It was a perfect comeback. He played as the designated hitter and did not show his typical wide range of defense, but he led the team to victory with a bat. SSG outfielder Choi Ji-hoon (26) revealed his impressions of hitting hard in the match against the Young Guns and his thoughts on the upcoming Hangzhou Asian Games (AG).
On the 13th, Choi Ji-hoon played안전놀이터 as the designated hitter in the Literary Hanwha Match and flew with 2 hits and 2 RBIs in 5 at-bats. After being excluded from the entry due to an ankle injury on the 28th of last month, he played his first team game, and the start is good. In a match that attracted attention with SSG rookie Song Young-jin and Hanwha rookie Moon Dong-ju, he served as the vanguard of defeating Moon Dong-ju.
He was strong from the first at bat in the bottom of the first inning. Choi Ji-hoon attacked Moon Dong-joo’s 5-pitch 154km fastball and went on base with a left-handed hit. At the beginning of the 1st inning, Hanhwa scored 3 runs, but at the end of the 1st inning, SSG also had the lead batter on base and immediately counterattacked.
The winning point was the bottom of the third inning. While Moon Dong-joo was shaken by his first pitch, SSG turned around with a lucky infield hit. And in the continued chance to load the bases, Choi Ji-hoon once again attacked Moon Dong-ju’s 154km fastball and scored 2 RBIs and doubles. In fact, the moment when Moon Dong-ju and Hanwha were KO punched. Moon Dong-ju went down the mound after being hit by a double by Choi Ji-hoon. SSG, which scored 5 points only in the bottom of the 3rd inning, defeated Hanwha 8-5.
After the game, Choi Ji-hoon laughed and said, “First of all, I’m on Young-jin’s side” about his impression of playing an active role in the confrontation with Young-gun. But today, I went out as a designated hitter, so it’s fortunate that I can help with the batting. I was proud that Youngjin kept saying thank you in the middle of the game.”
He continued, “Moon Dong-ju is one of the fastest pitchers in Korea. So he focused on the fast ball. Originally, preparation for hitting was fast, but today I prepared faster and went in. I think that part went well,” he explained to Moon Dong-ju the secret of the two hits he pulled out.
SSG Choi Ji-hoon is making a hit at the Literary Hanwha Exhibition on the 13th. offer | SSG Landers
Choi Ji-hoon is excellent at batting but also has the best defense. While he was also named in the preliminary entry for Hangzhou AG, the outfield defense among the starting candidates can be seen as the highest level. Choi Ji-hoon, who is eligible to compete in AG as a 4th year professional, has also experienced the Taegeuk mark at the World Baseball Classic (WBC) last March.
When I told Choi Ji-hoon, ‘I think the defense seems to be the best out of the outfielders included in the AG reserve entry,’ he said, “I think that part is correct to some extent. Broadly speaking, there are still a lot of players who are lacking, but when divided by age group, I think they are not behind in defense. I am also proud of my defense.”
When asked about his determination to board AG, he said, “Rather than appealing with words, I want to show my qualifications on the ground that I can go to AG. If I show a good performance in the game, won’t opportunities come naturally? I will keep in good shape at the baseball field,” he promised.
Korean baseball will form a national team with an age limit for the first time in the upcoming AG. A young national team centered on players under the age of 25 and under 4 years of professional experience will be created, and Choi Ji-hoon is highly likely to take the center of the national outfield. His batting average this season is also excellent with a batting average of 0.355 OPS and 0.832. Considering the importance of defense in a short game, Choi Ji-hoon is highly likely to serve as the pillar of the AG national team’s outfield along with Lee Jung-hoo.