Samsung and Kiwoom have been plagued by injuries and poor performances from their former first-round picks.
Choi Chung-yeon, Samsung’s first-round pick in 2016 after graduating from Kyungpook High School, was a key member of the pitching staff in 2018 with a 2-6 record, eight saves and 16 holds (3.60 ERA). In August of that year, she was named to the national team for the Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games, where she won a gold medal and received military service benefits.
He was expected to be a national star, but a DUI and right elbow surgery kept him off the mound for a while. Last year, he took the mound 38 times and went winless with one loss. His ERA was 4.70, with the exception of July (2.70 in nine games). On September 25 against KIA, he was no longer in the first team.
In an interview at the end of the camp, manager Park Jin-man named Choi Chung-yeon as the pitching MVP, saying, “She threw more than the 1000 pitches she promised herself and showed good performance in practice. I was grateful that she not only worked hard on her personal training, but also inspired the team to fight.”
He was expected to be a key member of the pitching staff this season, but went winless in seven games with a 4.82 ERA. He hasn’t pitched for the first team since May 20 against the NC. He is currently in the rehabilitation program, but it is unclear when he will return.
Before the game against Daegu Kiwoom on May 25, Park Jin-man said, “Choi Chung-yeon had a certain timetable for his return, but he became unwell again. I don’t think it will be easy for him to return to the first team in September.”
Kiwoom is also disappointed with outfielder Park Joo-hong’s slow growth. Park, who was hailed as one of the best sluggers in high school baseball during his time at Jang Chung-go, hasn’t made much of an impact in the professional ranks. In 81 first-team games, he’s batted just 1-for-7 (28-for-164) with eight RBIs and 13 runs scored. He hasn’t touched base since his professional debut in 2020.
He has been outstanding in the Futures League, batting 3-for-6 (155-for-49) with eight home runs, 29 RBIs, 34 runs scored and 10 stolen bases, but he is just 1-for-6 (44-for-6) with one home run and five RBIs in 24 appearances with the first team.
Manager Hong Won-ki said, “Park Joo-hong is a player like a sore finger. He has high expectations in the club and on the field, but it’s not easy for him to adapt to the first team.” “His performance in the Futures League is good, but he’s not showing good form in the first team,” said Hong Won-ki.
Park struck out in all three of his at-bats against Doosan in Gochuk on the 24th. He was removed from the first team roster ahead of the 25th game against Samsung in Daegu. “From the game on the 24th, it seems that he needs more preparation at the plate,” said Hong Won-ki.