One of the most surprising names on the 24-man baseball roster for the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games announced on Monday was Choi Won-jun (26), who is currently serving his military service with the Korean Armed Forces Athletic Corps (Commerce).
Choi, who literally blew up the Futures League (second division) last year, earned a spot on the reserve roster as a wild card candidate, but he wasn’t a sure thing to make the team. He has the advantage of being able to play both infield and outfield, but he hasn’t played a first team game recently. The fact that he was a wildcard, not an under-25 player, made him a bit unpredictable.
However, the team’s strength and conditioning committee felt that Choi’s versatility would be a big help at the Asian Games, where the team will have a limited roster, and with his scheduled discharge from the military on June 13, he will have about four months to adapt and perform at a high level in the first team before the tournament in September.
KIA was already in a position to call up starting left-hander Lee Yi-ri, who competed in the Tokyo Olympics and the fifth World Baseball Classic (WBC) back-to-back, and left-hander Choi Ji-min, who has been one of the league’s most potent bullpen arms this season. Add to that Choi Won-jun, and it’s expected that three members of the club will eventually make the trip to Hangzhou.
Kia manager Kim Jong-guk was also unexpectedly surprised by Choi’s selection before the game against Doosan in Jamsil on Sept. 9. Kim said, “Choi Won-jun hasn’t played much in the Futures League this year due to injury. I think coach Ryu Jung-il thought a little more about his previous good performance and selected him.” “Lee Yi-ri honestly thought I would be selected as well. Choi Ji-min was playing well for the first time this year, so I honestly thought it was about half and half.”
Choi Won-jun will be discharged from the army on June 12 and will join the team on June 13 against Gochuk Kiwoom. He’s a player the team could use in a pinch. Currently, KIA has a problem in the outfield without Na Sung-bum and an offensive problem at first base. Choi Won-jun has experience in both the outfield and infield. In recent years, he’s been playing first base in the Futures League, preparing for his post-military career.
먹튀검증 “He played the outfield for about two seasons before he went to the military, but before that, he played the outfield, he played first base, he played everything. He can also play first base now, which fits our team. I can play multiple spots, infield and outfield.”
In any case, the loss of three key players at the end of the season, when the race for the top spot will be fierce, is something the team needs to be prepared for. For now, there are no players who can replace Lee Yi-ri and Choi Ji-min in the current roster. “It’s not like we’re missing two middle players or two starters, but it’s better. I hope that we can do well and come back with a gold medal or a good game as we aimed for. We will have to think about the gap a little bit from the month of August.”