“I wanted to challenge myself on the biggest stage in the world.”
Binding is said to be a gift from heaven. A fastball in the mid-150 kilometers is something that cannot be achieved through hard work. That’s why everyone wants to throw a powerful ball but can’t achieve it. For Jang Hyun-seok, a third-year right-handed pitcher at Masan Yongmago, his fastball is also a “God-given talent. He can throw over 150 kilometers with a light throw, and he has a powerful fastball that can reach up to 157 kilometers.
As early as his sophomore year of high school, Jang Hyun-seok attracted a lot of attention. Jang Hyun-seok’s future was also a concern. When Shim Jun-seok, the top pitcher in high school last year, declared his intention to play in the major leagues instead of participating in the KBO rookie draft, Jang Hyun-seok’s choice came into the spotlight early. At the time, Jang Hyun-seok said, “The major leagues are everyone’s dream. I have greed. If I stay in Korea, I want to be the No. 1 overall pick,” he said, adding that he would decide his path after his junior year.
Then, in 2023, Jang started to get more attention. Major league scouts flocked to the Yongmago games. From the Pittsburgh Pirates, who signed Shim Jun-seok and Bae Ji-hwan, to the San Diego Padres, who signed Kim Ha-seong, and the Los Angeles Dodgers, who signed Park Chan-ho and Ryu Hyun-jin, scouts from eight teams watched Jang pitch at Mokdong Baseball Stadium.
After receiving official offers from major league teams, Jang chose to move to the United States. After playing in the KBO, players can reach the major leagues through the posting system (a closed competitive bidding system) or become a free agent, but Jang planned to cross the Pacific Ocean right after high school.
Speaking to reporters after the second game of the 57th President’s Cup National High School Baseball Tournament against Daegu Senators at Mokdong Baseball Stadium on April 4, Jang explained why he chose to pursue a major league career. He said, “I wanted to play in both the Major League Baseball and the KBO, but I wanted to challenge myself on the best stage in the world. My last dream was always to be a major leaguer. That’s why I chose to go to the U.S.,” he said.
He also expressed his desire to reach the big leagues as soon as possible. “I have to work hard,” Jang said. I will do my best as much as I can. My goal is to get to the big leagues as soon as possible,” he said.
Jang’s role model is San Diego Japanese pitcher Darvish Yuda. “I watch a lot of pitching moves from players who play in the United States. I watch Darvish in particular, and it’s cool to see him as the ace of the team,” he says, adding that he wants to be successful in the U.S. like Darvish.스포츠토토
He’s also been working on his sweeper, which many pitchers in the U.S. use. “I keep throwing,” Jang said. I think it’s better than it was in the Qinglong period,” he said, expressing his satisfaction with his ball.
“I was really happy when I saw the roster,” he said of his selection to the national baseball team for the Hangzhou Asian Games in September. I haven’t had much luck with the national team so far, so I’m happy to wear the Korean flag. I want to show my most confident side on the mound, and I want to do as well as I was selected. I also want to learn a lot from my older brothers.”