Jang Hyun-seok declares his intention to play MLB "I will challenge the world's best"

Jang Hyun-seok, Masan Yongmago.

Fastball pitcher Jang Hyun-seok (19) of Masan Yongma High School has decided to challenge the Major League Baseball (MLB) instead of the KBO.

Jang's management company, Ricoh Sports Agency, said on Jan. 1, "After long consideration, Jang Hyun-seok has decided to challenge the MLB without submitting an application to the KBO draft."

Jang Hyun-seok is a hard-throwing pitcher with a height of 190 centimeters and a fastball in the mid-to-high 150 kilometers. With his fastball and changeup, he was evaluated as a high school-level pitcher early on.

Because of this, he was considered a strong No. 1 overall pick in this year's draft.

However, the tide turned in favor of the United States when Jang was named to the baseball team for the Hangzhou Asian Games.

It was widely believed that Jang could make a run at the MLB if he won a gold medal at the Asian Games and received military service benefits, which would make it easier for him to play overseas.

Jang Hyun-seok himself had been saying "I'm thinking about the US challenge" whenever he met with reporters, and finally, with 14 days left before the draft deadline (August 15), he officially declared his intention to challenge the US stage.

Jang Hyun-seok said, "I apologize for making many people wait. Both the KBO and MLB were my dreams, so the decision was very difficult," he said. "However, I had a great desire to challenge the world's top stage, and in the end, I made up my mind to challenge the major leagues."

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