“First overall pick in the 2nd draft, value recognized”… Excluding 35 protected players → Positive views of 4.2 billion big-name infielders from SSG

“I think I was recognized for my value because I nominated you as the number one overall.”

Choi Joo-hwan (36), a veteran infielder who became the No. 1 overall pick in the second KBO draft held on Nov. 22 last year, said through his club that he was surprised by the sudden decision. “I received a lot of calls as well. Now that I am joining a new club, I am trying to adapt well.”

In 2006, Choi received the Doosan Bears’ nomination as the 46th player in the second round of the sixth round, achieving his dream of professional debut. After playing for Doosan for more than 10 years, he acquired his first free agent qualification after the end of the 2020 season, and signed a four-year contract worth 4.2 billion won (down payment of 1.2 billion won, annual salary of 2.6 billion won, option of 400 million won) with SSG.

He had 104 hits in 116 games, 18 homers, 67 RBIs and 50 runs in the 2021 season, the first season of his transfer to the Doosan Bears. However, he played in 97 games in the 2022 season, and his record was not good with 63 hits, nine homers, 41 RBIs and 38 runs. He had a batting average of 0.235 in the 2023 season, but displayed slugging capability with 100 hits, 20 homers, 63 RBIs and 48 runs. After 26 homers in the 2018 season, he hit 20 homers in five years and his second career 20 homers.

He has a batting average of 0.279 1048 hits, 115 homers, 594 RBIs and 513 runs in 1,268 KBO games.

Kiwoom manager Hong Won-ki said, “I recruited him based on his offense. I expect many RBIs. I will give many thoughts, but I am trying to establish myself as a batting order where I can post many RBIs. I can see both first and second basemen and designated hitters. I think the positions will change depending on players’ plans.”

“It’s new to be raised. Now that I’m in a young team, I feel like I’ve become younger. If I adapt well, I feel like I can do it in a good environment and energy,” Choi told reporters before leaving Korea.

“Everything is new. Now I use Dome Stadium as my home stadium. Also, commuting time is 30-40 minutes more than before. There was a cancellation game when it rained, but now there is no more. I have to adjust to the ground, and a lot of things feel new,” he said.

Since it is Choi Joo-hwan, who is in his 19th professional season, even if it is a new team, there are more players who know than those who don’t know.

“There are (Lee) Won-seok and (Kim) Hye-sung and (Cho) Sang-woo who were together at the Tokyo Olympics. (Kim) Jae-woong, who we talked to for a long time, also talked to each other comfortably. I thought there were many juniors I didn’t know, but there are more juniors I know. I was talking to (Lee) Hyung-jong earlier, and he said there were more people who didn’t know. I think it’s important to adapt well to Arizona,” he said with a smile.

Kiwoom is an unknown team. He is always called a low-ranked candidate, but he always showed better-than-expected performance. Choi Joo-hwan also knew the power of Kiwoom, which he faced while playing for Doosan and SSG.

“Kium has many young players and has always been a tricky team to raise. Looking back from the time when I was with the Nexen Heroes, the team produced many major leaguers and had many good players. It was a team that never gave up,” Choi said. “Last season, the team ranked 10th, but experiencing failures gives us the driving force to grow. I think we will do well this season 헤라카지노.”

I couldn’t help but talk about the second draft. Rumors that veteran infielder Choi Joo-hwan, who has one shot, was excluded from the 35-member SSG protection list spread even before the draft began, and this was true. Kiwoom was the first to call Choi Joo-hwan to strengthen his batting.

Choi Joo-hwan said, “At that time, Kiwoom was not heard at all. However, he was nominated as the No. 1 overall. His value was recognized. I think it has more positive meaning than negativity.”

“Actually, I was grateful that many teams mentioned it. I think this is the individual value of a player, but I will prove myself step by step this season. I also want to do well to re-qualify as an FA after this season,” he added.

Finally, Choi said, “I have a goal that I personally set, but I won’t say it. I like the results better in this season than in words to convey the goals that I always set. I trust myself again this time, and I will not be swayed under any circumstances. I will do my best to finish the 144-game long-term race with a good report card.”

The Kiwoom team will hold spring camps in Arizona and Kaohsiung in Taiwan for a total of 38 days until March 6 in preparation for the 2024 season. The team will take a three-day break from Feb. 1 to Feb. 14 at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Arizona. The team plans to focus on basic training and strengthen its physical condition.

After the U.S. camp, the team will move to Taiwan on Feb. 15 and continue its training from Feb. 18 to March 5 at Borders Qingpu Baseball Stadium in Kaohsiung. The team will play six practice games with Taiwanese professional baseball teams, including the Zhongxin Brothers and the Tung Lions, to adjust their sense of play in real games.

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