“It was a lot of hard work during that time. sorry.”
With these words,안전놀이터 the American Dream came to an end. The United States headed toward the blue dream. The challenge process was difficult, but the time it took to break up was too short. So, the 20-year-old man tightened his grip even more. I recently met Jin Woo-young (22, Paju Challengers), who left for the US after signing with the Kansas City Royals in the major leagues five years ago, at a baseball field in Gyoha-eup, Paju-si. Jin Woo-young, who submitted an application for the 2024 KBO Rookie Draft early on September 14 and is preparing for the second challenge, said, “About a month is left. I will prepare hard for the rest of his period and wear a professional baseball uniform.”
Jin Woo-young is a right-handed orthodox pitcher that KBO league scouts pay attention to. Although he suffered the pain of being released in the minor leagues, he is still considered one of the top nominations for throwing a powerful ball in the late 140 km/h range and a high-quality splitter and slider of around 130 km per hour. There are also other advantages. He has already completed his military service, and since he is an overseas U-turn player, there is no sign-up fee, so he is coveted by several clubs.
However, the name Jin Woo-young is not very familiar to domestic baseball fans. That’s also because he suddenly signed a contract with a major league club and left Korea when he was in high school without much information. Jin Woo-young said, “I started playing baseball in earnest from Bae Myung Middle School through Seongdong Elementary School. However, he felt that he lacked a lot in baseball, so he found a school where he could combine studies and sports. At that time, the place he discovered was a global advanced school,” he recalled. Global Advanced School is a 6-year alternative school that follows the American curriculum. Except for Korean language and Korean history, all classes are conducted in English. Coincidentally, at the time Jin Woo-young was looking for another school, the global advanced school had middle school and high school baseball teams (currently disbanding the baseball team), so he decided to transfer.
The problem was that Global Advanced School was not a strong team that performed well in national competitions. That’s why he couldn’t make his name known widely. Jin Woo-young said, “She remembers it as the winter going up to the third year of high school. She got a chance to participate in the ‘Power Showcase’ held in the United States. It was then that she expressed her first interest in Kansas City, and a redemption from the President’s Boat the following year led to her minor league contract. She was afraid, but she learned English at school and adapted to the culture to some extent, so she wanted to take on the challenge,” she said.
Jin Woo-Young, who left for Surprise, Arizona, USA (home of the Kansas City Rookie League), showed results from her first year. During his 14 games in the Rookie League, he went 6-2 with 2 saves and an earned run average of 2.35 (12 earned runs in 46 innings). But the following year a problem arose. All 2020 pennant races have been canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak. In 2021, he played again, but what returned to Jin Woo-young was the notice of release. Jin Woo-young said, “Corona 19 has reduced various incomes, making the club’s situation difficult. At the same time, the team was organized, and I was included. After the final match, the coach called and said, ‘You’ve worked hard. I’m sorry,’ he said. He shed a lot of tears on the spot,” he recalled that day.
It was hard to accept, but there was no time to sit still. Still in the prime of his twenties. We had a long way to go. Jeon Woo-young said, “I immediately returned to Korea and served as a full-time reserve. During the day he turned the reserve notice, and at night he only worked out. He really played with his venom,” he said.
Jin Woo-young, who was demobilized in June, was introduced to the Paju Challengers uniform by an acquaintance. Since he had no real sense for a long time, his appearance in the independent league was like an oasis. Jin Woo-young said, “In the meantime, he has been steadily building his body, and even though he threw the ball, he lacked a sense of the game. So he was able to fill that gap while playing for Paju Challengers,” he laughed.
Significant achievements were also made during this period. In the KBO Dream Cup held last June, he led the Paju Challengers to victory and even won the MVP. Director Kim Kyung-eon (41), who is instructing Jin Woo-young, said, “I have never seen a player who works as hard as Jin Woo-young. He is preparing for his rookie draft by only going back and forth between his home and the baseball field. He is a pitcher who would have been successful in the United States had he been given the chance, but I personally regret it a lot. Still, I hope he develops into a great player in Korea.”
KBO will hold an overseas tryout on the 28th. It is the last place where scouts from 10 clubs evaluate U-turn players. Jin Woo-young said, “After returning to Korea, so many people helped me. He must become a professional baseball player and he wants to return the grace he has received.”