Won-Jun Choi moves to first base, vacant spot again, now time for transferee Geoffo “I have some expectations”

Byun Woo-hyuk (23) will play first base for the KIA Tigers for the time being.

“For the time being, Byun Woo-hyuk will play first base,” KIA head coach Kim Jong-kook said when asked about the team’s first baseman ahead of their upcoming game against the NC Dinos at Kia Champions Field in Gwangju on April 30.

Kia utilized Choi Won-jun, 26, at first base for the second half of the season. Earlier this season, the team used Hwang Dae-in (27) and Byun Woo-hyuk in a rotation, but neither player lived up to expectations. Outfielder Choi Won-jun, who returned from military service in June, revealed his potential for change when he trained as an infielder during his time with the club, and soon filled the vacant spot. It was a change of pace for Choi, who had been an outfielder in his early career, but it also revealed his limitations at first base, as he was primarily an outfielder before joining the military. To better utilize his skills, the Tigers decided to move him to the outfield, which meant they needed to find a first base alternative.

Kim’s choice was Byun Woo-hyuk, who explained his decision to start him at first base, saying, “He has shown stability in defense. There were cases where he was replaced early, but there are still expectations,” Kim said, explaining that he will be starting at first base for the time being.

Byun, who was acquired from the Hanwha Eagles at the end of last season, is batting 2-for-2 with nine doubles (33 in 144 at-bats), six home runs, 21 RBIs and a 0.679 OPS in 58 games in the first team. He was highly touted as a right-handed slugger from his days with Hanwha, and he’s lived up to the hype in a KIA uniform, but critics say he needs to work on his plate discipline and defensive stability. After being sidelined with an Achilles injury at the end of the first half, Byun Woo-hyuk was sent back to the Futures just a week after the start of the second half, and returned to the first team on the 15th.먹튀검증

With a starting spot locked up for the time being, Byun Woo-hyuk’s performance is likely to be a key component of KIA’s infield after this season. With the departure of Ryu Ji-hyuk via trade, the competition at first base has thinned out, and Byun’s development will be an important factor in the organization’s future.

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