KIA’s Choi Won-jun has been discharged. He will make his comeback on the 13th against Gochuk Kiwoom. The first base and outfield positions are expected to be shaken up.
Before the game against Doosan in Jamsil on the 10th, KIA manager Kim Jong-kook said, “Won-jun Choi can play both infield and outfield. In the infield, he’s been playing first base defense lately, and I think he’s more comfortable at first base than third base. At first, he was a bit lacking in quickness, but he settled down as he moved to the outfield.”
Choi Won-jun was a multi-player in the infield and outfield under former coach Kim Ki-tae. He played every position except shortstop and catcher to maximize his hitting talent in practice. Despite criticisms that the burden of defense might affect his batting, he pushed on, saying that he would eventually improve.메이저놀이터
Eventually, Choi established himself as an outfielder at KIA. After a stint in the infield, he moved to center field, then to right field before joining the team. The team has since acquired Na Sung-bum, and their first base production has been poor. That’s why Choi Won-jun recently caught the eye as a first baseman for Sangmu.
Coach Kim Jong-guk hasn’t denied the possibility of utilizing Choi at first base. Hwang Dae-in, Byun Woo-hyuk, and Kim Seok-hwan have all failed to establish themselves as regular first basemen. At this point, KIA’s first base production ranks near the bottom of the league. The outfield, on the other hand, is without Na Sung-bum, but Lee Woo-sung and Ko Jong-wook have performed above expectations. It makes sense for Kim to utilize Choi Won-jun at first base.
If Choi Won-jun becomes the first baseman this season, it will eventually put Hwang Dae-in, who is hoping to rebound from the second team, or Byun Woo-hyuk, who is more of a backup in the first team, at risk. In particular, it could affect the utilization of Byun Woo-hyuk, who has been playing first base a lot lately.
In 39 games this season, Byun is batting .212 with four home runs, 15 RBIs, 10 runs scored, and a .618 OPS. Hanwha made an ambitious move by giving up fireballer Han Seung-hyuk, but it hasn’t paid off at this point. Hwang Dae-in and Kim Seok-hwan have been dropped to the second team, but Byun Woo-hyuk hasn’t been able to establish himself as a regular at first base. If there is room, Ryu Ji-hyuk can move to first base.
If Choi Won-jun comes back and settles in at first base, Byun Woo-hyuk will have a long way to go to secure a starting spot. However, it’s worth noting that Byun’s hitting hasn’t been too bad lately. He went 3-for-5 with a home run against Doosan in Jamsil on October 11. His average in the last 10 games is 0.333.
Byun Woo-hyuk’s season is at a point where it wouldn’t be surprising to see him drop to the second team at some point. It’s safe to say that Kim Jong-kook has a lot of patience. In this situation, Choi Won-jun could be underutilized once he returns. Third base is Ryu Ji-hyuk’s territory. Barely surviving in the first team, Byun is facing another challenge. He needs to continue his recent good form. A good-natured competition with Choi Won-jun is inevitable.