‘outfield saturation’ KIA, first baseman Choi Won-joon announcement
The KIA Tigers will utilize Choi Won-joon (26),토토사이트 who was the starting right fielder, as their first baseman.
Choi Won-joon was named as one of the three wild cards in the final roster of the baseball team at the Hangzhou Asian Games (AG) announced on the 9th. If the national team wins a gold medal in the AG, the players are entitled to exemption from military service. It is said that it was unexpected that Choi Won-joon, who had already completed his military service in the Sangmu baseball team, was selected.
Regarding this, Gye-hyun Cho, chairman of the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) Power Reinforcement Committee, said, “Team power is more important than military service benefits.” Explained.
Choi Won-joon played full-time as a member of the KIA in the 2021 season and recorded a batting average of 0.295, 82 points, and 40 stolen bases. He served as the team’s first batter, and as a right fielder, he completed 1163 and 1/3 innings. He also played mainly as an outfielder in the 2022 season, which was part of the Sangmu Baseball Team and completed the Futures League schedule. He ranked first in batting average in the Southern League with a batting average of 0.382.
In the Hangzhou AG national team, there are only three players whose main positions are outfielders: Choi Won-joon and Lee Jung-hoo (Kiwoom Heroes) and Choi Ji-hoon (SSG Landers). Choi Won-joon will definitely take a spot in the outfield at AG.
On the other hand, there is a high possibility that Choi Won-joon will be the first baseman for the team that is about to return. Currently, KIA is fiercely competing for outfield positions. Lead batter Na Seong-beom is undergoing rehabilitation for a left calf injury, but backup outfielders such as Lee Woo-seong, Go Jong-wook, and Lee Chang-jin have filled the void.
Na Seong-beom will return at the end of June. Wonjun Choi also joined. Head coach Kim Jong-guk, head coach of KIA, intends to use Choi Won-joon as first baseman to effectively distribute power and maximize offense. Manager Kim Jong-guk said, “Choi Won-joon played as an infielder before becoming an outfielder. He can take on both the infield and the outfield,” he said.
Choi Won-joon played 40 games as a third baseman in the 2019 season before becoming the starting pitcher and played 309 innings. In the 2018 season, shortstops had the most defensive innings (205). He stopped 157 and 1/3 of a career inning even as a first baseman.
Currently, the KIA main first baseman is vacant. Hwang Dae-in, who kept his position for the past two seasons (2021-2022), went down to the second group with a batting average of 0.212 this season. Instead, Byun Woo-hyeok, who was in charge of first base, also failed to show impressive performance.
Choi Won-joon is a player whose batting ability has been proven. He also has excellent running ability. If he settles down as a first baseman, KIA can also increase his offense at this position.
Manager Kim Jong-guk said, “The player (Choi Won-jun) is more comfortable defending first base than third base. In the Sangmu baseball team, he played first base in the latest game he played, trying to adapt in advance.” The KIA in-field and outfield competition is expected to intensify.
Choi Won-joon seized the opportunity to increase his value. As the main outfielder of AG, he can contribute to winning the gold medal, and he can prove his ability to digest ‘multi-position’ by taking on the role of first baseman in his team.