Even after growing up as an outfielder representing the KBO League, ‘good news’ came to Choi Ji-hoon (26, SSG Landers), who suffered a series of high defeats at the Golden Globe Awards and the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) national team selection. flew
The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) announced on the 6th, “Pittsburgh Pirates Choi Ji-man was banned from participating in the WBC due to opposition from his team,” and “Choi Ji-hoon was selected as a substitute.”
National team coach Lee Kang-cheol (kt) and the technical committee looked at alternative resources in case the Pittsburgh club in the US Major League would oppose the selection of Choi Ji-man, who had a bone fracture in his elbow.
Choi Ji-man is a first baseman, but there was no need to limit the replacement to first baseman.
In the entry for the Korean national baseball team, there are first basemen such as Park Byeong-ho and Kang Baek-ho (above kt) and outfielders who can play first base.
Director Lee and the technical committee chose Choi Ji-hoon, a right-handed and left-handed outfielder who has the ability to hit, defend, and run.
Choi Ji-hoon played in the regular season (144 games) and the Korean Series (6 games) in the KBO League last year.
His regular season performance was a batting average of .304, 10 home runs, 61 RBI, and 31 stolen bases.
SSG achieved a ‘Wire-to-Wire Championship’ that kept the first place from the opening day to the end of the regular season, and Choi Ji-hoon was classified as ‘first-class contributor’.
However, Choi Ji-hoon failed to win the award, finishing fourth in the 2022 KBO Golden Gloves outfielder category. 먹튀검증
According to Sports 2I, the KBO’s official record company, Choi Ji-hoon’s win-to-win ratio (WAR) against substitutes was 5.48, which was 4th among batters.
The first to third batters were all outfielders.
Lee Jung-hoo (Kiwoom Heroes), who became the best player in the regular season, recorded 8.53, Jose Pirella (6.89, Samsung Lions), and Na Seong-beom (6.74, KIA Tigers) ranked second and third.
Outfield Golden Glove winners were Lee Jung-hoo, Pirella, and Na Seong-beom.
Choi Ji-hoon’s name was not even on the 2023 WBC national team outfield list announced on January 4th.
Lee Jung-hoo and Na Seong-beom were lined up with Kim Hyeon-soo and Park Hae-min (LG Twins), who had a lot of experience in international competitions, and right-handed outfielder Park Geon-woo (NC Dinos), who took into account the left-right balance of the batting line.
Choi Ji-hoon calmly accepted the result, saying, “I am still lacking,” and left for Vero Beach, Florida, USA, where SSG had a spring camp.
However, when Choi Ji-man’s boarding failed, the Korean baseball team selected Choi Ji-hoon as a substitute.
Choi Ji-hoon, who was selected for the under-23 national team in 2018 while attending Dongguk University, but had never participated in an international competition dominated by professional players, dramatically got a chance to play in the WBC, where a large number of big leaguers participate.
Looking at the results in 2022, Choi Ji-hoon is not only a major runner and major defense, but also a ‘starting outfielder’.
Choi Ji-hoon, who shed tears before graduating from Gwangju Jeil High School and not being nominated for a pro, went on to Dongguk University and made a leap forward.
Choi Ji-hoon’s OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage), who joined SK Wyverns (predecessor of SSG) in the 30th overall in the 2nd 3rd round in 2020, rose every year to 0.644 in 2020, 0.704 in 2021, and 0.789 in 2022.
Choi Ji-hoon, who has taken off the tag of a promising player, now wears the ‘Taegeuk mark’ that he desperately wanted.