On July 29, LG Baseball’s right-hander Choi Won-tae left Kiwoom with the title of “championship hitter” and donned the Twins’ stripes. In exchange for the Korean ace, LG gave up the team’s No. 1 baseball prospect, Lee Ju-hyung, pitching prospect Kim Dong-gyu, and a first-round draft pick next season.
Choi Won-tae made a splash as LG’s starter. On July 30, the day after the trade was announced, he recorded his first win with a six-inning, two-hit shutout against Doosan in Jamsil.
Considering that, his subsequent outings were more of a downward spiral. Choi went 1-2 with a 10.13 ERA in six starts, starting on August 5 against the Daegu Samsungs. He also pitched 26.2 innings in that span, with a WHIP (walks allowed per inning) of 2.18.
Choi was then sent down to the second team for an adjustment period after giving up seven runs on eight hits in 2.2 innings against the KIA in Gwangju on April 10. On the 24th, he took the mound against Jamsil Hanwha, striking out eight in seven innings of work, allowing one run on six hits to lead the team to a 5-1 victory and improve to 9-6 on the season.
Choi gave up a run in the fifth inning to Hanwha’s Lee Jin-young on a thunderous solo home run to left-center field with the score 2-1, but overcame the setback by changing his “winning shot” as the game progressed.
In a postgame interview, Choi introduced some of the changes he made for his comeback. One of them was to increase his two-seam fastball ratio again. Until last year, Choi had been pitching with a two-seam fastball that emphasized end-of-ball movement rather than velocity, but this season, he has been using his powerful four-seam fastball more and more, which has helped him improve his overall performance.
However, after a recent slump that sent him down to the Futures League to recover, he decided to use a little more variety with his two fastballs and changeup. In fact, he threw 92 pitches on the day, with 42 fastballs checked off as thrown, which is roughly the same as the number of two-seamers the analytics lab categorized (9), suggesting that he used more two-seamers.
Another pitch that Choi emphasized was his off-speed curveball. He only threw 10 curveballs, mostly as deciding pitches. It’s a change of pace from the four-seam fastball, changeup, and slider.
Won-tae Choi changed his pitches as the game progressed. For example, in the first inning against Lee Jin-young, he threw a two-seam, two-seam, slider-curveball for a swinging strikeout, and in the seventh inning against Lee Jin-young for the third out, he threw a curveball-curveball-four-seam-four-seam-four-seam-four-seam for a strikeout.토토사이트
Choi said, “In the second team, pitching coach Kyung Hun-ho told me to use my two-seam a little more. Coach Shin Jae-woong (rehabilitation team) also gave me advice that it would be okay to use my arm angle naturally,” he said. “I actually did that in the game. I thought I should use more curves,” he said.
Choi Won-tae had a different take on his performance. “I don’t feel like I’m good yet. I will prepare more,” he said. It remains to be seen how much more he can push his pace in the future. However, after flying high and then falling, Choi Won-tae is back on his feet.
Meanwhile, in Gwangju, KT rallied from a 1-1 deficit in the ninth inning with a two-run homer by Park Kyung-soo to beat KIA 3-2 and move into second place. In Munhak, Lotte swept a busy SSG, 8-1, on its way to a best-of-five fight.