Kiwoom Heroes’ Jang Jae-young (21) continues to pitch well in the Futures League.

On April 24, Jang started a Futures League game against Doosan in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province, and pitched six innings of two-hit ball with seven strikeouts and three runs allowed.

Jang, who joined Kiwoom as the first overall pick in the 2021 rookie draft, has been highly anticipated since his amateur days with a fastball that reaches over 150 kilometers per hour. He broke the KBO’s all-time record for the second-largest rookie contract and the club’s all-time record for the largest contract (900 million won).

However, he hasn’t achieved much yet. In the three seasons since joining Kiwoom, Jang Jae-young has gone 3-3 with a 9.24 ERA in 35 games (38 innings). This season, he started the season with five starts, but was demoted to the second team after just two games, going 2-2 with a 12.79 ERA in 6⅓ innings.

스포츠토토 In the Futures League, Jang is back in the starting rotation, and he’s showing signs of improvement. His performance in the Futures League is as good as ever, with three wins in five games (29⅓ innings) and a 1.53 ERA. While his four-pitch arsenal was high at the start of the season, it’s been significantly reduced in the last two games (six).

Despite this, manager Hong Won-ki has been coy about when Jang will return to the first team. That’s because while Jang is having a solid season as a starter, Kiwoom’s current starting rotation of Ahn Woo-jin, Eric Yokish, Ariel Hurtado, Choi Won-tae, and Jung Chan-heon has been solid. Their starting ERA is ranked fourth (3.41).

Head coach Hong Won-ki said, “It’s hard to answer about Jang Jae-young right now. Our starting rotation is working well as usual. Of course, there will be a time when we need to rest the starting rotation, and then we need a backup. Jang Jae-young will be one of them. But we don’t need to touch the starting rotation at this point.”

Looking at Jang Jae-young’s future in the long term, Kiwoom would rather watch his consistency than his one-game, one-start results. “Right now, it’s more important to look at the cumulative record than the one-day record. If a stable graph is drawn without ups and downs, then we can think about it,” he said, urging Jang to continue his steady performance.

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