160 km, 138 km the next day… The value of preliminary free agent Jang Min-jae shines, ‘the aesthetics of slowness’ in the fastball army

 Hanwha, which has transformed into a ‘fastball corps’, also has ‘aesthetics of slowness’. The presence of veteran right-handed pitcher Jang Min-jae (33) is shining softly. 

Jang Min-jae started against the Gwangju KIA on the 13th and won his first win of the season with a good pitch with 6 hits, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts and no runs in 6 innings. He also made his first quality start of the season, throwing 6 innings with 78 pitches. My joy doubled as I led Hanwha’s first winning series of the season. 

On this day, Jang Min-jae’s highest speed was 138 km.메이저놀이터 On the previous day (12th), junior pitcher Moon Dong-joo of the same team became the first Korean pitcher to throw 160 km based on the ‘Pitch Tracking System (PTS)’ of KBO’s official record company, Sports 2 I, and Jang Min-jae’s fastball, which climbed the mound the next day, threw 140 km. did not cross 

With the advent of young fireball players, a revolution in restraint is taking place throughout the league, but Jang Min-jae is one of the few pitchers to make the starting rotation with a slow fastball (average 137km). He has a fastball speed that is less than the league average (143 km), but Jang Min-jae has pin-point control that others do not have and a solid decision ball called a forkball. 

On this day, he threw more forkballs (38) than fastballs (28) even against KIA. He struck out 5 of 6 on a forkball. When he caught two strikes, he lured the bat with a forkball that would inevitably fall. The forkball fell so well that hitters knew it and couldn’t help but bat. 

The reverse ball combination also stood out. In the 3rd inning, 1 out 1, 2nd base crisis, when Park Chan-ho’s bat did not follow the 1st and 2nd forkballs, he induced the shortstop’s grounder with the 3rd pitch to the body, ending the inning with a double play. In the 5th inning, Kim Ho-ryeong was lured with an outside forkball on the 4th and 5th pitches, and then struck out looking with a 138km fastball on the 6th pitch. Not only the forkball, but also the curve used for counting was effective. 

Jang Min-jae kept a spot in the rotation until the end of the season after seizing the opportunity to start as a substitute in mid-April due to injuries to foreign pitchers last year. He had a career high season with 7 wins and 8 losses in 32 games (126⅔ innings) with an ERA of 3.55. 

Fireball prospects Moon Dong-ju, Nam Ji-min, and Kim Seo-hyun joined one after another, and many fastball pitchers, including transfer student Han Seung-hyuk, joined the team, but Jang Min-jae did not shrink. He said, “There are many fast ball pitchers on our team, but I also have something that others do not have. With that as an advantage, I am confident that I will not fall behind the competition. I don’t think that (competitiveness) is so low. I will not take my place away,” he said, showing strong confidence in competing with his juniors. 

That confidence is showing through the season. Jang Min-jae, who had a good start with 2 hits (1 home run), 2 walks, 1 strikeout and 1 run in 5 innings, despite not winning against Daejeon SSG on the 7th, his first appearance, won the second game and marked an ERA of 0.82. Jang Min-jae, who is running toward a career high season for two consecutive years, also gets his first FA qualification at the end of this season. He continues a solid upward trend in free agency value.