High school’s biggest fish’ left-handed pitcher Hwang Jun-seo (18, Jangchung High School) will wear the Hanwha Eagles uniform as the first overall pick in the professional baseball rookie draft.메이저놀이터
Hanwha selected Hwang Jun-seo as the first overall pick in the 2024 KBO rookie draft held at the Westin Chosun Hotel in Jung-gu, Seoul on the 14th.
Hwang Jun-seo is a 187 cm, 80 kg left-handed pitcher. He played 49⅔ innings in 15 games in high school baseball this year, recording 6 wins, 2 losses, and an average ERA of 2.16.
Hwang Jun-seo, who had already been expected to be the biggest draft pick along with Jang Hyun-seok (Yongma High School) since last year when he was a sophomore, emerged as a top candidate when Jang Hyun-seok announced his advance to the United States and signed with the LA Dodgers. And as expected, he was called first.
Hwang Jun-seo, a left-handed fireballer who throws a fastball at a maximum speed of 150 km/h, joined the national team at the recently held World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U18 Baseball World Cup (World Youth Baseball Championship) and won 1 win and 2 losses in 3 games (12⅓ innings). He recorded an ERA of 3.97.
Hanwha General Manager Son Hyeok, who called Hwang Jun-seo, said, “This is a pitcher that scouts have recommended all year long. I think he is the pitcher that everyone wants,” and added, “I chose him because he is a pitcher who will get better in the future.”
Hwang Jun-seo, who took the podium, said, “I still can’t believe it and am so happy that my hands and feet are shaking. I am grateful to my parents who took good care of me for the past 8 years. I will always do my best and strive to become the player the team needs.”
As a result, Hanwha succeeded in recruiting pitchers who were considered the biggest pitchers over the past three years. Hanwha selected Dong-ju Moon as the first overall pick in 2021 and Jun-young Park as the first overall pick in the second round, and also nominated Seo-hyun Kim as the first overall pick last year when the draft was changed to a full draft.
In addition, in this draft, the left-hander Hwang Jun-seo, the biggest left-hander, was brought in, and the left-right balance was even achieved.
The Doosan Bears, who had the second overall pick after Hanwha, selected Kim Taek-yeon (Incheon High School).
Kim Taek-yeon appeared in 13 high school league games this year, pitched 64⅓ innings, and recorded 7 wins, 1 loss, and an average ERA of 1.13. He is evaluated as having a fastball that can reach a maximum speed of 150 km/h and a sense of stability, so he can play as an ‘instant power’ bullpen player.
He played an active role as the ‘national team ace’ in the recently concluded U18 Baseball World Cup. Although there was a ‘controversy over overuse’ as he threw 247 balls over 8 days in 5 consecutive fights, he proved his skills by unwaveringly taking responsibility for Korea’s bronze medal.
Doosan has already prepared a uniform with Kim Taek-yeon’s name engraved on it, showing high expectations.
Doosan general manager Kim Tae-ryong said, “I saw many players, but I highly praised him for his consistent performance.”
Kim Taek-yeon said, “I am honored to be selected for the club I dreamed of since I was young,” and pledged, “I still have many shortcomings and a lot to learn, but I will try my best to grow up as soon as possible so that I can throw the ball on the Jamsil mound.”
The Lotte Giants, who had the 3rd pick, picked up Jeon Mir (Gyeongbuk High School), who has the potential to double as a pitcher.
At the ‘2024 KBO Rookie Draft’ held at the Grand Ballroom of the Westin Chosun Hotel in Jung-gu, Seoul on the afternoon of the 14th, Hwang Jun-seo (clockwise from left in the photo above), who was selected as the 1st overall pick by the Hanwha Eagles, Doosan Bears, 2nd pick Taek-yeon Kim (Incheon High School), and Lotte Giants 3. Ranking: Jeon Mir (Gyeongbuk High School), Samsung Lions 4th place Yuk Seon-yeop (Jangchung High School), NC Dinos 5th place Kim Hwi-gun (Whimoon High School), KIA Tigers 6th place Cho Dae-hyun (Gangneung High School), KT Wiz 7th place Won Sang-hyeon (Busan High School), Kiwoom Heroes 8th place Jeon Junpyo (Seoul High School), Kiwoom Heroes 9th ranked Kim Yun-ha (Jangchung High School), and SSG Landers 10th ranked Park Ji-hwan (Segwang High School) are giving their thoughts. 2023.9.14/News1 ⓒ News1 Reporter Jinhwan Kim
The Samsung Lions selected Jangchung High School pitcher Yuk Seon-yeop with the 4th pick in the first round, and the NC Dinos selected Whimoon High School pitcher Kim Hwi-geon with the 5th pick.
The KIA Tigers, ranked 6th in the first round, recruited Gangneung High School pitcher Cho Dae-hyun, and the 7th ranked KT Wiz recruited Busan High School pitcher Won Sang-hyun.
Kiwoom Heroes selected Seoul High School pitcher Jeon Jun-pyo with the 8th pick in the first round obtained through a trade with the LG Twins. Originally, they selected Kim Yun-ha of Jangchung High School as their 9th pick.
Last year’s winning team, SSG Landers, nominated Sekwang High School shortstop Park Ji-hwan. He was the only fielder among the 10 people called in the first round.
The draft lasted a total of 11 rounds, and all 10 clubs exercised their nomination rights, and 110 of the 1,083 players who participated in the draft were called by professional clubs. Among these, Kiwoom nominated the most rookies, 14, through trading of draft rights.
SSG selected Whimoon High School outfielder Seung-min Lee with the 20th pick in the second round. Seung-min Lee is well known as the eldest son of Samsung head coach Byeong-gyu Lee, a legendary hitter in the KBO League.
Continuing from last year, this year, players who made their names known on the TV entertainment program ‘Best Baseball’ were also nominated by professional teams.
Lotte selected Songwon University pitcher Jeong Hyeon-soo with the 13th pick in the second round, Hanwha selected former Chung-Ang University pitcher Hwang Young-mook with the 31st pick in the fourth round, and Kiwoom selected Sungkyunkwan University infielder Ko Young-woo with the 39th pick in the fourth round.
LG selected Jin Woo-young, a pitcher who returned to Korea after playing for the Kansas City Royals in the Major League, with the 38th overall pick in the fourth round.