Hanwha was like collecting dragon balls… Is ‘Hwaryongjeongjeong’ actually going to the US? Is Doosan also struck by lightning?￼
- on Jul 31, 2023
Evidence that Hanwha has fallen into a dark period by failing to change generations for a while is found in several indicators. Even on the mound, which has been struggling since veteran players retired and Ryu Hyun-jin entered the major leagues, the decline in average velocity was noticeable.
According to the statistics website Statties, the average speed of four-seam fastballs by Hanwha pitchers in 2020 was 142.1 km per hour, 9th in the league. Of course, the share of foreign players is also high in this figure, but no one could deny that there are not many players who are fast on the ball as a whole. It was falling behind in the flow of ‘speed-up’ from the major leagues to Nippon Professional Baseball. Last year, it was 8th in the league.
But this year, it has risen to the league average at 143.8 km/h. Although there is still a long way to go, Hanwha is now evolving into a ‘fastball team’ that no team in the league can ignore. Young players who can throw fast balls gathered one by one like a ‘Dragon Ball’. Moon Dong-ju, the first nominee in 2022, and Kim Seo-hyun, the first overall nominee in 2023, are representative symbols.
If you look at the leaderboard of ‘Trackman’, which provides tracking data to 9 KBO league teams, the ‘speed-up’ progress of Hanwha pitchers stands out. Based on players who threw more than 100 pitches this year, the fastest four-seam and two-seam fastball average velocity was Kim Seo-hyun, who reached 154.9 km. Third place is Dongju Moon (153.3 km). Moon Dong-ju is also the second overall starting pitcher after An Woo-jin (Kiwoom‧153.5 km).
In addition to the two players who have thrown fastballs since their amateur days, a total of 8 players, including Park Sang-won (149.3 km), Kim Bum-soo (149.1 km), Sanchez (148.7 km), Han Seung-hyuk (148.2 km), Nam Ji-min (148.1 km), and Pena (147.6 km) It is included in the TOP 30′. Considering that there are 10 teams in the league, this figure can be seen as a sea change compared to three years ago.
Hanwha coach Choi Won-ho, who watched this process in both the 1st and 2nd teams, said, “The first thing to do is to collect a lot of such kids. He said, “It (improvement in speed) is not from nothing. It cannot make a pitcher who throws 130 km 150 km.”
He continued, “Anyway, our body is at an age where muscle strength increases even if we don’t do anything until our mid-20s, so there is room for an increase in restraint until our mid-20s.” “He also expected that the young players currently expected by the team would be able to throw the ball faster.
Another important name on Hanwha’s roadmap is Masan Yongma High School right-hander Jang Hyun-seok. It is evaluated that the first choice for the 2024 rookie draft is certain, and the team with the first choice right is Hanwha. He is also a top-class prospect who can throw a fast ball with a strong physique. If Dong-ju Moon, and Seo-hyun Kim, and Hyun-seok Jang are embraced, Hanwha’s rebuilding roadmap can also be completed. It is a combination of promising players who are full just by looking at them. In other words, Jang Hyeon-seok can become the ‘peak of the dragon’.먹튀검증
However, it is unclear whether he will wear the Hanwha uniform. It’s because they’re getting attention from major league clubs. The rush of major league scouts to observe Jang Hyun-seok at the Blue Dragon High School Baseball Championship, which ended last July, represents the hot evaluation of him. Players are also known to appoint an agency and collect various information about advancing to the major leagues. He hasn’t made a decision explicitly, but he’s expected to announce his move in July, or at least until the draft.
Jang Hyun-seok said in several interviews that it is true that he has a dream of entering the major leagues, but that it has not been confirmed yet. However, there are more and more expectations that “Jang Hyun-seok will catch the strand in the major leagues.” Until two or three months ago, the opinions of “going to the major leagues” and “going to the KBO draft” were 50%, but now most of them are leaning toward the former. One team leader even said, “We are devising a strategy after seeing that Jang Hyun-seok is signing a contract with a major league club.”
Whether or not Jang Hyun-seok participates in the draft has a close impact on the nomination strategies of the top teams. Hanwha also has an alternative, Jangchung High School Lefty Hwang Jun-seo, who is selected as the ‘TOP 2’ along with Jang Hyun-seok, who is also evaluated as having excellent potential. He is a lefty who can throw a fast ball, and in terms of potential, he is evaluated as better than Yoon Young-cheol (KIA), who was the biggest left-hander in last year’s draft. It’s a pity that Jang Hyun-seok is a super-sized player, but he is still a player who can be comforted by Hanwha, who is not suitable for a left-handed selection.
On the other hand, Doosan’s head, which is the second-ranked player who can embrace Hwang Jun-seo when Jang Hyun-seok goes to Hanwha, can be complicated. A team scout said, “Shim Jun-seok (Pittsburgh) may be better than Jang Hyun-seok in terms of fastball pitches, but there is an opinion that Jang Hyun-seok is more complete at the moment when looking at overall commands. He said, “However, there is a slight difference between Jang Hyun-seok and Hwang Jun-seo and the next players in the order.”