Reporter Kim Hee-joon = Coach Won-hyung Kim was pleased with outfielder Choi Ji-hoon (26, SSG Landers), who was selected as a substitute for the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) national team.
After Choi Ji-hoon was selected as a substitute player for the national team, SSG coach Kim Won-hyeong said, “(Choi) Ji-hoon’s inability to be selected at first must have been a decision made by the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) considering the composition of various players. Ji-hoon already represents our team. He is a good player and has the skills as a national team member,” he said.
He also applauded, saying, “As it is an honorable position, I hope Choi Ji-hoon feels proud of himself. He congratulates him on being selected for the national team and will cheer for him from behind.”
Originally, Choi Ji-hoon was not included in the final 30-man roster of the national team announced by WBC national team coach Lee Kang-cheol and KBO Technical Committee Chairman Cho Beom-hyun at the beginning of last month.
However, as the Pittsburgh Pirates opposed the participation in the WBC out of concern for Choi Ji-man, who underwent surgery to remove a bone fragment in his elbow last November, Choi Ji-hoon was given the opportunity to mark the Taegeuk mark.
Coach Lee, the coaching staff of the national team, and the KBO Technical Committee selected Choi Ji-hoon, who has quick feet, the ability to carry out operations, and solid defense, as he was suitable for use as a great runner and great defense resource.
Since 2020, when he stepped on the professional stage, Choi Ji-hoon, who has been evaluated as the league’s top player for his quick feet and outfield defense, showed great progress in batting last year. He played as SSG’s main center fielder and played in all games (144 games), with a batting average of 0.304 (173 hits in 569 at-bats), 10 homers, 61 RBIs, 31 stolen bases and 93 runs scored.
Choi Ji-hoon was credited with SSG’s ability to win the ‘Wire-to-Wire’ championship without missing first place in the regular season, and even conquer the Korean Series to achieve a combined championship.
Despite his outstanding performance, Choi Ji-hoon did not receive the Golden Glove last year, being pushed out by Lee Jeong-hoo (Kiwoom Heroes), Jose Pirella (Samsung Lions), and Na Seong-beom (KIA Tigers).
Choi Ji-hoon was 4th in the league fielder with 5.48 in win contribution (WAR) against substitutes based on the KBO official record company Sports 2I. Outfielders Lee Jeong-hoo, Pirella, and Na Seong-beom ranked first through third in WAR, and the results of the Golden Glove outfielder category also came out as they were.
Choi Ji-hoon seemed to swallow his regrets again for not being on the final list of the national team, but he eased his regret by being selected as an alternative.
After Choi Ji-hoon was selected for the national team, he said, “I was able to achieve good results last year because coach Kim Won-hyung constantly gave me opportunities to participate.” In fact, coach Kim, who has been in charge of SSG since 2021, continued to give Choi Ji-hoon opportunities and helped him grow.
Coach Kim said, “I am grateful to the player from the manager’s point of view for saying that,” and emphasized, “Choi Ji-hoon was given an opportunity because he was worth it. Ji-hoon proved that opportunity with his skills.”
Choi Ji-hoon participated in the World Baseball Championship and the 2019 Asian Baseball Championship as a national team under the age of 23 (U-23) in 2018, while attending Dongguk University, This is the first time I’ve posted.
Choi Ji-hoon is expected to become a nutrient for his growth as a player as he will experience another big stage following his first fall baseball last year. 슬롯사이트
Coach Kim said, “In a tournament like the WBC, where players representing the country gather, there are many things that can be seen and learned regardless of whether or not they participate in the game. I hope that the confidence gained through the experience accumulated in international competitions will continue into the regular season.” If we can achieve good results, our confidence will increase and it will help the team a lot.”
With Choi Ji-hoon joining the national team, the number of players selected from SSG increased from two to three. Lefty ace Kim Gwang-hyeon and starting third baseman Choi Jeong-do will join the WBC.
Coach Kim said, “(Kim) Kwang-hyeon and (Choi) Jeong-i have a lot of national team experience, but they will have more responsibility as they are veterans representing our country. Rather than trying to do many things, I believe that if I do what I have done while watching, I believe that I will do well.”