“This year is preparation for next year.”
Hanwha Eagles outfielder Choi In-ho, 23,스포츠토토 had three hits against the Daegu Samsung Lions on April 4. He started in left field and hit a single to center in the first inning, a double to right in the second and a solo home run in the fifth. Totaled four outs in the third inning. It was his first three-hit game of the season and fourth three-hit game of his career.
Six games after his three-hit game, he reached a milestone in his career.
On April 14 against the Lotte Giants at Daejeon Baseball Stadium. Game 1 – Four hits in left field. In the first inning, he battled Lotte starter Han Hyun-hee for seven pitches before hitting a triple to right center. It was a single that led to the game-winning run.
In his second at-bat of the fifth inning, he led off with a single to left-center. No. 2 Nick Williams followed with a home run to score the second run. In the bottom of the sixth, he singled to right to put runners on first and second, and in his final at-bat in the eighth, he singled to right. First four-hit game of his professional career.
All four hits went for runs. Hanwha, which had lost six straight games, breathed a sigh of relief with the 8-0 victory. The last place scare was over. At the center of the victory was Choi In-ho.
He joined the first team in mid-August after being discharged from the army and quickly established himself. Playing to his strengths of excellent contact, he is the starting left fielder and leadoff.
“In Sangmu, all the good players from each team gather, and I tried to learn their strengths. I studied vaguely before, but I learned how to fight with the pitcher by thinking about the pitcher’s pitch mix,” Choi said.
From Sept. 29 against the Lotte Giants to Oct. 14 against Lotte, he appeared in nine games at first base. As the leadoff hitter, he went 14-for-34 with four doubles, a triple, and 10 runs scored. Eased the leadoff dilemma, as several players went through the number one spot throughout the season.
He was a little hesitant at first. “I didn’t sleep well because I was nervous and excited,” he said. “I was nervous and excited and didn’t sleep well,” he said.
He’s on pace to hit .300 for the season. Through 14 days and 36 games, he’s 2-for-9 (36-for-121) with two home runs, 10 RBIs, and 22 runs scored.
When I asked him to name his most memorable game, he mentioned a doubleheader against the Kiwoom Heroes on September 8. Hanwha swept the first and second games of the doubleheader and went on a six-game winning streak.
Choi Won-ho praised Choi In-ho’s hitting ability, but said that his outfield defense was lacking. Choi changed his position from infielder to outfielder in his sophomore year at Pohang Steel. He said, “You could say my defense is weak, and it is. I’m doing my best to guide the ball. The most important thing for an outfielder is to start reacting to balls.
“It’s the same. I’ll work hard on it in the offseason.”
He sees this year as preparation for the 2024 season, and his goal is to make the Opening Day roster next year and play more than 100 games.