Expectations are rising for Jang Hyun-seok, 19, who joined the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Jang Hyun-seok signed a $900,000 (approx. KRW 1.18 billion) contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sept. 9. He took his first step toward the big leagues.메이저놀이터
Jang is from Yongmago, Masan, and is currently a senior in high school. He throws a fastball that can reach up to 157 kilometers per hour and a sharp sweeper. This year, he was named to the final roster for the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games (AG, to be held in 2023) as he was recognized as having the highest level of completion, skill, and potential among high school seniors.
As the 2024 KBO Rookie Draft approached, Jang Hyun-seok was in deep thought about two options: the KBO or the major leagues. On the 1st, he officially announced his decision to go overseas and chose to join the Dodgers.
After Jang Hyun-seok’s contract was announced, various media outlets quickly reported the news. ‘Dodger Nation,’ which reports Dodger news, said on the 9th (KST), “The Dodgers have officially announced the signing of Jang Hyun-seok,” adding, “Jang already knows how to throw 97 mph (about 156.1 kilometers). He also has a fastball, curveball, changeup, slider, and sweeper. He’s an amazing pitching prospect at 19 years old, and that’s what makes him so interesting.”
The outlet cited the Dodgers’ previous pitchers of Asian descent as a reason to believe Jang could be successful. “The Dodgers have a long history of bringing in players from overseas, including Hyun-jin Ryu, Genta Maeda, and Hideo Nomo. I hope Jang Hyun-seok will have the same career as them,” he said.
Park Chan-ho (right) and Ryu Hyun-jin, the Dodgers have had fun with Asian pitchers.
Ryu, Maeda, and Nomo have all enjoyed success with the Dodgers. Nomo, who held the record for most Asian wins (123) before Chan Ho Park, made a splash in a Dodger uniform in 1995, winning double-digit games in three consecutive seasons until 1997.
Maeda followed a similar path to Nomo. He made his major league debut with the Dodgers in the 2016 season. He revitalized the mound by splitting time between the starting rotation and the bullpen, and by the 2019 season, he had won 47 games.
Ryu became known as the “Korean Monster,” as many Korean fans know him. In 2019, he won 14 games and led the National League in ERA (2.32), earning him a runner-up finish for the Cy Young Award.
Not mentioned by the media is Chan Ho Park, the “Korean Express”. Chan Ho Park also has many fond memories of the Dodgers. He won 80 games in his prime.
With the Dodgers’ success with Asian pitchers, there are many expectations for Jang Hyun-seok to join the ranks.
After signing the contract, Jang Hyun-seok said through Ricoh Sports Agency, “I am honored to join the prestigious club called the Dodgers.” “I will work hard to become a better player as they chose me,” he said.
Jang Hyun-seok’s press conference for joining the Dodgers will be held on April 14 at the Dragon City Hotel in Seoul.