Hyeon-jong Yang...married to Jung Rael, and they have three children: daughter Jieun (5) and sons Sion (3) and Taeeun (2)...native of Kwang Ju, South Korea graduated from Kwang Ju Dong Sung High School in 2007 and was drafted by his hometown team, the Kia Tigers, in the first round.
Finished at 11-10, 4.70 (90 ER/172.1 IP) over 31 G/ GS in final season with Tigers, his highest ERA since 2012... posted 15 quality starts, his lowest total in at least eight seasons... still ranked among KBO leaders in starts (T2nd), strikeouts (5th, 149), innings (7th), and wins (T10th)…did not allow a HR for 27 consecutive starts from 7/22-10/24...threw at least 92 pitches in each of final 28 starts beginning 7/22...season-high 10 K’s on 9/4 at Lotte...recorded final KBO win 10/18 at LG Twins (8.0 SHO IP) and entered his final two starts with a 4.33 ERA (78 ER/162.0 IP), but took losses in each of those last two outings (12 ER/10.1 IP)…Tigers finished 6th in KBO and were not in the postseason in first year with former MLB slugger Matt Williams as manager.
Produced one of the best seasons of his career, leading KBO in ERA (2.29), shutouts (2) and CG (2)…established career bests in ERA and WHIP (1.072), and ranked among league leaders in SO (3rd, 163), wins (5th, 16), and innings (5th, 184.2)…had KBO’s 2nd-best WHIP to only former Ranger Josh Lindblom (0.997)…First nine starts: 1-7, 5.36 (30 ER/50.1 IP)…final 20 starts beg. 5/19: 15-1, 1.14 (17 ER/134.1 IP) with just two HR allowed…won seven consecutive starts, 5/19-6/23, and was 6-0, 0.72 (5 ER/62.1 IP) in final 9 starts beg. 7/30…posted CG SHO twice in the latter span: 8/4 vs. NC Dinos and 9/11 at Lotte…team did not qualify for postseason play.
In follow-up to his MVP campaign, ranked among KBO leaders in CG (1st, 3), innings (2nd, 184.1), wins (5th, 13), strikeouts (8th, 152), and ERA (8th, 4.15)…opened season with 7-2 record, winning four straight starts from 5/2-20 to cap that span…season-high 12 K’s in win on 7/3 vs. Hanwha…Kia lost Wild Card against Nexen Heroes.
Selected KBO MVP after going 20-6, 3.44 in 31 G/GS for the eventual Korean Series champion Tigers…ranked among KBO leaders in wins (1st, 20), innings (2nd, 193.1), strikeouts (3rd, 158), ERA (5th, 3.44), and CG (6th, 1)…Tigers won the KBO championship for just the second time since 1998 (also 2009), defeating Doosan Bears 4-games-to-1…the Doosan team included former Rangers Dustin Nippert and Hector Noesi…Yang was selected Korean Series MVP after posting a CG 4-hit shutout in Game 2 and recording the save in a decisive Game 5 win, when he pitched out of a bases loaded situation in the 9th inning to seal the title…his regular season effort included a pair of remarkable spans, as he won each of his first seven starts (7-0, 1.90, 10 ER/47.1 IP) and had a stretch in which he went 10-0 over 11 starts spanning two months from 6/15-8/15 (2.65 ERA, 21 ER/71.1 IP)…made one start for South Korea in 2017 World Baseball Classic, taking ND in his country’s win on 3/9/17 at Chinese Taipei (3.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R-ER, 0 BB, 6 SO) in Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul…South Korea did not escape pool play in the WBC.