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Won-sam Jang

From BR Bullpen

Won-sam Jang (장원삼)
name also transcribed as Won-sam Chang

BR Register page

Biographical Information[edit]

Won-sam Jang was a member of the Korean team that won Gold in the 2008 Olympics. He was the first Korean to win MVP honors in an Asia Series.

Jang was on the Korean team for the 2004 World University Championship. In the 2005 Baseball World Cup, Jang appeared in seven of Korea's 11 games, leading the staff; he worked 17 1/3 innings. In that time, he allowed just 10 hits and 3 walks while striking out 24. Jang was 1-0 with a save in the Cup. He tied Shinsuke Saito for 4th in strikeouts, trailing Dae-sung Choi, Pedro Luis Lazo and Dany Betancourt. His big performance was against the South African national team when he worked 8 innings out of the bullpen, allowing only one hit and whiffing 13. He tied Paul Mildren for the most K's in a game during that Cup. He faced two batters in the Gold Medal game, allowing one double and a run and retiring his other adversary. He also was in the 2005 Asian Championship.

Jang made his professional debut in 2006 with the Hyundai Unicorns, going 12-10 with a 2.85 ERA in a fine debut. He won Bronze with South Korea in the 2006 Asian Games. In 2007, he had a 9-10, 3.63 record. In the 2007 Asian Championship, Won-sam pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings for South Korea.

In the 2008 Final Olympic Qualification Tournament, the southpaw gave up one run in five innings as South Korea advanced to the 2008 Olympics. Jang was 1-0 in the 2008 Olympics, allowing 6 hits and no runs in 12 1/3 IP, while fanning 11 and walking none as the top Korean hurler in Beijing. He had a shutout against the Dutch national team and tossed scoreless relief ball against China, being used against the two weaker teams in the Olympics.

Jang was 12-8 with a 2.85 ERA in the 2008 season. He was 5th in the league in ERA and he tied for 4th in victories.

On November 14, the Heroes announced they traded Jang to the Samsung Lions for Sung-hun Park and $2.1 million. The other six teams in the KBO filed a complaint, saying Woori was not allowed to trade players for cash as part of a leaguewide verbal agreement about new teams. Woori claimed that there was no written policy. On November 21, the KBO sided with the other six teams and rejected the trade.

Jang allowed 9 hits, 3 walks and 5 runs in 5 1/3 IP in the 2009 World Baseball Classic for the runner-up South Korean squad.

Jang struggled in the 2009 KBO, going 4-8 with a 5.54 ERA for the Heroes. He was then traded to the Lions for Park, Sang-soo Kim and cash; this time, the KBO allowed the deal to go through. He rebounded to 13-5, 3.46 in 2010. He tied Sun-woo Kim for 7th in wins, was 6th in ERA (between Jae Seo and Jung Bong) and ranked 8th with 115 strikeouts. In the 2010 Korean Series, he started game 4 with Samsung down 3 games to 0 to the SK Wyverns and lost to Gary Glover.

In 2011, the southpaw had a mediocre 8-8, 4.15 campaign. In the 2011 Korean Series, he got his revenge against SK in game two, with 10 strikeouts in 5 1/3 inning as Samsung won 2-1 en route to the title. He won two games in the 2011 Asia Series to win the MVP, the first Korean to take that honor. He beat the Perth Heat with 10 K in 6 innings in the opener, then beat the Softbank Hawks in the finale. It marked the first time a team from Nippon Pro Baseball had not won an Asia Series.