This year marks the fifth year of his professional career. Jihoon Choi (SSG Landers), who has been reborn as an outfielder for the team, is dreaming of a rebound.
After graduating from Mudung Middle School, Gwangju Jeil High School, and Dongkuk University, Jihoon Choi joined SK (currently SSG) as the 20th pick in the third round in the second and third rounds of the 2020 rookie draft, and made the first team stage from the first season. In 2021, when the name of his team changed to SSG, he also played as a mainstay and achieved his first double-digit homers and 30 steals in all games (144 games) in 2022, his third year as a pro. He was one of the players who played a big role in the overall championship of SSG.
However, Jihoon Choi has fallen into a slump since last year. His performance in the 2023 season saw his overall record drop significantly from the previous year when he had 124 hits in 462 times at bat in 117 games, 0.268 with two homers, 30 RBIs, 65 runs, and 21 steals (OPS + on-base plus slugging).
The player himself was the one who was more upset than anyone else. In an interview with reporters after the 2024 SSG Landers Fan Festival held at Songdo Convensia in Incheon on Monday, Jihoon Choi said, “Everything is an excuse. What I felt after a season was the hardest thing to maintain,” adding, “I suffered a lot of minor injuries including my ankle. It was regrettable that I got hurt at the timing when I could improve my condition.”
Having to have a busier-than-ever season was also a huge burden on Choi. Jihoon Choi has experienced three international competitions in a year, including the 2023 World Baseball Classic in March, the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games (held last year) and the 2023 Asian Professional Baseball Championship (APBC).
Jihoon Choi said, “I had the pride of Taegeuk mark, but it was difficult for the players. In the case of Asian Games and APBC, I had a lot of thoughts on my own as I bumped into my body,” adding, “After going to international competitions three times, I had food problems and my lifestyle has changed.”
The Jihoon Choin team is focusing its efforts on preparing for the 2024 season, leaving behind regrets. “I started exercising right away from the end of November after the APBC. I took the weekend to Gwangju, but I couldn’t afford to go on a trip, so I thought I should exercise right away,” he said. “I’ve recovered to some extent. I’m working out with my trainer to strengthen my ankle, and I feel the difference when I hit (than other times), so I think I need to make it better.” 월카지노
Jihoon Choi, which is entering its fifth season since its professional debut, has given itself a mission. “The mission for Jihoon Chois in their fifth year is to achieve what the average goal is,” he said. “There is no permanent starting pitcher. If you do well, you will enter the game, or else you will have another player. It is not an easy job to sit in. I don’t think I am excelling at it. I have to work harder to build a career to some extent.”