Cheongnyonggi National High School Baseball Championship kicks off today, with future stars set to shine
The 78th Cheongnyonggi National High School Baseball Championship and Weekend League Wangjoong Wangjeon (co-sponsored by Chosun Ilbo, Sports Chosun, and the Korea Baseball Softball Association), which kicks off today, will showcase the talents of up-and-coming players who are poised to break into the professional ranks at home and abroad.
Masan Yongmago pitcher Jang Hyun-seok, 19, is the only amateur to be named to the baseball team for the Hangzhou Asian Games, which begin in September. While college players have been selected for the Asian Games before, this is the first time a high school student has made the team. He is 190 centimeters tall and weighs 90 kilograms, and his main weapon is a fastball up to 157 kilometers per hour. He started pitching in high school competitions as a sophomore, going 6-3 with a 1.89 ERA in 17 games. This year, he has been even more dominant, going 3-0 with a 0.53 ERA in five games. He is considered the favorite to be the No. 1 overall pick in the KBO (Korean Baseball Organization) rookie draft in September, but there is also a chance he could make it to the major leagues in the United States. Some say that Jang Hyun-seok’s decision to go to the United States will change the course of the Korean draft. However, it is a concern that he has not pitched for about three months due to a biceps injury after the Shinsegae E-Mart ship in April. However, he did complete his rehabilitation by timing his return to the Cheongnyonggi tournament. Masan Yongmago coach Jin Min-soo said, “Jang Hyun-seok’s current physical condition is more than 80% of his best. There is no problem for him to compete in the Cheongryonggi Tournament.” “Depending on the game situation, we will put him on the mound at the most important moment.”
If Jang Hyun-seok decides to go to the United States, the first pick in the Korean draft will go to Jang Chung-go Hwang Jun-seo, 18. Hwang Jun-seo has been Jang Chung-go’s ace since his sophomore year. He went 2-2 with a 1.84 ERA in 12 games and was named to last year’s Under-18 Baseball World Cup team. He was the only sophomore on the pitching staff and pitched five shutout innings against Chinese Taipei in the World Cup. Hwang Jun-seo was voted the No. 1 “Most Expected Pitcher” (21 votes) by the managers of the 53 participating teams in the Cheongryonggi. He was nine votes ahead of second-place Jang Hyun-seok. Hwang’s top speed is 150 kilometers per hour, which is slower than Jang’s, but he is a left-handed pitcher with a variety of pitches and excellent control of his delivery. Jang Chung-go coach Song Min-soo said, “Hwang Jun-seo can control his fastball at will. His ability to run a game is like that of a high school student.” “If we face a difficult opponent in this tournament, we will start him,” he said.안전놀이터
Among the hitters, Gangneung Go’s Cho Dae-hyun (18) and Deoksugo’s Baek Jun-seo (18) are in the spotlight. They were tied for first place (5 votes) in the managers’ list of “Most Expected Hitters. Cho Dae-hyun has earned nicknames like “High School Otani” and “Jotani” for his consistent performance as a two-hitter, much like Major League Baseball’s Shohei Ohtani (29-Japan). In high school competition this year, he batted .328 with 11 RBIs in 17 games as a hitter and went 6-0 with a 0.56 ERA in 13 games as a pitcher. His meteoric rise this year has attracted the attention of professional scouts. Baek has been the team’s No. 4 hitter since his sophomore year due to his ability to make contact. He hit .339 with two home runs in high school. In the Shinsegae E-Mart Varsity in April, he batted .550 in seven games to lead his team to the championship and was named the tournament MVP (Most Valuable Player).
Other top rookie draft picks warmed up, including Jangchung’s Yuk Sun-yeop, Busan’s Won Sang-hyun, Gangneung’s Yuk Cheong-myeong, and Gyeongbuk’s Jeon Mir. The tournament was organized by former Kyung