‘High School Monster’ Jang Jae-young and Shim Jun-seok’s mixed choices, the same destination
Shim Jun-seok, who was considered the best prospect in high school baseball in Korea, is finally going to the United States. The choices of the ‘high school monsters’ produced by Deoksu High School were mixed.
On the 16th (Korean time), the Major League Baseball Pittsburgh Pirates announced the news of the contract with Shim Jun-seok, who is ranked 10th in the international prospect list. Although detailed terms have not yet been revealed, it is known that the size of the contract is slightly over 1 million dollars (approximately 1.3 billion won).
Shim Jun-seok leaves for the United States on the 24th and has a ceremony at PNC Park, the home stadium of Pittsburgh, on the 26th. Finally, the full-fledged journey towards the dream has begun. Sim Jun-seok, who will wear the Pittsburgh uniform for the first time at his initiation ceremony, will start competing for survival from spring camp starting next month. Experts believe that Shim Jun-seok will not be able to play in the big leagues right away, but if he starts as a rookie and develops as expected by the club in the minor leagues, he will be able to stand on the mound at PNC Park.
If Shim Jun-seok hadn’t picked up a major league challenge, he would likely have been the first overall pick in the 2023 KBO League Rookie Draft. Shim Jun-seok has been noticed since his middle school days, and he has definitely stood out since his first year of high school. It was because he had the clear advantage of being a fast-throwing hardware prospect in the late 150km range. The reason why the KBO League’s bottom-ranking teams’ fight for the bottom place was called the ‘Shim Jun-seok League’ was because they were interested in who could snatch Shim Jun-seok in the first place.
However, Shim Jun-seok eventually chose to challenge the major league rather than the KBO league. Perhaps if he had stayed in Korea, he would have started his professional career as the club’s top prospect after receiving a hefty down payment as the first-choice pick. The Hanwha Eagles, who had the right to pick first overall in the rookie draft, selected Kim Seo-hyun.
For a while, it was fashionable for amateur players to go directly to the U.S. to the extent that the KBO League was concerned about the outflow of talent, but recently it has been rare. Except for Park Hyo-joon, Bae Ji-hwan, and Cho Won-bin, most chose to join a 슬롯사이트 KBO League club. In the past, it was a standard procedure to wait for a major league call-up starting from the minor leagues, but as more successful cases entered the major leagues through the KBO league, such as Ryu Hyun-jin and Kim Ha-seong, the choice of prospects also changed. The starting environment itself is much more stable in the KBO league than in the minor leagues. However, it is known that the player himself had a greater desire for the stage where the world’s best players play than anyone else.
Representative examples of recent large prospects are Jang Jae-young and Na Seung-yeop. Both of them are Shim Jun-seok’s seniors at Deoksu High School and have been in the spotlight since high school. Na Seung-yeop was likely to challenge the major leagues, but he changed his mind after the Lotte Giants actively persuaded him.
In particular, Jang Jae-young and Shim Jun-seok are similar players, so they have more in common. Jang Jae-young was also a promising thrower since middle school, and grew into the team’s ‘ace’ while attending Deoksu High School. He is also gifted with the gift of throwing super fastballs that are not given to anyone, just like Shim Jun-seok.
Jang Jae-young chose the domestic stage instead of love calls from major league clubs. Of course, it cannot be ignored that the time when Jang Jae-young was worried was just after the outbreak of the Corona 19 pandemic. However, Kiwoom Heroes, who had the first pick in Seoul, signed a contract with Jang Jae-young and started his professional life in the KBO League.
The big prospects called ‘high school monsters’ had different choices, but the goal was the same. Jang Jae-young is growing up through trial and error, and Shim Jun-seok must now start a lonely and difficult journey. Their final destination will eventually be the same.