“Darvish Yu followed me on social media.”
Jang Hyun-seok (19-Yongmago, Masan) has been living a happy life lately. After signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball, his life has changed. More people are recognizing him. Even Japanese pitcher Darvish of the San Diego Padres follows Jang on social media, and many people across the Pacific have taken notice of the “fireballer”.
“I get a lot of messages from fans on social media,” he told Sporting News recently. I can’t reply to all of them, but I read them one by one. When I checked my social media late in the evening after a workout, I saw that Darvish had left me a message that said ‘Gook luck’. I thought it was a fake account, but it was the real Darvish. I was surprised to get a message from my idol, and I was so happy that I woke up my family that day to show them,” he beamed.
“Even at school, I have a lot of friends who want to take pictures with me. I also got a lot of autograph requests. Every time I do, I realize that I’ve joined the Dodgers. I’m more careful with my behavior. I try to pay attention to every little thing. I feel more responsible,” he said of his new routine.
Jang Hyun-seok attracted attention as a high school sophomore with a fastball that reached 155 kilometers. In his junior year, he developed a curveball with a big drop, making him a more powerful pitcher. Rumors of the immensely talented South Korean prospect reached the United States, where multiple clubs battled for his services. In the end, it was the Dodgers who won his heart.
“I had meetings with many teams. Among them, the Dodgers were the most attractive. Scout Dean Kim gave me a detailed analysis of my pitching form and introduced me to the Dodgers in detail. I’m very interested in pitching mechanics and design, and the Dodgers gave me the clearest answers. I also liked the fact that the Dodgers are a team that develops pitchers well, so I chose the Dodgers.”
As a child, Jang also remembers watching Ryu Hyun-seok play for the Dodgers. He used to imagine throwing a ball in a Dodger uniform at Dodger Stadium. “Dodger Stadium was so beautiful,” he says. When I was a kid, I watched Ryu play in the major leagues. I often thought, ‘I want to play there, too. I should try to fulfill my dream as soon as possible.”
Now that he’s made it to the induction ceremony, Jang Hyun-seok pushes himself harder. His days are even busier as he tries to fulfill his American dream. He’s already following the program the Dodgers gave him. “The Dodgers gave me a weight program. They gave me a schedule, starting with warming up. I think I can make up for all my deficiencies. I’m working out according to the program before throwing a ball,” he said, adding that the Dodgers’ special care has already begun.
Before leaving for the U.S., Jang will compete in the Asian Games in Hangzhou with the Korean flag. He’s trying to get to 100 percent before he’s called up on Nov. 23. “I’m continuing to build my body at the center in Busan. I’m also pitching in practice games at school. I am thoroughly preparing,” he said, adding, “I want to make a good showing at the Asian Games.”카지노
Jang also wants to learn from the seniors on the national team, citing Moon Dong-joo (Hanwha Eagles), Lee Yi-ri (KIA Tigers), Jung Woo-young and Ko Woo-seok (LG Twins). “Moon Dong-joo and Lee Yi-ri are starting pitchers, and I want to learn from their experience, and Jung Woo-young and Ko Woo-seok are middle relievers who throw fastballs. I want to learn how to deal with hitters when I go out as a bullpen pitcher, especially how to grip a slider from Go Woo-seok.” He added, “I’m looking forward to learning from them.
Finally, Jang Hyun-seok left a message for the juniors at Yongmago. “I didn’t win the national championship. I want the juniors to fulfill their dream of winning. The current sophomore team is really good. I’m graduating with regret, but I hope the juniors will win the championship,” he said, cheering them on.