Moon Dong-ju (20) and Kim Seo-hyun (19), the fearsome divine right-handed duo who can throw 160 kilometers per hour fastballs. The Hanwha Eagles have now added to their arsenal a 150-kilometer left-handed fireballer, Hwang Jun-seo (18-Jang Chung-go).
Hanwha selected Hwang Jun-seo with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 KBO Rookie Draft on Thursday at the Westin Chosun Hotel Grand Ballroom in Jung-gu, Seoul.
The selection of three pitchers who have been among the best in the high school league in the last three years will provide a natural rebuilding opportunity for Hanwha, which has struggled to shed its “last place” image.
The talents of Moon Dong-joo and Kim Seo-hyun, pitchers with a mere 160 kilometers under the Taegeuk mark, are not in doubt.
Moon Dong-ju is a second-year pro who was selected in the first round two years ago. Of course, he struggled with injuries and adjustment last year, but this season he completely shook off the concerns and became the No. 1 rookie of the year.
Under the special care of manager Choi Won-ho, he ended his season prematurely after 23 games and 118⅔ innings, but he went 8-8 with a 3.72 ERA and became Hanwha’s signature pitcher. During the season, he also became the league’s top fastball pitcher with a KBO-certified 160-kilometer fastball.
Kim Seo-hyun, another 160 mph monster, struggled in his debut season. In 20 games and 22⅓ innings, he split time between the starting rotation and the bullpen, but finished with a 1.25 ERA and is now back with the Futures (second team).
However, no one is doubting him. Kim Seo-hyun has already experienced the ups and downs of Moon Dong-joo last year, and his pitches and mentality are among the best on the team. There is no doubt that she will shake off this season’s slump and prepare well for next season to become the team’s leading pitcher.
Jun-seo Hwang, a left-handed fireballer with a full complement of pitches
The first overall pick of the day was Hwang Jun-seo. Standing at 187 centimeters tall and weighing 80 kilograms, Hwang is a sturdy left-hander with a fastball that reaches up to 150 kilometers per hour, along with a curve, splitter, and slider.
In his high school career, he went 9-4 with a 1.93 ERA and 132 strikeouts in 112 1/3 innings in 31 games, and as a junior, he was dominant in 15 games and 49 1/3 innings, going 6-2 with a 2.16 ERA, 17 walks, one hit-by-pitch and 58 strikeouts.
After being selected, Hwang said, “I still can’t believe it, my hands and feet are shaking. I think the Hanwha uniform suits me well,” he said, adding, “I will always do my best and be the player the team needs.”
“I want to win the team’s championship first, not my personal goals,” he said, “and I want to throw hard to help the team go as high as possible.”안전놀이터
The team also brought in left-hander Cho Dong-wook, another Jang Chung-go, and then focused on strengthening their outfield depth. “We strengthened our left-handed mound depth by selecting two excellent left-handed pitchers in the top rounds, Hwang Jun-seo and Cho Dong-wook,” Hanwha said after the draft, “and in the subsequent rounds, we secured excellent infield resources such as Jung Ahn-seok, who focuses on offense, and Hwang Young-mook, who has stability.”