Do you wait for June 13th?
Perhaps the biggest change in KIA’s 2023 season is the joining of Choi Won-joon (Senior Director), not Park Dong-won (LG). If Choi Won-jun, who enlisted in December 2021, enters in mid-June, the KIA outfield and lineup may be completely different. In the 2022-2023 offseason, Choi Won-joon’s return to the KIA, which has no clear external reinforcement, is a real power reinforcement.
Choi Won-joon went back and forth between starting and backing in the first team from 2017, when he won the championship, and became a key member in earnest from 2018. He moved between positions and established himself as an outfielder. He also served as center fielder, but has solidified as a corner outfielder.
He recorded a batting average of 0.326, 2 home runs, 35 RBIs, an OPS of 0.808 in 123 games in 2020, and a batting average of 0.295, 4 home runs, 44 RBIs, an OPS of 0.742 in 143 games in 2021, respectively. He established himself as a hitter with double production and solidified the leadoff that represents KIA.
In the 2022 season, Sangmu bombarded the Futures League by going back and forth between the leadoff and the center line. In 92 games, he had a batting average of .382, 6 homers, 73 RBIs, 90 points, 8 steals, and an OPS of 1.020. He easily won the Futures League batting champion, and at the awards ceremony after the season, he said, “I hope there will be more awards for players in the second team.” 메이저놀이터
When I return from military service in good health, it is likely that many changes will occur at KIA. First of all, the current right fielder is Na Seong-beom. If Choi Won-joon returns, Na Seong-beom may move to left field or Choi Won-joon may go to left field. The center fielder goes to Socrates Brito, and Kim Ho-ryeong, the “king of defense,” supports the back.
However, with the joining of Choi Won-joon, there are signs that a trio of people in crisis will be born. They have an assignment to appeal to director Kim Jong-guk for their skills, future value, and use as much as possible by early June. Leading left fielder Lee Chang-jin last season, left-handed hitter Ko Jong-wook boasting a 30% overall hitter, and left-handed gunner Kim Seok-hwan are typical.
Lee Chang-jin had the best season of his life with a batting average of 0.301, 7 home runs, 48 RBIs, and an OPS of 0.776 in 111 games in the 2022 season. He has fully mastered the know-how of producing quality batted balls by timing with the toe tap. Koh Jong-wook played only 62 games because of his defensive Achilles tendon. Still, he wasn’t bad with a batting average of 0.283 and a scoring average of 0.296. Kim Seok-hwan has not been able to establish himself in the first team, but his potential is still the best in the team.
Just because Choi Won-joon comes back doesn’t mean that their chances are unconditionally and absolutely reduced. Choi Won-jun also needs time to adjust to the first team stage again, and the players who will play left field at the beginning of the season will have enough qualifications to coexist with Choi Won-jun. What KIA really wants is synergy from the outfield.