The new uniform number is full of ‘challenging spirit’… Lotte Choi Jun-yong “The hyungs also stopped”
“The thing that had the biggest impact on my performance last year was my psychology.”
It is not only the uniform number that will change in 2023. What Choi Jun-yong (22, Lotte Giants) tried to change was his mindset. He is now in his fourth year as a professional who has tasted both success and failure. In 2021, with his first 20 holds in his debut, he rose to the ranks of top pitchers, but there were still so many things he hadn’t experienced. This is why the experience of last year, when he looked at his potential as a starting pitcher, then as a closer and as a setup man, is especially valuable. “I learned a lot,” he said, looking back.
●One year of realizing how to get rid of unwanted thoughts in your head
Last year, the pitching situation was diverse. It was quite different from 2021, when he pitched in a situation within 3 points around the 8th inning. At the beginning of the season when Kim Won-joong left due to injury, he pitched 9 times as a finisher, but after that, he won with a large score difference or appeared even if it was not 7 or 8 innings. At the same time, he had to deal with his ups and downs. The decrease in restraint was also a factor to be taken care of. Choi Jun-yong said, “I tried to throw his arm down to increase the restraint. He was about 144 km per hour, but in one day he reached 154 km, but his arms were strained. He felt bad for himself, so he tried to do everything. After wandering around, I realized what I had to do.” 메이저놀이터
Last year was a lesson. Progress was evident in detailed indicators such as the strikeout/walk ratio (2.50 → 4.50), but I feel that consistency was necessary. He said, “There weren’t many times when I actually felt good, apart from the results.” “The thing that had the biggest impact on my performance last year was my psychology. If you have confidence, that image will come out on the mound. Previously, even in 0B-2S, I put a fastball in the middle saying, ‘If you want to hit it, hit it’, but last year I had a lot of thoughts. It seems that there was also a desire for the batter to be deceived. It’s a shame. This year, I will go my own way.”
●Choi Jun-yong, who chose the new uniform number ’18’ with determination
, received a new uniform with a new uniform number engraved on it. In the past, Kim Dae-woo, Park Se-woong, Lee In-bok, Yun Seong-bin, Hong Min-ki, and Kim Dong-woo wore this number. Number 56, which had been worn until last year, went back to Jeong Seong-jong, the owner before his enlistment. Choi Jun-yong said, “Number 18 was a number I wanted to wear since I was a rookie, but it had a lot of meaning in Lotte. He heard that there were seniors who were hurt or had ups and downs. Maybe that’s why the seniors also stopped it (laughs). I’ll try to break it once. The more motivated you are, the more reasons you have to do well,” he said. Even if you fail, you will gain something, and you will be able to do well because your motivation is strong.”