‘Even at the cost of two prospects’… why the Dodgers chose Jang Hyun-seok

John Dibble, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ director of scouting for the Pacific region, explains how the team came to sign Jang Hyun-seok 온라인카지노(19).

The press conference for Jang Hyun-seok’s signing with the Dodgers was held at the Dragon City Hotel in Yongsan-gu, Seoul on Thursday.

In attendance were John Dibble, director of scouting for the Pacific region, Dean Kim, international scout in charge of Korea, and Lee Ye-ryang, president of Rico Sports Agency.

“We started watching Jang Hyun-seok in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic ended. Seven scouts have been watching him steadily. All seven scouts thought highly of his potential, and we were able to move the process forward, and we’re happy to have signed him.”

The Dodgers have a long history with Korean players. From Park Chan-ho, to Choi Hee-seop, and most recently, Ryu Hyun-jin (36), the “Korean Monster” has worn Dodger blue.

Now, there is a fourth player with a Dodger connection. Masan Yongmago pitcher Jang Hyun-seok.

Once dubbed the “biggest name in high school,” Jang went 3-0 with a 0.33 ERA in seven games this year, striking out 49 batters, walking 12 and giving up just one earned run in 27⅓ innings.

Instead of entering the KBO First-Year Player Draft, Jang chose to come to the United States and signed a contract with the Dodgers on 8 August for $900,000. He is one step closer to his dream of playing in the major leagues.

Jang Hyun-seok poses with his Dodgers jersey./Yoo Jin-hyung zolong@mydaily.co.kr

Jang Hyun-seok poses with a Dodgers jersey./Yoo Jin-hyung zolong@mydaily.co.kr

Jang Hyun-seok said, “It’s an honour to wear a Dodgers jersey. ”We had a meeting and he analysed past and present footage, and he explained the Dodgers well. For Koreans, the Dodgers are a familiar team. I chose the Dodgers because they are a team that develops pitchers well.”

In fact, the Dodgers went to great lengths to sign Jang. They had no bonus pool left to sign an international amateur player, so they traded two prospects to free up money to invest in Jang.

“We were lucky,” says Dibble. “We were lucky to be able to make the trade with the help of President Friedman and VP Gaylon Kerr. We felt it was the right thing to do to spend the money on Jang Hyun-seok, and we had a lot of scouts giving us good reports, so we were confident.”

(From left) Dean Kim, international scout for Korea, John Dibble, director of scouting, and Jang Hyun-seok and Yerang Lee, agents./Jin-hyung Yoo, reporter zolong@mydaily.co.kr

Josh Beckett in his Boston days./Getty Images Korea

What did the Dodgers look for in Jang?

“There are many things, such as his fastball and changeup, but his desire to win, his competitiveness, and his struggle on the mound stood out. You see that in pitchers in the major leagues, and I could see it here (in Korea),” he said, praising Jang’s fighting spirit.

What was even more special was his comparison of Jang to World Series MVP Josh Beckett (Boston). Beckett made his major league debut in 2001 and led the Florida Marlins (now the Miami Marlins) to their first World Series title in 2003. In 2007, Beckett moved to Boston, where he led the Red Sox to another World Series title. He was named World Series MVP in both 2003 and 2007. He also played for the Dodgers from 2012 to 2014. In 335 career major league games, he has a 138-110 record with a 3.88 ERA.

“Before I was a scout, I was a minor league manager in Miami, and I thought Beckett’s curve was similar to Jang’s,” he said. “I’m close to Byung-hyun Kim, and I remembered a conversation I had with him. He said, ‘Why are you signing a guy who strikes out three or four? At the amateur level, he used to strike out 20. Watching Jang Hyun-seok’s game (14K in the quarterfinals of the Cheongnyonggi), I remembered that conversation and found it interesting.”

Now it’s important for Jang Hyun-seok to go forward. He needs to prove his worth. The Dodgers have also gone into administration. They have already delivered a pitching programme at the club level.

“We go through a process where we first identify the player’s strengths and weaknesses and then accurately check his physical condition,” said Dibble. “Jang Hyun-seok’s participation in the training league depends on when he gets his visa to come to the United States. The club sent him a training programme and he has already started in Korea.”

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