“I’m confident in my heavy fastball” Why did the professional dream MVP ace want to go to SSG-Hanwha-Keum?

Gunsan Sangil High School ace Jung Min-sung, 18, dreams of a professional designation and a first-team role.

Gunsan Sangil High School won the 57th President’s Cup National High School Baseball Tournament at Mokdong Stadium in Seoul, South Korea, with an 11-10 walk-off victory over Incheon High School. Despite not pitching in the final game, Jung Min-sung was named the tournament’s MVP and Outstanding Pitcher.메이저놀이터

In three games (12⅔ innings) at the tournament, Jung went 3-0 with a 2.92 ERA, including two appearances in the semifinals against Gyeonggi University, where he pitched 4 1/3 innings of three-hit ball with three walks and two strikeouts in the semifinals to lead Gunsan Sangil to the final. His record this year is 7-1 with a 2.42 ERA in 14 games (52⅓ innings).

In an interview after winning the MVP award, Jung Min-sung said, “I actually thought I would win the best pitcher award, but I didn’t think about the MVP. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so it was great. I wanted to throw a lot today, but I trusted my friends and cheered hard from the bench. I was almost in tears because my friends worked so hard for me and we won,” he said of his victory and award.

Speaking about the semifinals, which were crucial to Gunsan Sangilgo’s victory, Jung Min-sung said, “I threw with the idea that it wasn’t over then, so let’s end it here. I was tired after pitching twice, but I didn’t realize it when I was throwing,” he said, reflecting on his semifinal performance.

Jung Min-sung of Sangil High School in Gunsan. /OSEN DB

With a fastball that can reach up to 150 kilometers per hour, Jung has the potential to be selected in the top round of the 2024 Korean Baseball Entry Draft in September. “First of all, my goal is to be selected in a high round of the draft,” he said. “If I get drafted, then my first goal is to secure a spot in the first team. I don’t have a specific team in mind. I want to go anywhere if they call me.”

When asked if he had a favorite team, he said, “I think SSG, Hanwha, and Kiwoom are good. SSG has beautiful uniforms, Hanwha has a new hat, and Kiwoom has a home stadium called Gocheokdome,” he wittily replied.

Jung Min-sung, who cited his “heavy fastball” as his strength, said, “I have a low arm height, so I have movement that makes the ball come alive. I think a lot of batters’ false swings come from this.”

As role models, Jung cites Trevor Bauer (Yokohama) and Devin Williams (Milwaukee), both of whom play in Nippon Professional Baseball. “Bauer likes to pitch with a lot of fight so that he doesn’t get bored on the mound. His mechanics and style of pitching are very similar to Williams,” he said, explaining why he chose them as role models.

It will be interesting to see what kind of athlete Jung Min-sung will become in the future, as he has grown into a national ace after winning his first high school national championship.

Jung Min-sung of Sangil High School in Gunsan. /OSEN DB

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