“I can study and play baseball at the same time.” In Korea, there are people who have attempted something that seems like a dream. Although I am currently unable to pursue my dream due to the wall of reality, it has come to fruition, albeit belatedly. The protagonist is Jin Woo-young, a 4th round rookie from LG.
Global Advanced School produced its first KBO draft pick. There are no players scheduled to graduate next year due to the discontinuation of the team, but Jin Woo-young, a 2019 graduate, was nominated by a KBO League club after playing in the minor league and independent league, 스포츠토토 earning the title of ‘the first professional designated player from a global advanced school.’ Jin Woo-young’s professional baseball career, which started in the minor league, also experienced a big change.
Global Advanced School is a baseball team that became a hot topic with the appointment of coach Choi Hyang-nam. However, he has not been able to participate in the Gyeongsang region competition since the end of 2020. It was not easy to hold the competition due to a lack of registered players. There is a high possibility that Jin Woo-young will be the first and last KBO draft pick.
Jin Woo-young started playing baseball in the 6th grade of elementary school, later than other players. He went on to Baemyung Middle School’s baseball team, but after completing only the first semester of his first year, he chose to transfer to the middle school department of a global advanced school. He said that at that young age he dreamed of becoming a baseball player, but he thought he needed a solution when he failed to become a professional baseball player. While he developed his foreign language skills at Global Advanced School, an alternative school with English classes, he developed his dream of becoming a baseball player.
In fact, my records as I was about to graduate from high school were not outstanding. His senior year record was a 7.16 ERA in 11 games and 49 innings. However, the Kansas City Royals’ Korean scout bet on Jin Woo-young’s potential. Jin Woo-young recorded 6 wins, 2 losses, and an ERA of 2.35 in the Kansas City Rookie League in 2019.
At the time, FanGraphs.com paid attention to Jin Woo-young’s splitter. At this time, the scouting report said, “If you watch his splitter through his fingers without rotation using a high-speed camera, you will be surprised. Jin Woo-young needs to throw harder in the minor league, but he is young enough to make anything happen.”
However, COVID-19, which hit the world in 2020, changed Jin Woo-young’s career. With the minor league completely canceled, there was no way to maintain a sense of actual play. In 2021, he rejoined the Kansas City rookie team, but left the team after posting an ERA of just 5.46 in 18 games.
Just as he had been preparing for adulthood since middle school, he quickly prepared for the next step this time. After completing his military service, he joined the Paju Challengers and prepared for the 2024 rookie draft. At the ‘KBO Dream Cup Independent Baseball Tournament’ held last June, he appeared as a starter in the game against Yeoncheon Miracle and pitched well, allowing 2 runs in 5 innings, and was selected as MVP of the tournament.
The goal was achieved in the 2024 draft held on the 14th. He was nominated by LG in the 4th round. The pitcher selected highest by LG in this draft is Jin Woo-young.
Jin Woo-young wrote on SNS on the night of the 14th, “I am honored to be able to make a new start with the LG Twins, a team I have dreamed of since I was young. I will work hard and grow as much as you trusted me and selected me, and I will show you what I can throw on the mound in Jamsil as soon as possible.” .
The LG scout team explained Jin Woo-young, “He has an excellent physique and good power and elasticity. He has stable control and a heavy pitch, so he is a player who can immediately play as a middle-of-the-road pitcher in the future.”
Meanwhile, LG signed Choi Won-tae ahead of this year’s draft and gave up their first-round pick to Kiwoom Heroes. Ten people were selected from rounds 2 to 11, of which 4 were pitchers. Care was taken in naming fielders: 2 outfielders, 3 infielders, and 1 catcher. In the second round, the team’s highest ranking, Incheon High School’s right-handed pitching outfielder Kim Hyeon-jong was selected.
After completing the draft, Baek Seong-jin, head of LG’s scouting team, said through the club, “We selected pitchers with a good physique who can immediately show power or prepare for the future, and hitters with excellent speed. I think it is a satisfactory draft result as we prepared. “I do,” he said.
Second rounder Kim Hyun-jong was born in 2004 and has the physical requirements of 186 cm tall and 85 kg in weight. He is a player with a batting average of 0.412, 3 home runs, 18 RBI, and 10 stolen bases in 18 games this year. LG had high hopes for Kim Hyun-jong’s hitting potential. The scout team explained about Kim Hyun-jong, “He is a player with a clear strength in attack power. He is a mid-to-long-distance hitter and has stable overall performance, including defensive range, batted ball judgment ability, and batted ball reaction speed.”
Son Yong-jun, a right-handed batting infielder from Dongwon Science and Technology University who was selected in the third round, was born in 2000 and is 178 cm tall and weighs 85 kg. He had a batting average of .448 with 4 home runs, 20 RBI, and 18 stolen bases in 21 college league games this year. The club introduced him as “an infielder with good offensive ability and good contact ability and power. He has a wide range of activity in defense, and is a player with a strong ability to judge batted balls and make quick starts, and has a leisurely defensive ability.” Son Yong-jun also has a history of completing military service while on active duty.