LA Dodgers’ Jang Hyun-seok (19), who played for his country for the first time, talked about his dream of playing for the national team in the future.
Jang, who signed with the Dodgers on Aug. 9 for $1 million (approx. KRW 1.3 billion), took his first step toward the major leagues on Aug. 8, returning home from the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games via Incheon International Airport.
Jang, the only amateur to be selected to the Asian Games baseball team, took the mound against Hong Kong (one scoreless inning) and China (one run in one inning) and did his part. He showed promise with a fastball in the low 150 kilometers per hour range. Team Korea ended the tournament on a high note, taking home the gold medal.
“This is the first time in my life that I’ve played for the national team. It’s an honor to win a gold medal on such a big stage. I feel really happy. I was very nervous until the last minute. My brothers were also nervous, but I’m really glad it ended well. My brothers were also very happy, so it was good,” he said after the competition.
Jang Hyun-seok, who was selected to the national team for the first time and experienced international competition, said, “I was nervous. I also wanted to do well. I’m happy that my nervousness led to good results. I would give myself a score of 80 out of 100,” he said.
Jang Hyun-seok, who said, “It was an adult national team, so everyone was my brothers and seniors,” said, “I was very nervous at first, but my brothers approached me first, so I felt comfortable. Now I have learned a lot of things like exercise and changeups. I feel like I’m going to see, feel, and learn a lot.” He expressed his gratitude to his brothers for taking care of him.
Heading to the United States on an international amateur contract with the Dodgers, Jang will have to overcome many obstacles to fulfill his dream of making his major league debut. Being granted a special exemption from military service through the tournament is expected to be a huge boost to his career. 스포츠토토
“My goal is to make it to the big leagues as soon as possible,” he said, “and if I get the chance, I’d like to play in international tournaments like the WBC (World Baseball Classic) and the Premier 12, so I can have a good performance with my brothers. Being a member of the Korean national team is definitely something to be proud of. If they call me in the future, I’d like to respond,” he said, adding that he would like to play for the national team more.
Reflecting on the tournament, Jang Hyun-seok said, “I felt a lot of things through this tournament.” He added, “Definitely, when I saw the professional seniors’ balls, I felt that the amateur players’ balls are really just amateurs. The professional world is different, and every single thing they do, like warming up or weight training, is different. I think I got a little bit of an idea of what I should do when I go to the U.S.” He vowed to do well in the U.S. by using the experience of this tournament as a positive reinforcement.