Choi Won-joon, who is about to be discharged from the Sangmu Baseball Team, plans to join the KIA Tigers first team immediately. KIA coach Kim Jong-guk predicted the possibility of Choi Won-joon as first baseman due to the outfield saturation issue.안전놀이터
The KBO (Korea Baseball Organization) officially announced the final list of 24 players for the Hangzhou Asian Games baseball team on June 9.
Among the national team roster, the name that received the most attention was none other than Choi Won-joon. Choi Won-jun joined the Sangmu baseball team last year and is playing for Sangmu in the Futures League this season. Choi Won-joon will be discharged on the 12th and will return to his team immediately.
Cho Gye-hyun, chairman of the KBO Power Reinforcement Committee, said, “Player Won-jun Choi is currently a member of the Sangmu Baseball Team, but he was selected as a wild card. He made up the outfield, not confined to military exemption. Choi Won-joon is a player who can be used in both the outfield and infield. He got high marks in ball, water, and state,” he explained.
Choi Won-jun wielded a batting average of 0.382 / 124 hits / 6 home runs / 73 RBIs in the Futures League last year. However, Choi Won-joon is performing rather poorly in the Futures League this year with a batting average of 0.216/ 22 hits/ 1 home run/ 10 RBIs.
Coach Kim Jong-guk recently contacted Choi Won-joon and asked him to play first baseman defense in the Futures League. In fact, Choi Won-joon drew attention as a first baseman in a recent Futures League match.
Coach Kim met with reporters ahead of the match against Doosan in Jamsil on June 11 and said, “Recently, (Choi) Won-joon was asked to adapt to the defense in the first baseman position in the remaining Futures League games. Since he had been playing outfield defense all along, he was used to it, so he decided that he needed to practice defending first base. He will be enrolled in the first team immediately after being discharged next week.”
KIA is currently saturated with outfielders. In the designated hitter position, there is Choi Hyung-woo, the solid fourth hitter for the Tigers. Recently, Socrates, who shows the best hitting feeling, and Lee Woo-seong, who has established himself as the starting right fielder, and Ko Jong-wook and Lee Chang-jin, are fiercely competing for the left field position. In addition to Kim Ho-ryeong, who plays the role of defense and pitcher, and considering Na Seong-beom, who will return, Choi Won-joon has fewer holes to enter the outfield.
Coach Kim Jong-guk is contemplating how to use Choi Won-joon as the first baseman considering the team situation. Director Kim said, “(Na) Seong-beom will return, but the current right fielder is Lee Woo-seong. It is true that (Choi) Won-joon, who can also play in the infield, has a higher chance of playing as a first baseman, considering the situation with a lot of outfield resources. If Won-jun can play as a first baseman, he is a style with excellent contact and running ability, so he will be of great help in strengthening the batting line.”
Director Kim continued, “Wonjun felt more comfortable defending first base than third base. As for the third baseman, throwing is also the case, and he himself feels burdened. If you play as a first baseman, you have a wide range of defense because you have quickness and speed. The current team situation is more stable in the outfield. Considering the weak side of the first base side, it would be better for Wonjun to prepare for both the outfield and the infield.”