Kiwoom Heroes Ahn Woo-jin (24) expected the performance of his junior Jang Jae-young (21).
An Woo-jin played 30 games (196 innings) last season with 15 wins, 8 losses and an average ERA of 2.11, growing into the best pitcher in the KBO League. He caught 224 strikeouts, ranked second in the most strikeouts in a single season, won two pitching crowns (ERA, strikeouts) and won the Pitcher Golden Glove.
In Kiwoom, there is a top-notch prospect who is expected to grow as the next-generation ace following Ahn Woo-jin. Jang Jae-young, who is the second-largest newcomer contract in the KBO league and the first in the club’s all-time rookie contract (900 million won), is the main character. 스포츠토토
Jang Jae-young joined Kiwoom as the first pick in the 2021 rookie draft. Jang Jae-young, who has been attracting attention since his high school days with his fastball that easily exceeded 150 km/h, received high expectations from his debut season. But in his last two years, he hasn’t done much. He left a sluggish performance with a career average of 8.53 with 1 loss in 33 games (31⅔ innings).
There are no results yet, but there is no doubt about Jang Jae-young’s potential. His fastball of nearly 160 km/h and sharp curve are pitches that can overwhelm batters. The problem is that he is having a hard time catching the ball in real matches. He played more games in the strike zone than battling hitters.
Kiwoom believes that Jang Jae-young’s anxiety about ball control is due to his lack of actual game experience. So he was sent to Geelong Korea this winter to gain experience in the Australian league. The results were good. He recorded good results with 1 win, 2 losses and an earned run average of 3.30 in 6 games (30 innings). His walks per 9 innings dropped significantly to 2.70.
In an interview on the 18th, Ahn Woo-jin emphasized Jang Jae-young’s potential, saying, “(Jang) Jae-young is the best when you see him throwing the ball.” He said, “There is an image that I give a lot of balls, but when I pitch the bullpen, I throw it to the strike zone border line and the curve is really good. However, it seems that he is doing this because he has not yet adapted to the game and his motivation is a little ahead of him. He has a part where he tries to throw hard, so he seems to have a hard time getting his ball.”