‘156km prospect’ Jang Hyun-seok (19-Masan Yongmago)’s move to the LA Dodgers is a hot topic in the US. Furthermore, it is said that Jang’s contract fee of $900,000 (about 1.2 billion won) is low compared to his ability.
Sports Illustrated (SI), an American media outlet, highlighted Jang’s signing with the Dodgers in an article titled “New prospect Jang Hyun-seok wants to follow in the footsteps of Park Chan-ho and Ryu Hyun-jin” on the 15th (KST). 꽁머니지급
SI wrote, “The names Chan Ho Park and Hyun-jin Ryu are familiar, but the Dodgers still have a pitcher named Choi Hyun-il in the minors. The Dodgers love to develop young, promising Korean players, and if Jang’s dream comes true, he could be the next great Korean pitcher to follow in their footsteps.”
Jang Hyun-seok, who signed with the Dodgers for $900,000 on Sept. 9, held a grand induction ceremony at the Seoul Dragon City Hotel on Sept. 14. The high school pitcher was expected to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 KBO First-Year Player Draft, but he opted out of the draft in favor of the United States. The Dodgers sent two pitchers to the Chicago White Sox before the trade deadline to secure their international bonus pool in order to retain Jang Hyun-seok.
SI writes, “A 97 mph (156 km/h) fastball from a 19-year-old is very rare. The Dodgers appreciate his decision to give up a potential No. 1 pick in the KBO Draft to sign with them.” “Even more shocking is that the Dodgers had such a pitcher for less than $1 million. “Even more shocking is that the Dodgers had a pitcher like him for less than $1 million,” he said, recognizing Jang’s value based on his dominant high school performance.
Jang, who is 190 centimeters and 90 kilograms, dominated the high school scene this year, going 3-0 with a 0.93 ERA and 52 strikeouts in nine games. He was the only amateur player to make the national team for the Hangzhou 2023 Asian Games, and he attracted the attention of scouts from eight major league teams, including the Dodgers, at the recent Qinglong High School Baseball Tournament. Jang has a four-seam fastball that reaches up to 157 kilometers, as well as an impressive arsenal of pitches including a curveball, slider, and changeup.
SI writes, “If the Dodgers want Jang to play alongside Choi Hyun-il, Jang will make his debut in the upper levels of the minor leagues, Single-A. And for a pitcher who throws 97 mph, that’s not impossible.”
The media outlet concluded, “Jang looks comfortable in a Dodgers uniform. We’ll have to wait and see how he progresses, but if his professional career is anything like his amateur career, he’s sure to be in for a treat in Los Angeles,” concluding that Jang has a bright future.