I’m so embarrassed to be labeled as an untouchable.”
After the 2024 Rookie Draft concluded on Thursday at the Grand Ballroom of the Westin Chosun Hotel in Seoul, Korea, Jang Chung-go head coach Song Min-soo exhaled a sigh of relief and regret. He had been one of the favorites to win the national championship, but hadn’t lifted a single trophy. It was quite similar to 2010, when Deoksugo, which had built up a considerable power behind the Kim Jin-young (formerly Hanwha) and Han Seung-hyuk (Hanwha) duo, remained the greatest mugwan lord.스포츠토토
“It’s the coach’s fault. The players did their best. We were excited to be called the Five Eagles, but it was also a lot of pressure. We’ll do our best next year by overhauling our power,” said Song Min-soo, but he was also encouraged by the fact that seven of his former students were able to wear professional jerseys despite being unaffiliated.
“I think there will be at least six, maybe eight,” Song predicted before the nomination. With all five of Changchung’s eagle siblings likely to make it to the pros, he saw at least one, and possibly three, of his hitters making it to the pros, and that prediction came true as seven Changchung players were selected. Among this year’s draft applicants, Jang Chung Go graduates are the most numerous, with seven.
Three were selected in the first round alone. Hwang Jun-seo (Hanwha), the No. 1 overall pick, was selected early, followed by Yuk Sun-yeop (Samsung) and Kim Yoon-ha (Kiwoom). Jangsan left-hander Cho Dong-wook (Hanwha) was also called in the second round, and sidearm Won Jong-hae (NC) was called in the seventh round, meaning all five Eagle brothers made it to the pros. “We’ve had a lot of first-rounders, but this is the first year we’ve had an overall No. 1. I hope that many middle school prospects will come to our school after seeing this,” he said.
The pitchers were all drafted as expected. The key was the hitters. With catcher Ryu Hyun-jun (Doosan), who bats fourth, expected to be selected in the lower rounds, Song Min-soo was hoping that Kwon Hyun (Hanwha) and infielder Kim Jae-ik would also be selected. As it turned out, Ryu Hyun-jun and Kwon Hyun were selected side by side in the 10th round, while leadoff hitter Kim Jae-ik was not selected. While the results certainly exceeded his expectations, Song was the first to express his disappointment with his undrafted protégés.
“Seven is quite a lot. However, (Kim) Jae-ik is also a kid who will grow up if he uses it well in the pros. I was hoping for someone in the last round, but I was disappointed. If he goes to college and improves a little more, he can try to get drafted early in his sophomore year.”
In the meantime, he vowed to make more of an impact next year to challenge for the top spot. He chose ace Kim Jae-won and shortstop Ji Yo-han as the key men for Jang Chung-go next year. They are determined to showcase organized baseball next year.
Although Jang Chung-go remained the Lord of Mugwan, he hasn’t given up on challenging for the Grand Prix. If anything, the five eagle siblings might be better off without him, because that’s high school baseball. It is also a space where objective power is not as meaningful as in professional baseball.