Dodgers Rumors: International Free Agent Hyun-Suk Jang Likely Signing To Bypass KBO Draft

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The Los Angeles Dodgers went into the 2022-2023 international signing period with only $4,144,000 to spend, which is tied with the Texas Rangers for the lowest bonus pool in the Majors.

The Dodgers nevertheless were plenty active when the international signing period opened January 15, coming to terms with 13 amateur free agents. Among their most notable additions were Joendry Vargas (shortstop; Dominican Republic) and Arnaldo Lantigua (outfielder; Dominican Republic), both of whom ranked as top-50 international prospects for the current class.

MLB’s 2022-2023 international signing period is open until December 15. The Dodgers recently acquired bonus pool money in a trade for the Chicago White Sox.

According to KBO insider Daniel Kim, the Dodgers are expected to sign Hyun-suk Jang out of Korea:

According to several industry sources, #Dodgers are on the verge of signing highly touted pitching prospect Hyun-suk Jang. Jang recently announced that he is NOT entering #KBO draft this year and that he intends to sign w/ #MLB org.

— Daniel Kim 대니얼 김 (@DanielKimW) August 7, 2023

Jang is a 19-year-old at Masan Yongma High School in Changwon, South Korea. He’s projected to be the No. 1 pick in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) Draft next month, but according to recent reports, had already decided to forgo making himself eligible in favor of signing with an MLB team.

Players have until August 15 to declare for this year’s KBO Draft that is scheduled for September 15.

Jang is nearly 6’3, throws a fastball that touches 97 mph and also features a slider, sweeper, curveball and changeup.

Jang was named to the Korean national team for the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China. He’ll be the youngest player and the only amateur on the team when play begins in September.

Dodgers international signings from South Korea

Four Korean-born players have played for the Dodgers, beginning with Chan Ho Park in 1994. Park also was the first native of Korea to play in the Majors.

Dodgers international signings out of South Korea have also included Hee-Seop Choi, Jae-Wong Seo and Hyun-Jin Ryu.

Park (2001) and Ryu (2019) are among the four Korean-born players to ever appear in an MLB All-Star Game.

The Dodgers will further add to their ties with South Korea by beginning the 2024 regular season in Seoul, for a matchup with the San Diego Padres. The Seoul Series is being played from March 20-21, 2023.

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