Outfielder Choi Ji-hoon (26, SSG Landers), who was selected for the baseball team instead of Choi Ji-man (32, Pittsburgh Pirates), who failed to participate in the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) due to opposition from his team It showed this strong determination.
Choi Ji-hoon recently boarded ‘Lee Kang-cheol-ho’ in place of Choi Ji-man, who fully recovered from elbow surgery at the end of last year.
Initially, the possibility of selecting Oh Jae-il (Samsung Lions) or Chae Eun-seong (Hanwha Eagles), who share the same defensive position (first baseman) as Choi Ji-man, or Chae Eun-seong (Hanwha Eagles), who have the same defensive position as Choi Ji-hoon, was raised, but the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) chose Choi Ji-hoon, who has excellent defense and operational ability. did.
Choi Ji-hoon was selected for the under-23 (U-23) national team in 2018 while attending Dongguk University, and participated in the Asian Baseball Championship in 2019, but this is the first time he has been selected for a national team composed mainly of professional players.
Choi Ji-hoon, who was nominated by SK Wyverns (predecessor of SSG) in 2020 after failing in the 2017 draft at Dongguk University, showed high-speed growth by being selected for the national team in the third year of his professional debut.
On the afternoon of the 10th (local time), Choi Ji-hoon met with reporters at the Jackie Robinson Training Center in Vero Beach, Florida, USA. He said, “I want to play at the WBC to match the Taegeuk mark.”
Choi Ji-hoon had to swallow the regret of missing the roster for the All-Star Game held in July of last year. However, when Jeong Su-bin (Doosan Bears), who was selected by the coach’s recommendation, left due to injury, he experienced the first All-Star game stage in his career as a replacement player.
Now, seven months after that, he became a national representative as a substitute for Choi Ji-man. It was possible because both times were먹튀검증 supported by skills, but it was also a result of luck.
Regarding this, Choi Ji-hoon said, “In a short period of time, there are more and more new experiences. It’s amazing and fun.”
Looking at it calmly, it is unlikely that Choi Ji-hoon will immediately become a starting player in the national team. This is because Lee Jeong-hoo (25, Kiwoom Heroes), the best center fielder in the existing KBO league, exists in the same position. Lee Jung-hoo is one year younger than Choi Ji-hoon, but his professional career is three years ahead of him.
Regarding Lee Jung-hoo, Choi Ji-hoon lowered his stance, saying, “I once worked out together in middle school, but after that, we have been apart for a long time, and now he has become a big player before me.”
He added, “I want to learn a lot of good things while training with other seniors I will meet on the national team.”
Choi Ji-hoon, who played in all games last year and recorded a batting average of 0.304 (ranked first in the team), 10 homers, 61 RBIs and 31 stolen bases, has a stronger desire to maintain last year’s skills rather than a desire to do better this year. This is because we know that hasty overdoing can lead to anger.
Choi Ji-hoon said, “Rather than trying to do better, I have a greater desire to maintain the same skills as last year overall.” “Especially in the case of defense, people around me praise me, but now my own know-how is only established, and I still have a lot to learn. “You have to keep learning and growing.”
He emphasized, “I’ve been exercising a lot in Korea and I’m still in good condition. First of all, I’ll show a good figure in the next season after completing the national team schedule in front of me.”