For SSG Landers outfielder Choi Ji-hoon, 27, the 2023 season has been a busy and disappointing one.

He was selected to the World Baseball Classic (WBC) team and competed in the tournament last March, and traveled to the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games in September during the season. After the regular season, the team also competed in the Asian Professional Baseball Championship (APBC).

Choi, who has always struggled with a decline in fitness in the second half of the regular season, had an even more difficult time last year as he played a rigorous schedule.

A poor ankle condition also plagued him. In late April, 안전 토토사이트 he suffered an ankle injury that kept him out of the lineup for about two weeks and hasn’t gotten any better since.

After hitting .304 with 10 home runs, 61 RBI, 31 doubles, 93 runs scored, and an OPS of .789 in 2022, his third year as a professional, Choi had a disappointing 2023 season.

In 117 games, he batted .268 with two home runs, 30 RBI, 21 doubles, 65 runs scored, and an OPS of .672.

Choi said, “The national team is a place of pride. I played as a backup at the WBC, but I was a starter at the Asian Games and APBC. “There are so many players who are good at baseball,” he said, “and I learned a lot. It was a year where I learned a lot,” he reflected.

“It’s a great opportunity to play for the national team, but it was tough physically because I played three international tournaments. When I finished the APBC, it was the end of November, so I didn’t take much time off and started working out right away.”

The lack of success in the team left a scar on his heart. Choi’s batting struggles led to him being dropped from the starting lineup in last year’s semifinals against the NC Dinos.

“I hurt myself a lot last year,” Choi said. I wanted to play baseball with a smile on my face every day, but it didn’t work out. I think it’s important to be able to control your emotions when baseball doesn’t go well.” “It’s hard to change your personality. I don’t think I’ll be able to do it until I retire and still enjoy baseball.”

Recalling last year’s semi-playoffs

He said, “I was left out of the starting lineup because former manager Kim Won-hyung made a decision to win. I was left out because I wasn’t in good hitting shape, and I didn’t feel bad about it,” he said, adding, “I was very discouraged. I thought, ‘This is all I can do,'” he said.

“In fact, traveling to and from international tournaments disrupted my body cycle. I had a lot of small injuries, like ankles and knees. It was a shame that I got injured at a time when my batting form was improving,” he said, adding, “It’s an excuse to say anything. Now that it’s a new year, I will train with a new mindset,” he said.

As he aims to rebound next season, Choi is trying to keep his ankle in the best condition possible.

“I’m doing ankle strengthening exercises with my training coach, but it’s not going well. The ligaments are supposed to hold the ankle muscles together, but the ligaments are damaged, so it’s hard,” he said, adding, “It’s important to build them back up.”

For Choi, who is in his fifth year as a professional, the most important thing this year is to be consistent.

“I realized that it’s the hardest thing to maintain good performance,” he said. As I’m in my fifth year, which is half of a decade, it’s important to create my own ‘average,'” he said, emphasizing that he needs to be steady.

“You’re not a starter forever, and you’re not in your spot forever. I never thought I was good at baseball,” he said, adding, “It’s not an easy position, 바카라사이트 so I’m just trying to do what I’ve always done.”

Now, there are many juniors in the team. As his seniority increases, so does his responsibility.

“I thought I would always be the youngest, but now I’m in my fifth year. Now that I’m in my late 20s, I have more juniors to take care of,” Choi said. “I hope they will play a lot and rise up, which is good for our team.”

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