the Hangzhou Asian Games in September. Although he is still a high school student, his outstanding pitch was highly regarded and he stood shoulder to shoulder with his professional seniors.
Pacific Region scouting director John Dibble, who sat with us that day, said, “Seven scouts have been watching since middle school. Everyone acknowledged his talent,” he said. “A conditioning coach recently came to Korea to check Jang Hyun-seok’s physical condition. He plans to schedule a future date as soon as the visa is issued. He will develop Jang Hyun-seok into a great player.”
“Our club is positive about the selection of Jang Hyun-seok as a national representative not only in the Asian Games, but also in the future WBC and other international competitions. We will continue to support you,” he added.
Jang Hyun-seok, who is still a high school student, is with his teammates until the last national tournament of this season, which opens on the 18th, until the phoenix. Then, at the end of next month, he plans to keep building his body because the Asian Games national team will be convened.