“Should I play actively from the first pitch… It’s been bad for two years.” Hanwha’s 35-year-old catcher’s self-criticism, sense of crisis, and endless worries

Hanwha Eagles catcher Choi Jae-hoon (35) brought up an unexpected story. On the 7th (Korea time), he said as above at Melbourne Ball Park in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. He said, “My batting has fallen a lot. What I can do well is get on base, but I want to play actively from the first pitch, and I want to change a lot in that area. I’m going to try actively.”헤라카지노주소

Choi Jae-hoon hit the ball efficiently enough to reach the second batting order when he was a former coach. He picked out the ball well, showed high on-base percentage, and played an excellent role as a link between the lower-base line and the center-base line. In fact, his on-base percentage from 2019 to 2021 was 0.398, 0.383, and 0.405. In particular, he ranked eighth in the league in 2019 and 2021.

However, Choi’s batting productivity has declined over the past two years. In 114 games in the 2022 season, he recorded a batting average of 0.223, five homers and 30 RBIs, 38 runs scored, and an on-base percentage of 0.339. In the 2023 season, he recorded a batting average of 0.248 with one homer, 33 RBIs, 23 runs scored, and an on-base percentage of 0.392 in 125 games.

The on-base percentage recovered to normal, but the average was less than 25% for the second consecutive year. Although the total batting average was 0.258, it was 0.290, 0.301, and 0.275 in 2019-2021, when the on-base percentage was high. This is the point where Choi Jae-hoon worries about hitting.

Choi Jae-hoon said, “I tend to watch and not play (the ball) a lot, but it’s not easy to change, but if it doesn’t work, I’ll try to practice first, and if it doesn’t work, I’ll go back to what I can do.” Choi didn’t mention the specific background or reason, but Choi Jae-hoon is worried.

Although it is the era of ABS, framing is important. Catchers’ coaching and defense are important. Choi Jae-hoon emphasized this, too. However, this era is when catchers with good batting productivity are treated separately. To be more precise, it is difficult for a defensive catcher to receive good reviews in the industry.

Choi Jae-hoon’s batting has been solid, but he seems to need something to reverse the decline of the past two years. For Hanwha, which has poor productivity in the lower-order batting line, Choi Jae-hoon’s revival of batting is important. With Lee Jae-won joining the team, Choi Jae-hoon also had a healthy tension.

Choi Jae-hoon said, “There have been many bad performances over the past two years. The club gave me a five-year, 5.4 billion won contract in the 2021-2022 FA market on favorable terms, but it was not good. As a veteran who is also led by his juniors, I have more to do. Not only are they mine, but I also need to boost younger players. My goal is to do well until the end, even though there are only a few years left.”

The 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League match against Hanwha-SSG at SSG Landers Field in Incheon on October 6, 2023. Choi Jae-hoon/My Daily

Also, Choi Jae-hoon said, “The most important thing is for the team to go to autumn baseball. Wouldn’t the players be better if I do well? Only when the team plays fall baseball can the players gain confidence. That way, you will get stronger and stronger. If you go up gradually like that, Hanwha will become a strong team even without me or my seniors later.”

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