’48 Holds ERA 3.50′ with a Taeguk mark… Can Lotte and Choi Jun-yong both be happy?


“I want to play baseball so I don’t get sick and have fun”

Jun-yong Choi is a pitcher the Lotte Giants have high hopes for, having been selected with the first overall pick in the 2020 KBO Draft and showing promise in his debut with a 2-8 record and 4.85 ERA. With a fastball that touches 150 kilometers, Choi has established himself as a solid “backbone” for Lotte, going 4-1 with a 2.85 ERA and 20 saves in 2021. The ‘must-win group’ of Choi Jun-yong, Koo Seung-min, and Kim Won-joong is considered the ‘best’ among the 10 clubs.

Choi served as Lotte’s ‘back door’ while ‘long-haired closer’ Kim Won-joong was sidelined with an injury at the start of the 2022 season, and has since built a solid foundation with a 3-4 record, six shutouts, and 14 saves in 68 appearances. His ERA spiked to 4.06, but that didn’t seem to be a hindrance, and he continued to improve this season, going 2-3 with a 2.45 ERA in 47 appearances. As a result, he was named to the Asian Professional Baseball Championship (APBC) squad.

Choi has been training with the team at Samsung Lions Park in Daegu for the past six days in preparation for the tournament, but there’s something else that has garnered more attention than his first senior national team call-up. It’s about the transformation of Choi Jun-yong into a ‘batsman’. Before joining the APBC team, Choi had started to pick up a bat at Lotte’s final camp at Sangdong Stadium in Gimhae. This was a big deal, as he had a 9-11 record with 48 saves and a 3.50 ERA in four seasons as a pitcher.

When asked how he felt about joining the APBC team, Choi said, “It’s good to be with good players. I’ll try to learn a lot from them,” he said, adding, “(My brother) Gyun-an told me, ‘If you go to an international tournament, you’ll improve a lot in terms of skill and mindset.’ It’s my first time since the youth national team. It’s my first time since the youth national team, and I think I’m remembering a lot of that. The team did well at the Asian Games, so there will be high expectations for the APBC, and I hope we don’t disappoint,” he smiled. 무지개토토 도메인

With the news of his transformation into a ‘batsman’, he was inevitably asked about it. At the time, Choi Jun-yong said, “I’ll answer if I do,” and added, “I’ve made up my mind, but I have to pitch in the APBC. I will focus on pitching. If I’m a hitter, I’ll try to be better than a pitcher. However, the team will make the decision, so for now, I’ll do my best for the APBC,” he said.

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