Ultra-high school pitcher Jang Hyun-seok, “Chances of going to MLB are 5 to 5… Decision after the Bronze Age”
“San Diego Darvish is a source of inspiration”
“Go Woo-seok, Jung Woo-young, and Moon Dong-joo meet and first do a ’90-degree greeting'”
As if to confirm the will of Jang Hyun-seok, the “biggest name in high school baseball,” the round of 32 of the Cheongryonggi National High School Baseball Championship between Masan Yongmago and Gwangju Jeongango was played in two days of suspenseful games in heavy rain and scorching heat.
From the second out of the second inning yesterday to the fifth inning today, Jang Hyun-seok pitched 3.1 innings and 6K without allowing a run. Energized, Masan Yongmago tied the game at 1-1 with two outs in the ninth inning and came from behind in extra innings to defeat Gwangju Promotion 4-1 to advance to the Round of 16.
Faced with an 8 a.m. start time and back-to-back starts, Jang Hyun-seok pitched a scoreless first inning today. He gave up back-to-back singles and doubles to Gwangju Jinhungo batters to put runners on second and third with no outs, but got out of the jam with a strikeout, infield fly, and ground ball.
With Jang Hyun-seok revealing that he will decide whether or not to go to Major League Baseball (MLB) after the Cheongnyonggi, interest in his every word is growing. “I’m not lying, I haven’t made a decision yet,” he told KBS reporters after the game, “I’m putting the odds at 5 to 5, and I’m focusing on the Cheongryonggi, which is one of the few remaining opportunities to be with my friends.”
He nodded toward meeting with some MLB teams, but declared “no comment” when asked about those conversations.
In recent games, Jang has been characterized by an aggressive changeup. In particular, he’s been using a slider that curves at a large angle both horizontally and vertically. Yesterday, he topped out at 154 km/h, and today, he topped out at 151 km/h, and while his fastball hasn’t been as fast, he’s been able to get strikeouts and walks with his slider at key moments.
Jang Hyun-seok’s biggest inspiration is Japanese national team member Darvish Yu, who is considered a “slider master. In particular, Jang Hyun-seok referenced not only his pitches but also his pitching form, saying, “I utilized the ‘short arm’ motion, which is a short and fast trajectory of the right arm while throwing the ball, and the rotation of the body.”
Jang, who is set to become the “first high school player to represent his country at the Hangzhou Asian Games,” cited LG closer Ko Woo-seok, Pilseung-jo Jung Woo-young and Hanwha starter Moon Dong-ju as his favorite players to meet. “When I meet them, the first thing I’ll do is give them a ’90-degree greeting,'” he laughed, adding, “They are the best seniors in their respective positions, so I want to absorb all their strengths.”
Unlike the beast on the mound, off the field, Jang Hyun-seok is a shy 19-year-old high school student born in 2004.
When asked about the controversy over his ‘shhh’ gesture towards the opposing bench during the previous game, he said, “It wasn’t directed at the coach, but at the players from Gwangju Promotion High School, who I know and have friends and siblings with,” adding, “I’m close enough to work out with (Lee) Sang-joon, who was the starting pitcher. We spoke on the phone yesterday.”
Speaking about his personality,먹튀검증 Jang Hyun-seok said, “When I’m playing, I’m a little rough, but off the field, I’m the exact opposite,” and added, “I’ll try to make sure that you can see a lot of sincerity and goodness in my everyday life.” He also shared a message for his fans.