Hwang Jun-seo (18, Jangchung-go), the “baby eagle” who will be responsible for the future of the Hanwha Eagles in the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO), is quickly shedding his high school attire.
After receiving the grand prize for baseball at the 2023 Future Star Awards at the Gwanghwamun Building in Jongno-gu, Seoul, on Aug. 28, Hwang Jun-seo talked about his preparations for his professional debut.
“I recently joined the Hanwha team and have been training,” Hwang said, “I’m focusing on perfecting my changeup and building my physical strength.”
The left-handed pitcher has been a standout in high school baseball since his sophomore year. This year, he excelled as Jang Chung-go’s ace and was selected by Hanwha with the first overall pick in the 2024 KBO Rookie Draft in September.
Hwang Jun-seo has been busy preparing for his debut season since his selection.
He participated in Hanwha’s final training camp in Miyazaki, Japan, from March 1 to 26, sweating it out with the seniors.
“I tried to adapt first,” Hwang said, “and the seniors taught me a lot, so I didn’t have much trouble.”
However, he did say that he realized the high barriers of the pros during the finishing camp.
“I played against the seniors in the blue-black game, and their skills were definitely different,” he said, “I gave up a lot of hits while throwing fastballs. I felt that I needed to train more.”
Motivated, Hwang made a specific training plan and sweated even more.
“Recently, I’ve been working on refining my slider,” he said, “I think it’s about 50 percent complete. I will continue to work harder.”
“I studied a lot by watching pitching videos of Ryu Hyun-jin and Jung Woo-ram,” he said. “I want to be a pitcher who can play for a long time like them,” he added.
Hwang also worked hard on his physical fitness in preparation for his 144-game professional career.
“I’ve gained about 1 kilogram,” he said, “and I’ve been working on my muscles intensively with weights.
Hwang has a lot of work to do to prepare, improve, and learn in order to stand out on the professional stage.
However, he has already experienced some of them before other professional players.
The Automatic Ball-Strike System (ABS), also known as robotic umpires, will be introduced to the first team next year.
Currently, high school baseball has introduced the automatic strike and ball judgment system in some games, and Hwang Jun-seo experienced it before the first-team professionals.
“In this final training session, we practiced adapting to the newly introduced systems such as robot umpires and pitch clocks,” he said. “There are many things to do and adapt to, but I will grow into a great player while adapting step by step.”
“Yesterday, I watched Moon Dong-joo (Hanwha) win the Rookie of the Year award on the broadcast, and I wanted to do the same,” he said, adding, “I will do my best to challenge myself.” 사설토토