The 10 Billion Era? Desperate to be in the top 110…rain or shine, tryouts are here!

It’s the age of the 10 billion player, but some players are desperate to make the top 110. Ahead of the 2024 rookie draft, players from independent leagues and overseas held open tryouts.

On the 28th, the KBO tryout was held at the Team Up Campus in Gonjiam-eup, Gwangju, Gyeonggi-do. A total of five players participated in the tryouts. Outfielder Kim Dong-gyu (Seongnam MacPies), pitcher Jin Woo-young (former Kansas City, current Paju Challengers), catcher Do Seung-hyun (Seoul National University of Arts and Design dropout), infielder Hwang Young-mook (Yeoncheon Miracle), and outfielder Jang Hyun-jin (Tokushima Indigo Sox). Unfortunately, the rain poured down from the early morning hours, but KBO officials and scouts from 10 clubs gathered together and held the tryouts as normal.

Despite the rain, the players were serious and eager to give it their all. Starting with a light warm-up, the batting test was followed by the fielding test, and then the base running test. Jin Woo-young, the only pitcher among the participants, was the last to stand on the mound and throw 30 practice pitches. Do Seung-hyun, the only catcher, received the ball from Jin Woo-young. Due to the bad weather, neither the ground conditions nor the players’ play were 100% perfect, but the scouts were interested in watching and talking to each of them.

Each has their own story. Jin Woo-young is a former member of the Global Advancement School baseball team who signed a contract to play for the Kansas City Royals, a Major League Baseball team. He was the pride of the school. In his first year in the minors, he excelled at the rookie level, raising the team’s expectations, but the following year, the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the minor leagues. After leaving the team, Woo-young returned to South Korea and immediately addressed his military obligations. After qualifying for “military service,” Jin joined the Paju Challengers in May of this year and played as a starting pitcher while waiting for the KBO rookie draft.

Hwang Young-mook, an infielder who made a name for himself as a “four-hole hitter” for the Yeoncheon Miracle, gained experience with independent clubs after dropping out of college and finally became eligible for the draft this year. Young-mook Hwang was known to fans through a popular baseball entertainment program. Jang Hyun-jin, who played for the Tokushima Indigo Sox of the Japanese Independent League after graduating from Seoul High School, Kim Dong-kyu, an outfielder for the Seongnam MacPies, and Do Seung-hyun, who gained solid on-field experience as a bullpen catcher for the Hanwha Eagles.메이저놀이터

The tryouts are meant to showcase players from overseas and independent leagues, not high school or college teams, where KBO scouts can often see them in action. In fact, the scouts have already gotten to know the players, and the tryout is the last time they look at their physical condition. After all the workouts, the five players and scouts from 10 different teams answered questions.

Their goal is to play professional baseball. The tryout is just one step in the process, and they still need to be drafted by a professional team in the 2024 KBO League Draft, which will take place on April 14. Each team can draft up to 11 players in the first round, so they’ll need to be among the top 110 to fulfill their dreams. Survival is the next mission. The families of the players were also present at the tryouts, praying and watching.

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