The top two pitchers in the 2024 KBO Draft will face off in a fateful matchup in the quarterfinals of the Cheongnyonggi National High School Baseball Tournament. It’s a day to watch not only for the Hanwha Eagles and Doosan Bears, who hold the first and second overall picks, but also for major league clubs.
Masan Yongmago and Jangchung High School will face off in the Cheongryonggi quarterfinals at 10 a.m. on July 23 at Mokdong Baseball Stadium in Seoul.
Jangchung won 4-2 in the round of 16 against Yushin High School on July 20. On that day, Hwang Jun-seo threw 3.2 innings of 67 pitches with four hits, one walk and two strikeouts.
Masan Yongmago won a 10-1 seventh inning cold game victory against Bibong High School in the round of 16 on Nov. 21. Jang Hyun-seok did not pitch that day. Jang Hyun-seok pitched 3.1 innings of scoreless relief against Gwangju Gwangjin High School on the 19th, striking out six and walking one in 47 pitches.
With both teams having an off day, they can send their ace pitchers Jang Hyun-seok and Hwang Jun-seo to the mound for the quarterfinals. The matchup between the two pitchers, who are rated as the No. 1 and No. 2 pitchers in the KBO’s upcoming rookie draft in September, is destined to happen.
For Jang Hyun-seok, the outcome of the Masan Yongmago game will be of even greater interest as he plans to decide whether to go overseas after the Cheongryonggi tournament. Jang Hyun-seok has reportedly received a lot of interest from American major league clubs in recent years. With the option of going to the major leagues or being drafted into the KBO, Jang Hyun-seok is keeping a low profile.
Ultimately, Jang hopes to use his pitching in the Blue Dragon Games to get the attention of Hanwha and other major league clubs. With the August 15 deadline for the KBO Draft approaching, Jang is expected to make a decision on his path sooner rather than later. The quarterfinals against Jang Chung-go, the favorite to win the title and rival Hwang Jun-seo, will be a chance for Jang to show his true colors.
Like Jang, all eyes will be on his pitching in the quarterfinals. If Jang Hyun-seok decides to head to the United States, Hanwha, which holds the No. 1 overall pick, will likely select Hwang Jun-seo. Conversely, if Jang Hyun-seok stays, Doosan, who holds the second overall pick, could get their longtime dream of Doo Jun-seo.
As last year’s high school monster pitching matchup between Shim Jun-seok (Pittsburgh Pirates) and Kim Seo-hyun (Hanwha) garnered a lot of attention, this year’s matchup between Jang Hyun-seok and Hwang Jun-seo is sure to be just as hot. A number of domestic and foreign scouts and reporters are also expected to converge on Mokdong Stadium.
A scout from a club said, “Jang Hyun-seok hasn’t made a clear path so far, so it seems that he is seriously considering entering the major leagues. If Jang Hyun-seok goes overseas, it will be a big change in the first-round draft.”
Both players dream of a happy ending, leading their teams to the semifinals of the tournament with quarterfinal victories. Not only will the national No. 1 and No. 2 players’ pride be on the line, but also their team’s chance to win the national championship 토토사이트.