KIA Tigers left-handed pitcher Choi Ji-min (20) revealed the harvest he had in Geelong Korea.
Choi Ji-min, who was nominated by the KIA in the 2nd round last year, appeared in 6 games in his first year with a 13.50 earned run average with 1 home run and 9 runs in 6 innings. His average velocity is 141 km/h. Choi Ji-min, who performed poorly in the first round compared to expectations, boldly left for Australia after the season.
Choi Ji-min pitched in 17 메이저놀이터 games for Geelong Korea, recording 3 holds, 2 saves, 18⅓ innings, 19 strikeouts, 8 walks, 9 runs (3 earned runs), and an average ERA of 1.47. He is ready to challenge the KIA left-handed kingdom this year as he climbs to the top speed of 148 km.
After finishing the season in Australia, Choi Ji-min, who returned to Korea on the 23rd through Incheon International Airport, said, “It was a long time, but I am satisfied that I played without injury. It is better to get good results. Last season, I lost a lot of confidence and the results were not good. Australia I threw my ball against the batters in the game, but I couldn’t hit it, so my confidence increased a lot.”
Choi Ji-min added, “The ball speed came out much better than I thought. It seems to be the result of my efforts since last year. At the end of the season, the ball was good, so it was regrettable that it ended like this, so I decided to go to Geelong Korea, but good results continued.”
Geelong Korea coach Lee Byeong-gyu said, “Geelong has many players who have not played in many games, so I told them to do what they want to do and do what they want.” Choi Ji-min also enjoyed the advantages of the Australian league to the fullest by trying things that could not be done in the KBO league.
Choi Ji-min said, “When I first went, I wanted to experiment with something I couldn’t do while playing in Korea. So I threw a changeup against a left-handed hitter and learned the curve from (Jang) Jae-young hyung, (Kim) Jin-wook hyung, and coach Son Jung-wook.” revealed Jang Jae-young and Kim Jin-wook are 1 year older than Choi Ji-min. In particular, Kim Jin-wook is also a senior and junior with Choi Ji-min and a year gap in Gangneung High School.
Choi Ji-min continued, “Because there were Australian national team players in the Australian league, I think it will be easier to deal with foreign hitters than before. He expressed his determination and mindset for this season.
KIA is called a ‘kingdom’ where the present and future of left-handers blooms, starting with Yang Hyeon-jong and recently joining Lee Eui-ri, Choi Ji-min, and Yoon Young-cheol. Attention is focusing on whether Choi Ji-min, who has improved his confidence by acquiring both velocity and breaking balls in Australia, will be able to survive the competition.