Evidence of Hanwha’s failure to change generations for some time and falling into the dark ages is found in various indicators. The decline in average speed was also noticeable on the mound, which had struggled since the retirement of veteran players and Ryu Hyun-jin’s entry into the Major League.

According to statistics website Statistics, Hanwha pitchers’ average speed of four-seam fastball in 2020 was 142.1 kilometers per hour, ranking ninth in the league. Of course, this figure has a large stake in foreign players, but no one could deny that there are not many players who are fast overall. He was lagging behind in the flow of “speed-up” from the Major League to the Japanese professional baseball league. He also ranked eighth in the league last year.

However, this year, it has risen to the league average at 143.8 kilometers per hour. Although there is still a way to go, Hanwha is now evolving into a “fastball corps” that no team in the league can ignore. Young players who can throw fast balls gathered one by one as if they were “dragon balls.” Moon Dong-joo, the first nominee in 2022, and Kim Seo-hyun, the first nominee in 2023, are representative symbols.

Looking at the ranking table of “Trackman,” which provides tracking data to nine KBO League clubs, Hanwha pitchers’ “speed-up” progress is remarkable. Based on a player who threw more than 100 pitches this year, Kim Seo-hyun has the fastest average speed of four-seam and two-seam fastball, reaching 154.9km. Third place is Moon Dong-ju (153.3km). Moon Dong-joo is also the second overall starting pitcher after Ahn Woo-jin (Kiem, 153.5km).

In addition to the two players who have thrown fastballs since amateur days, a total of eight players, including Park Sang-won (149.3km), Kim Bum-soo (149.1km), Sanchez (148.7km), Han Seung-hyuk (148.2km), Nam Ji-min (148.1km), and Peña (147.6km), are included in the “TOP 30.” Considering that there are 10 teams in the league, this figure is comparable to three years ago.

Hanwha manager Choi Won-ho, who watched the process in both the first and second divisions, said, “The first time I collected a lot of such players. The draft, the trade, and the process of bringing in players who have been released have collected many players with good ball speed. “That’s a big impact,” 꽁머니지급 he said, adding, “It (improving ball speed) is not from nothing to euros. “We cannot make a pitcher who throws 130km into 150km,” he said, adding that the consistent direction of the team has produced the current results.

“Anyway, our body is at an age where muscle strength increases even if we don’t do anything until our mid-20s, so there is room for arrest until our mid-20s,” he said. “So is Moon Dong-joo and Kim Seo-hyun.” “If there is no injury issue, it is so,” he said, adding, “Young players that the team is currently looking forward to will be able to throw faster balls.”

Another important name in Hanwha’s roadmap is Masan Yongma and right-hander Jang Hyun-suk. It is said that it is certain to be nominated as the No. 1 rookie draft in 2024, and Hanwha is the team that has the No. 1 nomination right. He is also a promising player who can throw fast balls with a strong physique. Hanwha’s rebuilding roadmap can also be completed if Moon Dong-joo and Kim Seo-hyun and Jang Hyun-seok are held in their arms. It’s a combination of promising players who are full just by looking at them. In other words, Jang Hyun-seok can be the “peak of the fire.”

However, it is unclear whether he will wear a Hanwha uniform. This is because it is receiving attention from major league clubs. Major League scouts’ rush to observe Jang Hyun-suk at the Blue Dragon High School Baseball Tournament, which ended in July, represents a hot evaluation of him. Players are also known to appoint agencies and collect various information on entering the Major League. Although he did not clearly state his decision, he is expected to announce his future in July or at least before the draft.

Jang Hyun-suk said in several interviews, “It is true that I have a dream of entering the Major League, but it has not yet. However, more and more expectations are rising that “Jang Hyun-suk will become a major league player.” Until two to three months ago, half and half said, “I will go to the Major League” and “I will be in the KBO draft,” but now many of them are leaning toward the former. A club leader even said, “We believe that Jang Hyun-suk will sign a contract with a major league club and are working on a strategy.”

Whether Jang Hyun-suk will participate in the draft is also closely related to the strategy of nominating the top teams. Hanwha also has an alternative to Jang Hyun-seok and Jangchung High School left-hander Hwang Joon-seo, who is considered to have excellent potential. In terms of his potential as a left-hander who can throw a fast ball, he is said to be better than Yoon Young-chul (KIA), who was the biggest draft left-hander last year. It is regrettable that Jang Hyun-seok, a super-large player, is a player who can still comfort Hanwha, who does not deserve to start left-handed.

On the contrary, Doosan’s second-ranked head, which can hold Hwang Joon-seo in its arms only when Jang Hyun-seok goes to Hanwha, can be complicated. A team scout said, “In terms of the fastball’s pitch alone, Shim Joon-seok (Pittsburgh) may be better than Jang Hyun-seok, but some say that Jang Hyun-seok’s current completeness is higher in terms of overall commands.” Hwang Joon-seo is closer to incomplete than Jang Hyun-seok, but he will be scared when he gets better, he said. “However, there is a slight difference between Jang Hyun-seok and the next players.” With Jang Hyun-suk scheduled to reveal his career path soon, it is also interesting how each club’s nomination strategy will change.

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