Last Friday’s Dodgers trade of two minor leaguers for international bonus slot space has apparently been put to good use. The team has reportedly reached agreement to sign Hyun-seok Jang, a 19-year-old right-hander considered one of the top pitching prospects in South Korea.
Jang last week said he would bypass the Korean Baseball Organization draft, where he was expected to be picked first, so he could sign with a major league team.
“It was a tough decision for me because I dreamed of pitching both in the KBO and MLB,” Jang said in a statement, per the Korea Times. “But ultimately, I wanted to challenge myself in the best league in the world and decided to take a crack at MLB.”
BREAKING— KBO in English (@KBO_ENG) August 9, 2023
THE MAN HAS SPOKEN
Jang Hyeon-seok signed a contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers for $900,000.
Jang Hyun-seok said, ‘It is an honor to join such a prestigious team as the Dodgers. I will work hard to develop as a player & repay their faith in choosing me.’ pic.twitter.com/pbz6qmykn6
Daniel Kim first reported the Dodgers were close to signing Jang, on Monday. Fabian Ardaya at The Athletic on Monday reported the Dodgers were “hoping to come to an agreement.”
Kiley McDaniel at ESPN on Tuesday also reported the Dodgers were close to a deal for the right-hander.
The Dodgers are close to signing 19-year-old Korean RHP Hyun-Suk Jang. @DanielKimW was 1st.— Kiley McDaniel (@kileymcd) August 9, 2023
The bonus will be around $1 million, per a source.
L.A. traded RHP Maximo Martinez & Aldrin Batista to the White Sox for the needed int’l bonus pool space Friday pic.twitter.com/lfeQdo0epR
The Dodgers spent nearly all of their allotted $4.144 million international bonus pool, but got the necessary bonus pool space to sign Jang in a Friday trade with the White Sox.
Sent to Chicago were 20-year-old pitcher Aldrin Batista, who was promoted to Low-A Rancho Cucamonga Thursday just before the trade, and 19-year-old pitcher Maximo Martinez, who was in the Arizona Complex League. They were signed by the Dodgers in international signing periods in 2022 and 2021, respectively.
The collective bargaining agreement allows for the trading of international slot space in increments of $250,000. The White Sox sent the Dodgers a reported $1 million in slot space, per Francys Romero.
The Korea Times article says Jang has been clocked at 156 kilometers per hour, roughly 96.9 mph. In an interview with Spot TV this year, Jang said he was “greedy” and wanted to go over 160 kmh, or 99 mph. In other words, he wants to throw triple digits (in mph).
Jang has four pitches for strikes, starter traits, and above average stuff. His fastball sits 92-95 and has hit 97 mph for some scouts.— Kiley McDaniel (@kileymcd) August 9, 2023
He compares to recent second or third round caliber prep pitchers.