“I think I finally realized that I have to work hard. I realized that I hadn’t worked hard in the meantime.”

Lotte Giants pitcher Choi Geon (23) was the most anticipated pitcher during this year’s spring camp and demonstration games. In the winter of 2020, he wore a Lotte uniform as a trade from KT Wiz. The opposite payment was infielder Shin Bon-ki and pitcher Park Si-young, and Choi Geon joined Lotte with the rookie nomination (2nd 3rd round of the 2022 rookie draft). At the time, Choi Geon was serving as a social worker. 

After his return, Geon Choi quickly came to his senses and began to throw fastballs that Lotte valued. At a time when Kim Won-joong was unable to join the team due to an injury, Choi Geon was expected to emerge as a strong alternative to Pil Seung-jo. He even said to himself, “I was puzzled because the pace was so good.” However, his 1st team actual stage was different. 5 games, 2⅓ innings, ERA of 23.14, 3 strikeouts and 6 walks were the final results for the 1st team. 

However, due to an unexpected injury, it was difficult for Choi Geon to throw a fastball. A plantar fasciitis injury prevented Choi Geon. Geon Choi said, “At that time, the balance was broken and it lasted for a long time. I wandered more than I thought. It was an injury to a part that had never hurt before. I tried to endure the injury, but it didn’t work out. Throwing the ball in the 2nd team wasn’t easy, so I took a break and calmed myself. I did,” he said, looking back at the beginning of this year. 

Still, at the end of the season, he pitched as a starter in the second team and threw long innings to find a balance and sense. He said, “The pitching form and balance were all right, and I found the flow of pitching,” but he laughed awkwardly, saying, “But the season is over. 

He had no choice but to learn a lot during an unexpected year. He said, “It’s not easy to come back after serving as a social worker and do well. Still, I think I’ve learned on the other hand. I’ve matured mentally as well.” I did. I was lacking and it was my fault.” 

During the finishing camp training, one of the pitchers that coach Bae Young-soo was most surprised and satisfied with was Choi Geon. He ran and threw non-stop during the finishing training period. He smiled, saying, “I also took mental classes with Coach Bae Young-soo. First of all, he trains me so that I don’t think about anything.” He gave it to me. So I really only looked at the center and threw it. Then it went near it.”

What remains now is to consistently remember the teachings and lessons learned during the final training period. He said, “In 2019, I didn’t work hard in December and January, so the balance was broken. I think I have to do it steadily until February, March, and April.” Now I have the feeling that if I do my best, I will rise as much as possible. I think next year I will be a bit more confident.” 안전놀이터

Ultimately, Choi Geon’s dream is to become Lotte’s closer. It is a dream that has not changed since the transfer. “It was not easy to maintain the selection. The position will be decided by the club, but I want to go up from the bottom to the end. I want to go up little by little this year and next year and finish Lotte.”