Left-hander Hwang Jun-seo, right-hander Kim Taek-yeon… KBO’s new era of ‘golden rivalry’


Hwang Jun-seo, a starting left-hander with immediate power, and Taek-yeon Kim, a right-hander with full of potential. The two pitchers, who were considered the biggest high school pitchers this year, were ranked first and second overall in the 2024 KBO draft held on the 14th. Since they are two people with different styles, more attention is being paid to the competitive structure that will unfold on the KBO stage in the future.

Hanwha General Manager Son Hyuk nominated Hwang Jun-seo of Jangchung High School as the first overall pick and said, “He is the player who received the most recommendations from scouts all year.”

With Jang Hyun-seok of Masan Yongmag High School signing a contract with the LA Dodgers, Hwang Jun-seo has become the undisputed first choice candidate. As a left-hander, he throws a fast ball at 150 km/h and uses a splitter. The combination of a left-hander and a splitter is not common even on the professional stage. It is also a combination that can be just as powerful if you adapt to it.

KBS N Sports commentator Park Yong-taek said of Hwang Jun-seo, “I highly praised Yoon Young-cheol (KIA) during the draft last year, and Hwang Jun-seo also views it that way. “As long as he isn’t sick, I think he will enter Hanwha’s starting rotation right away,” he said. In terms of overall completeness, it is said to be one level higher than other pitching resources. Hwang Jun-seo was happy to be selected first overall, saying, “It is an honor to be selected first among good players.”

Even before his professional debut, a rivalry with Kim Taek-yeon of Incheon High School, ranked second, was established. Taekyeon Kim is currently evaluated as a potential reliever. Doosan general manager Kim Tae-ryong nominated Kim Taek-yeon and said, “I believe he will grow into Doosan’s stopper within two to three years at the earliest.”

Kim Taek-yeon also has endless potential. There are opinions that he has ample potential as a starting pitcher through the recent Under-18 Baseball World Cup held in Taiwan. Taek-yeon Kim achieved a shutout victory on 105 pitches, allowing no runs in 7 innings against the United States in the 3rd and 4th place match of the tournament on the 10th. Kim Taek-yeon said, “It was no problem to be a starter in Taiwan. “He is basically confident in everything,” he said. A Doosan scout official said, “If Jang Hyun-seok had stayed, we would have thought more, but if we compare him to Hwang Jun-seo, we would definitely go with Kim Taek-yeon,” and added, “His Trackman numbers are already at the upper level of the pros.”

Comparing Kim Taek-yeon to Lee Jeong-yong (LG), who successfully used the forkball this season and doubled his power, successfully transforming from a bullpen team to a starting pitcher, Commissioner Park said, “If Kim Taek-yeon wants to deal with first-team pro left-handed hitters, he will definitely have to raise his average velocity further.” He advised, “You will need perfection on falling balls such as forks and change-ups.”토토사이트

The pitching resources in this year’s draft are evaluated as the best in recent years in terms of quality and quantity. Naturally, the two are expected to lead the revival of Korean baseball. After the era of ‘Ryu, Yoon, Kim’ (Ryu Hyun-jin, Yoon Seok-min, Kim Gwang-hyun) who led the golden age of Korean baseball in the past, baseball fans are bound to have high interest in the future of the two players who emerged as the thirst for the next-generation league ace grows longer.

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