Ahead of this season, KIA Tigers had high expectations for ‘June synergy’.
It is predicted that when Choi Won-jun (26), who is completing his military service at Sangmu, joins, he will form a ‘wailing wall’ in the outfield along with Na Seong-beom (34) and Socrates Brito (31). He, who was KIA’s starting center fielder before enlisting, uses his mobility to hold the center line, with Socrates and Na Seong-beom supporting the left and right sides. Based on this, KIA looked beyond not only advancing to fall baseball for the second year in a row.
But things didn’t go well. Na Seong-beom left due to injury just before the opening, creating a crack in the outfield. Go Jong-wook (34), Lee Chang-jin (32), and Lee Woo-seong (29), the ‘luxury backup line’, filled in the empty spots and worries about the outfield quickly disappeared. However, there was trouble again in the corner infield. Third baseman Kim Do-young (20) suffered an injury just after the opening two games and missed more than two months, and at first base, last year’s starter Hwang Dae-in (27) could not find his place, and Byun Woo-hyuk (23), another promising star, also experienced ups and downs. Ryu Ji-hyuk (29), who can cover first and third base, filled Kim Do-young’s vacancy, but first base was still a concern. KIA coach Kim Jong-guk entrusted important responsibility to Choi Won-jun. It was thought that his experience playing as an infielder at the beginning of his debut would be helpful.메이저사이트
Was it because of the burden? Choi Won-jun had a batting average of just .233 and 5.0% last June, the first month of his return. His specialty, stolen bases, was only 1. He seemed to be gradually improving his performance by recording a batting average in the mid-200s in July and August, but the figure still fell short of the expectations KIA had drawn before his return. Coach Kim reassigned Choi Won-jun to his original position, the outfield, starting last month. Following Kim Do-young’s return from injury and the birth of another first base resource named Oh Seon-woo (27) following Hwang Dae-in and Byun Woo-hyuk, there was more room.
In September, Wonjun Choi is still going through ups and downs. His monthly batting average is only .202.7. But his organ, his quick feet, is coming back to life. In the game against the Gwangju LG Twins on the 10th, he replaced the injured Na Seong-beom in the bottom of the second inning and succeeded in stealing three bases. Most stolen bases in a single game in his career. Won-Jun Choi looked back on his 3 stolen bases, saying, “Coach Jae-Young Cho gave me a lot of help. He helped me a lot in the direction where the probability of (successful stealing) was high. I just followed along and got good results.”
Choi Won-jun said, “It’s bound to be different from the other players who went through spring camp and started steadily throughout the year, but I think I was impatient to do the same,” and added, “I didn’t think so, but looking back, I think it took a long time to adapt.” He also blamed himself, saying, “As the team depth got stronger and the rankings got higher, and I was in a situation where I had to take over first base, I became impatient. I think I had to show something and that thought led to pressure and I didn’t play much.” At the same time, he expressed his determination, saying, “I want to do my best to help the team climb as high as possible without being concerned about personal records.”
Choi Won-jun will soon wear the Taegeuk symbol and run for gold in the Asian Games. As the national team is composed of young players, the role of Choi Won-jun, who has accumulated a wealth of experience in the first team, is that important. Regarding this, Choi Won-jun said, “I honestly don’t care about joining the Asian Games because the team is doing so well. It’s good because being a member of the national team is a position that everyone dreams of, but on the other hand, I also feel regretful about not being able to play with the team. “I will try to be faithful to my role no matter what position I am in,” he pledged.