Third-year free agent catcher Jae-hoon Choi wake-up call

Last year was a struggle, and this year was a disappointment. Hanwha Eagles catcher Choi Jae-hoon, 34, hit 81 home runs for the second straight year in 2022-2023. He had three straight years of triple-digit hits before signing a free-agent contract, but then he hit the “big time” and his numbers dropped. It’s an embarrassing decline for a veteran.

At a recent event, Choi said, “Good players have joined the team. I will play better baseball in the future.” As he summarized the year, he vowed to do better next season.

This season, Chae Eun-sung (33) and Lee Tae-yang (33) joined the team, and next year, Ahn Chi-hong (33) will join them. Hanwha spent a total of 18.7 billion won 토토사이트 ($18.7 million including incentives) to acquire the two players, and also brought in veteran outfielder Kim Kang-min (41) in the second round of the draft.

The team replenished the veteran experience that was lost during the rebuilding process. Choi Jae-hoon, who will be in his 17th year as a professional next year, is the centerpiece.

He graduated from Deoksugo and joined the Doosan Bears as a developmental player in 2008. He moved to Hanwha in 2017 and played over 100 games every season. His playing time at Doosan was dwindling, and the trade was a turning point in his baseball career.

Catcher Choi Jae-hoon was a high offensive contributor.

In 377 games over a three-year span from 2019-2021, Choi batted .288 with 313 hits, 13 home runs, 111 RBIs, and a .396 on-base percentage. Despite a lack of plate appearances, he batted 3-for-1 in 2020. In 2021, he posted a .405 OPS and ranked eighth overall in that category. He was second on the team behind Jung Eun-won (0.407), who won the Golden Glove for second base that year. Among catchers, she was followed by Yang Ji (0.414).

Unusually for a catcher, she was used as a strong No. 2 hitter.

He was able to get a good deal by performing well ahead of his free agency. Five years, 5.4 billion won. The team was rebuilding. It was a bigger deal than expected. He was recognized as irreplaceable.

Coincidentally, he struggled in his first year of free agency. In 114 games, he batted 2-for-2 with five home runs and 30 RBIs. His on-base percentage dropped to .339. It was a stark contrast to the previous three years. The team finished in last place for the third straight year. As a highly paid veteran, I had to take responsibility.

The next year, 2023, was slightly better. In 125 games, he batted 2-for-48 with one home run, 33 RBI, and a .392 OPS. Still, it’s a disappointing performance. 바카라사이트 순위 His second straight year at the top of the order is notable. Backup catcher Park Sang-un also contributed less offensively. In 86 games, he batted just 2-for-29 with one home run and 13 RBIs.

Next year, in the third season of his five-year contract, he’ll turn the corner. The team is preparing and planning for a rebuild in time for the opening of their new home in 2025.

A veteran should show it, not tell it.

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