Major League Baseball’s (MLB)토스카지노 Los Angeles Dodgers’ director of scouting for the Pacific region, John Dibble, has revealed the story behind the signing of 19-year-old right-handed pitcher Jang Hyun-seok, the “biggest name in high school”.
Hailing from Yongsan High School in Masan, Jang caught the eye of major league scouts with his ultra-high school pitching. With his 190cm-90kg physique, he throws a fastball that reaches up to 157km/h, and is also praised for his ability to throw a variety of pitches, including curveballs and sliders.
At the high school level this year, Jang has pitched in nine games (29 innings), going 3-0 with a 0.93 ERA and 52 strikeouts. In the recent Cheongnyonggi High School Baseball Tournament, his team was eliminated in the quarter-finals, but he pitched two games (10 innings), striking out 20 and allowing no runs.
Of the many major league clubs that have shown interest in Jang, the Dodgers have been the most aggressive in their attempts to sign him. Jang Hyun-seok, who did not apply for the Korean Baseball Organization’s rookie draft, eventually signed a $900,000 (about 1.185 billion won) contract with the Dodgers on the 9th.
Director John Dibble attended Jang’s signing press conference at the Dragon City Hotel in Seoul on the 14th. He congratulated Jang on his signing by handing him a jersey with the number 18 on it and a hat.
Speaking to reporters afterwards, Director of Baseball Operations John Dibble was full of praise for Jang’s potential. “We started watching him in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic ended,” he said. “We had seven scouts watching him, and we saw the talent, and we decided to go ahead and sign him.”
Director John Dibble (left) and Jang Hyun-seok (right). Yonhap News
The Dodgers launched an aggressive love-fest for Jang. They even traded a prospect earlier to acquire him. They sent pitchers Aldrin Batista and Maximo Martinez to the Chicago White Sox to secure their bonus pool.
The International Amateur Bonus Pool is a cap on the total amount of international player contracts allocated to each major league team. It varies depending on the size of the club, with the Dodgers’ bonus pool of $4.14 million being the smallest of the 30 major league teams, along with the Texas Rangers. The Dodgers recently found themselves with only $65 million left in their bonus pool.
The Dodgers’ desire to acquire Jang was so strong that they traded prospects to clear the bonus pool. “We had a lot of scouts looking at him, so we were confident,” said general manager John Dibble, “and we were trying to free up bonus pools through trades, and we felt it was right to spend the money on him.”
“International contracts have become very complicated since the introduction of the bonus pool in 2017,” said Lee Yerang, a representative of Rico Sports Agency, who handled Jang’s contract. “I thought the Dodgers had no bonus pool left, but when they said they could make an offer, I had my doubts,” he said. But, he smiles, “the Dodgers were able to free up bonus pools through trades, and we were able to honour our commitment and get a good deal.”
‘Welcome to the LA Dodgers’. Yonhap News
What did the Dodgers see in Jang that made them want to sign him? Director John Dibble said, “Obviously, we looked at his ability to throw strikes and changeups, but one of the things we looked at was his competitiveness, competitiveness, and fighting spirit on the mound,” and gave a thumbs-up, saying, “We could see that he was exceptional in those areas.”
Director John Dibble, who watched Jang Hyun-seok’s last game before signing, the quarter-final against Jang Chung-go, said, “I could see that he was determined to stop this situation. It was impressive to see him mixing up his pitches and getting strikeouts.” Jang threw 6⅔ scoreless innings with 14 strikeouts on the day. “We had a lot of conversations with him and felt that his curiosity about baseball and willingness to learn would be a good fit for the club.”
“I was a minor league manager before I became a scouting director, and one of the pitchers I worked with was Beckett,” said John Dibble, who reminded him of former World Series Most Valuable Player Josh Beckett, 43. “The way he throws his curveball, he’s a lot like Beckett.”
Beckett is a legendary pitcher with a 138-106 record and a 3.88 ERA in 335 career major league games. He pitched the Florida Marlins (now the Miami Marlins) to World Series championships in 2003 and the Boston Red Sox in 2007, and is a three-time All-Star selection, 2003 World Series MVP, and 2007 American League Most Valuable Player. Director John Dibble believes Jang has the potential to be an outstanding pitcher like Beckett.
Pitcher Hyun-seok Jang, wearing number 18. Yonhap News
Jang, who wore No. 19 for Yongmago, received a Dodgers jersey with No. 18 on it. “I didn’t choose the number,” said Jang, who explained that director John Dibble “had to prepare the jerseys quickly because we were running out of time,” and that he chose the number because it was used by top Asian players. The number 18 was worn by Japanese pitchers such as Daisuke Matsuzaka, Genta Maeda, Hiroki Kuroda, and Hisashi Iwakuma when they reached the major leagues.
The Dodgers are known for their ability to develop pitching prospects. Walker Buehler, Julio Urias, Dustin May, Tony Gonsoli, Bobby Miller, and many others have gone on to become big league pitchers. “They’re known to be the best at developing pitchers, so that’s why I chose (to move),” said Jang, who was attracted to the Dodgers.
When asked how the Dodgers develop their pitchers, Director of Baseball Operations John Dibble expressed confidence that “the coaches are so good that they don’t have a problem bringing in any player and getting them to improve.” “I think he was very surprised when I told him about our developmental system,” he laughed.
The work to develop Jang into a big league pitcher has already begun. “We’ve already started the process of getting to know Jang’s conditioning,” said Director John Dibble. We’re focusing on identifying his strengths and weaknesses,” said John Dibble. “We’ll see when he gets his visa, and then we’ll decide if he can join us for training. Jang Hyun-seok is currently going through the training programme sent by the team.”
However, he was coy about the timing of Jang’s big league debut. “Our conditioning coach is already in Korea checking him out,” said Director of Baseball Operations John Dibble, “and when he’s ready, we’ll start the process.” “We’ll have to wait and see what direction he takes in the minor leagues,” he added.
Jang is the only amateur to be named to the baseball team for the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games in September. “The club has made the decision to unconditionally support the player’s call-up to the national team, not only for the Asian Games but also for the WBC in the future,” said John Dibble.
Article courtesy of NoCut News