After the 2014 Incheon Asian Games (AG), the amateur quota has been revived. For the first time in nearly nine years, an amateur athlete will wear the Korean flag alongside a professional athlete. Masan Yongmago right-hander Jang Hyun-seok, the highest-ranked high school player in the country and a likely No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 amateur draft, has joined the Hangzhou AG baseball team.
The Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) announced the final AG roster, which was selected by the Power Enhancement Committee, on Monday afternoon. As expected, up to three players from each club made the 24-man roster. The most intriguing name is Jang Hyun-seok.
Unlike the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang AG squad, this time around, one quota is reserved for amateurs. As a result, Jang Hyun-seok is heading to Hangzhou with the seniors. The Power Enhancement Committee was reportedly torn between Jang Hyun-seok, Hwang Jun-seo of Jang Chung-go and Jung Hyun-soo of Songwon University before choosing Jang Hyun-seok.
There is no doubt about his skill. The key was his physical condition. Jang Hyun-seok pitched at his peak in the Shinsegae E-Mart ship in April and has since taken a break. He didn’t take the mound to manage his condition, and the Power Enhancement Committee kept a close eye on his physical condition. Jang Hyun-seok returned to full strength and was soon back on the mound.
His performance on the mound was nothing short of spectacular. The majority of professional clubs give him the highest rating. They see his potential as higher than the top draft picks who have entered the pros in the last three years.
“He’s the best high school pitcher I’ve ever seen. I’ve never seen a high school pitcher like him before.” “He throws 155, 156 kilometers consistently. He has a fastball, a curveball with a big drop, and a strong mental attitude on the mound.”
The head of the scouting team of a local B team also said, “Until last year, he was immature in game management, but he has improved his fastball and changeup, and his ability to operate accordingly. With his current form, I think Jang Hyun-seok is better than any pitcher who has been drafted recently.”
His performance in the Shinsegae E-Mart Bae tournament was particularly outstanding. He used his curveball as a secondary pitch to overwhelm hitters. He didn’t just rely on his 150km/h fastball, but also utilized his curveball to pitch at a high level. Most scouts rate Jang Hyun-seok higher than Kim Seo-hyun at Seoul High and Moon Dong-joo at Jinheung High. Some say he’s even better than Ahn Woo-jin at Whimun. He is the best high school pitcher of the 21st century.토토사이트
The Korean national baseball team has won three consecutive AGs since the 2010 Guangzhou AG. If they win the AG, they receive military service benefits. Jang Hyun-seok will be participating in the international competition where he has the best chance of winning. If he wins a gold medal, he will receive military service benefits and wear a professional uniform.
If he doesn’t choose the major leagues, he will join Hanwha. If he participates in the rookie draft, he will be the first pick of Hanwha. After winning the gold medal, he can continue his professional career alongside Noh Si-hwan and Moon Dong-joo. The rookie draft in September and the AG afterward will be crucial for Hanwha.