Decorating the 1-2 overall picks in the rookie draft
“Hwang deserves to be in Hanwha’s starting rotation”
“Kim will be Doosan’s closer in 2-3 years”
“Ryu, Yoon, and Kim” evaluated as “two talented players
Jun-seo Hwang, a left-hander with an immediate sense of power, and Taek-yeon Kim, a right-hander with a lot of potential. The two pitchers, who were considered the biggest names in high school this year, were selected 1-2 overall in the 2024 KBO Draft on April 14. Their different styles make it even more interesting to see how they will compete in the KBO.
“He was the most recommended player by scouts throughout the year,” Hanwha general manager Son Hyuk said when selecting Jang Chung-go Hwang Jun-seo with the first overall pick.
With the signing of Masan Yong-mago Jang Hyun-seok to the Los Angeles Dodgers, Hwang Jun-seo became the clear No. 1 pick. The left-hander throws a fastball that reaches 150 kilometers per hour and has a splitter. The combination of a lefty and a splitter is not often seen in the professional game. It’s a combination that can be very powerful if he adapts to it.
KBS N Sports commentator Park Yong-taek said of Hwang Jun-seo, “I praised Yoon Young-chul (KIA) in last year’s draft, and I see Hwang Jun-seo the same way. If he doesn’t get sick, I think he will enter the Hanwha starting rotation right away.” In terms of overall quality, the pitching staff is a step above other pitching resources. “It’s an honor to be the first pick among so many good players,” Hwang said of his selection as the No. 1 overall pick.
Before he even made his professional debut, he was battling it out with second-ranked Kim Taek-yeon of Incheon National University. Kim is currently being evaluated as a potential bullpen pitcher. “I believe he will grow into a stopper for Doosan in two to three years at the earliest,” Doosan President Kim Tae-ryong said when he selected him.
Kim also has a lot of potential. The recent Under-18 Baseball World Cup in Taiwan suggests that he could be a starter. Kim tossed a seven-inning, 105-pitch shutout against the United States in the tournament’s third-place game on Oct. 10. “I had no problem starting in Taiwan. I’m basically confident,” Kim said. A Doosan scout said, “If Jang Hyun-seok had stayed, we would have thought about it a bit more, but if we were comparing him to Hwang Jun-seo, it was definitely Kim Taek-yeon,” adding, “His trackman numbers are already at the top level of the pros.”
Comparing Kim to LG’s Lee Jung-yong, whose power increased this season by actively using his forkball, Park advised, “If he wants to face first-team lefties, he’ll need to improve his average velocity or perfect his offspeed pitches like his fork and changeup.”스포츠토토
The pitching talent in this year’s draft is one of the best in recent memory, both in quality and quantity. Naturally, they are expected to lead the revitalization of Korean baseball. After the “Ryu-Yoon-Gim” era (Ryu Hyun-jin, Yoon Seok-min, Kim Kwang-hyun), which led to the golden age of Korean baseball, the thirst for the next league ace is growing, and baseball fans will be interested in the future of these two players.