SSG ‘Baby Beast’ Choi Ji-hoon (26) can dramatically board the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) national team. Once there is room. This is because the joining of Pittsburgh Choi Ji-man (32) is still undecided. Although the position is different, it seems possible to be selected in terms of ‘utilization’.
Choi Ji-man left Tampa Bay in November last year and moved to Pittsburgh. The same month he underwent surgery to remove a bone fragment in his elbow. 3 months until rehabilitation. Due to the schedule, there is no problem with participating in the WBC. Choi Ji-man is also showing enthusiasm. 먹튀검증
Just looking at the current situation, his position in the team is a little uneasy. Pittsburgh brought in Choi Ji-man as a first baseman. At the same time, veteran Carlos Santana was also recruited. Last year, Choi Ji-man posted a batting average of 0.233, 11 homers, 52 RBIs, and an OPS of 0.729, while Santana had a batting average of 0.202, 19 homers, 60 RBIs, and an OPS of 0.692. As for wRC+ (adjusted scoring production), Choi Ji-man scored 116 and Santana 102.
Santana hits more home runs, but only Choi has the highest productivity. However, Choi Ji-man is not an overwhelming score. He ranks 19th in wRC+ among first basemen with 400 or more at-bats last year. Based on the fan graph, WAR (contribution to victory over substitute players) was also 1.3, ranking 20th among first basemen. After the 2023 season, it is a season that you must do well to become a free agent.
First of all, Choi Ji-man is showing enthusiasm, but Pittsburgh may make a ‘tackle’. Salary negotiations for 2023 have yet to be concluded. You can also go to the Salary Adjustment Committee. It means that the ugly hair may get stuck. Furthermore, there is no way to disallow participation due to surgery.
The national team coach Lee Kang-cheol and the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) are also checking this part. Even when he initially announced the 30-man list, he explained, “If Pittsburgh doesn’t allow it, you can’t play.” It means you are thinking of alternatives.
In the unlikely event that Choi Ji-man fails to participate, another player must be selected. Since Choi Ji-man is a first baseman, he may choose to play first base. Oh Jae-il is the first to be counted. The situation that the technical committee also has Oh Jae-il in mind. However, Park Byeong-ho and Kang Baek-ho already have first base resources, and Kim Hyun-soo and Park Hae-min can also play first base.
In this way, it is possible to select other players. Choi Ji-hoon stands out. Choi Ji-hoon was the player who was worried about selection with coach Lee on the technical committee. Looking at the current situation, it seems that Park Hae-min has pushed back. However, there is also an evaluation that it is optimal as a large runner and large defensive resource. In particular, when it comes to defense, it is one of the best resources in the league as a whole.
Choi Ji-hoon said, “He was not selected for the national team, but when I think about it, it seems correct that he was not selected. He is not in a position where he can go after doing well for one season. Isn’t the WBC a tournament where experience is more important than anything else? A large number of star players from around the world participate. I thought that I still lacked the weight to wear the Taegeuk mark,” he said calmly.
Circumstances have changed. There is a possibility that you can join dramatically. It is an opportunity to gain experience. If you make a big success, it’s the icing on the cake. Even SSG can laugh. There is a sense that one’s future is determined by the situation of others, but the national team is a good place to go anyway.