Jang Hyun-seok (19-Masan Yongmago) proved once and for all that he is the ‘biggest word’. All that’s left is the choice.
Jang Hyun-seok pitched in relief against Jang Chung-go in the quarterfinals of the 78th Cheongnyonggi National High School Baseball Championship and Weekend League Wangjungwang Game at Mokdong Baseball Stadium in Seoul on April 24. He pitched six and two-thirds innings of three-hit ball, striking out 14 and walking four. He dominated the Jangchungo bats, but the team lost 2-3, ending Jang’s career at Cheongryonggi.
It was arguably the best performance of the tournament. In 10 innings pitched in game two, Jang threw a four-hit shutout. He struck out two batters per inning (20 in total) while allowing only four walks and one hit batter. His dominance was so overwhelming that opposing manager Song Min-soo said, “When (Jang) Hyun-seok pitches, it’s not easy to score (runs), so we tried to score quickly.”
In fact, Jang Chung-go scored two runs before Jang Hyun-seok entered the game, and when Jang Hyun-seok took the mound in relief, they scored a run on a throwing error and an RBI single to win the game.
His velocity was still ‘extraordinary’. He reached a high of 155 km/h, and in the last inning, the ninth, he speedgunned 154 km/h. Hwang Jun-seo (Jang Chung-go), who was ranked right behind Jang Hyun-seok in this year’s rookie draft and was the talk of the town, also praised Jang’s delivery, saying, “It’s amazing that he can throw a fastball for 102 pitches.” The game proved that Jang Hyun-seok is a ‘complete player’ in many ways.
“(The ninth inning) was the last regular inning I could throw. I wanted to maximize my strength and use it,” he explained. “I told the coach that I would pitch until the end, and I think he trusted me,” he said, adding, “I think I did a good enough job against Jang Chung-go. The whole team worked hard. I’m not 100% satisfied, but I think I did a good job in my own way and had fun.”안전놀이터
Jang Hyun-seok has shown everything he can show before the ‘final decision’. The only question is where to go from here. Jang Hyun-seok, who is certain to be the No. 1 overall pick in the KBO’s rookie draft, still has a path to Major League Baseball (MLB) ahead of him. The KBO and MLB scouts who gathered at Mokdong Stadium on the 18th and 19th gathered again on the 24th to watch him pitch.
Jang Hyun-seok told the Gwangju Promotion Classic, “Right now, I’m thinking about 5-5 or 6-4. I will decide (my path) after the Blue Dragon season is over.” After his last appearance in the Blue Dragon, Jang Hyun-seok said, “I’m still thinking about it. I’ll probably decide before August,” he said.