A “process over results” pitcher…striking out fewer batters than he hits, laughing through three starts

June 20, 2023 0 Comments

“I always say, this player is more about the process than the result.”

Whenever Hong Won-ki, head coach of the Kiwoom Heroes, talks about pitcher Jang Jae-young (21), he tends to avoid talking about ‘results’. He believes it’s too early to show results and wants to take the pressure off him as much as possible.

Jang, who was selected by Kiwoom with the first pick in the 2021 rookie draft, has been known as a “big fish pitcher” since his high school days, throwing a ball in the mid-150km range. He was considered a natural talent. Kiwoom had no reason to hesitate.메이저사이트

As a pro, Jang had one problem that worried him. His pitches were shaky. After striking out 24 batters and walking three in 17⅔ innings in 19 games in his first year as a pro, Jang struck out seven and walked one in 14 games last year. It was more of a case of him breaking down on his own than being hit by hitters.

Kiwoom put a lot of work into Jang’s zeroes in the Futures League. He systematically worked on increasing his pitching distance. However, over the past two years, Jang Jae-young has been up and down and hasn’t seen much action with the first team.

This year, Jang looked a little different in spring training, posting a 3.00 ERA in nine innings in three exhibition games. He struck out eight. He’s shown enough to be a first-team pitcher now.

He moved into the fifth spot, but his nightmare came back to haunt him. In two games, he gave up nine runs on 10 hits in 6⅓ innings. He was sent back to the Futures League to rebuild.

Jang Jae-young came back and showed a different side of himself once again. On April 4 against the SSG Landers, he gave up two runs on six hits (one home run) with five strikeouts in three innings. He didn’t go many innings, and he gave up a run, but Hong gave him a passing grade. He didn’t allow himself to collapse on balls in play. In his next start, against the KT Wiz on the 11th, Jang went three innings. It was even better. He allowed two hits, walked two, and struck out two.

Against the Hanwha Eagles on the 17th, he went 3⅓ innings, giving up four hits, one walk, and striking out four, proving once again that his high strikeout total was no fluke.

Jang himself was pleased. “My biggest goal in the Futures League is to reduce my strikeouts,” Jang said, adding that he sees having more hits than walks as an improvement.

But the three consecutive three-inning games in June were more valuable than ever for Jae-young and his development, as he found more positive signs.

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