The 2023 high school baseball season was a spring breaker. No team won back-to-back championships, and the champions changed every year. But at the end of the season, high school baseball’s first double championship team emerged. It’s Deoksugo. Deoksugo won the title of the best high school team in 2023 by defeating Gangneung High School in the Shinsegae E-Mart Cup in March this year and the national championship in October this year.
It also defeated Gangneung, one of the strongest teams in high school baseball, twice in a row. Duksugo is the only team to have beaten Gangneung twice in the finals since Choi Jae-ho took over as head coach in the last five years. They are also the only team to have won the championship for Seoul in the last five years.메이저놀이터
The advantage for Deoksugo is that next season will be even stronger than this year. The current sentiment is that Ducksugo will likely be the team with the most professional appointments next year. They have a lot of good players. Unsurprisingly, scouts have their eyes on Duxugo.
First off, Duksugo’s Jung Hyun-woo is a potential first-round pick next season. He’s a bit undersized, but his fastball, which topped out at 147km/h this season (according to the professional club’s Speedgun), and his game management skills are exceptional. He has already won the National Middle School Championship with Lee Seon-woo (Chungam-go), so he’s a superstar.
Then there’s Kim Tae-hyung. Hailing from Hwasun-joong, Jeollanam-do, Kim Tae-hyung even managed a no-hitter in the weekend league this season. With a good fastball and a recent increase in velocity (up to 145 km/h), he’s a right-hander to watch next season.
In addition, Yoo Hee-dong, the tallest (196 cm) right-hander in the league, is another option for next season. He’s still a bit rough around the edges, but he has a lot of potential.
Deoksugo’s strength is their infield. The infield is considered to be the best in five years. Second baseman Park Jun-soon, third baseman Woo Jeong-an, and shortstop Bae Seung-soo are good enough to move them to the youth national team. Jun-soon Park is an excellent defender, hitter, and baserunner. In particular, his hitting ability stands out. His defense is also rated the highest among the three. It’s still unclear if he’ll have a chance to play shortstop, but he’s one of the top candidates for next year’s infield. A scout from a major league club said, “The most important thing is whether he can play shortstop. If he can do that, he’s a strong first-round candidate.”
Bae Seung-soo is a player whose strength is his reliable defense. This is why he was selected as the shortstop among the three. In the semifinals of the last national championship, he made a revolutionary contribution to the team’s victory with a three-run homerun. His accurate throwing ability is considered to be his biggest strength, and he has a good physical condition, so he could be a good player if he is trained in the pros.
Woo Jung-an has strong shoulders for a third baseman and good hitting power from his right-handed bat. He has the ability to hit a home run against Kim Hwi Gun of the Whimungo this year. His defense at third base is still rough, but he has the best shoulder of the three. In the outfield, Lee Seo-joon, who was designated as a professional this season, is joined by Jung Min-seo and Park Min-seok, who have similar styles.
Catcher Park Han-geol is another player who is being eyed by the pros. Park’s advantage is that he has a strong shoulder that is still rough. He is so proud of his shoulders that coach Jung Yoon-jin said, “I think he has the best shoulders in the country.”
He also has good hitting ability. The overall assessment is that he’s still rough around the edges, but he’s a catcher who fits in quite well in the era of pitch-clock-AI catchers.
Deoksugo also has a lot of good first-year players. Three players in particular have stood out so far. Among the hitters, outfielder Oh Shi-fu and third baseman Park Jong-hyuk stand out. Oh is a left-handed infielder with a great bat. He caught the eye of scouts in the Seoul Fall League, where he hit in the top of the batting order. In addition, Jong-hyuk Park, a long third baseman who took advantage of Woo Jung-an’s break, has also shown promise in both hitting and defense, making the team look forward to next season. At first base, Yoo Yoo-jae, a first-year left-handed hitter with a great bat, will likely be the centerpiece.
On the pitching side, Lee Ji-seung and Ko Seo-joon stand out after their MVP-caliber performances at the National Championships. The left-hander was also the starting pitcher in the final. He doesn’t have much velocity, but he has a quality changeup and fastball. He pitched 10.1 innings of scoreless relief in the championship game. Sidearm Ko Seo-joon is another player with a reliable delivery who is currently appearing in every game in the Fall League.
Overall, Deoksugo has an even distribution of righties, lefties, and sidearms on the mound. In addition, the infield and outfield are evenly matched, and the team has won two championships this season. All in all, there are no holes to fill next season.
Jung has won a whopping 16 national championships in his 16 years as head coach. It will be interesting to see how many titles Deoksugo can win next season and how many professional players they can produce. Ducksugo is currently on a two-game winning streak in the Seoul Fall League, defeating Cheongwon Go and Gyeonggi Sanggo.
Deoksugo’s true potential will be seen at the Myungmyeong High School Baseball Fever in Busan next March.