A batting speed of 180km+ in their 40s… Should Lee Seung-yeop and Lee Dae-ho, the legends of KIA, do something that they couldn’t do

Choi Hyung-woo (41) was the brightest star in the 2024 KBO All-Star Game held at SSG Landers Field in Incheon on the 6th. Choi, who played as the starting and designated hitter of Nanum All-Star, made three hits (one homer) in four times at bat (one homer) with two RBIs and one run scored, showing the most outstanding performance. He competed with Austin Tin (LG) and David McKinnon (Samsung) until the middle of the game, but was selected as “Mr. All-Star” by an overwhelming margin after making a hit until the end.유흥알바

Choi Hyung-woo, who said he had no relationship with major wins such as regular season and Korean Series MVP, seemed not to hate his first MVP at 41. “When I first came to the All-Star Game, I was embarrassed because I was old. My family came, and I made up my mind to enjoy it with the thought that it was my last All-Star Game,” Choi said. “I hope my juniors will feel that they can do this even when they get older. If I can be a model to my juniors, that would be good enough,” he said.

Unlike his humble behaviors, he had sufficient qualifications to play in the All Star games. Choi played in 77 games in the first half and posted a batting average of 0.286 with 16 homers, 73 RBIs, and 0.882 on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS). Although he had a mini-slump from time to time, he overcame the slump well through experiences as a veteran player. For one, his 73 RBIs ranks first in the league, and he was one of the 14 players in the league who had more than 15 homers in the first half.

Considering that he is 41, his performance was unbelievable. Usually, as he gets older, his physical ability declines, and this is often directly related to his or her performance. From his or her late 30s, he or she suffers more direct damage. That’s why many superstar players here are considering retirement. However, Choi is still a player who goes against such laws of physics. He still demonstrates his batting ability that is competitive. The same is true of this year.

Choi had a batting average of 0.302, 17 homers, 81 RBIs and an OPS of 0.887 in 121 games last year. He proved that he is still capable of hitting .300 and getting on-base percentage even in his 40s. Although his batting average and on-base percentage fell slightly this year, he made strong hits in every game and hit 16 home runs in 77 games. His slugging percentage went up to 0.519. We should consider his performance in this season, but he is also ranked 11th in slugging percentage. He has displayed skills that are comparable to those of his juniors.

There are no clear signs of aging yet. He still has the ability to produce strong batting. The home run he hit in a game against Samsung held in Daegu on the 4th is symbolic. According to the tally by “Trackman,” which provides tracking data to nine KBO League clubs, Choi Hyung-woo’s 16th home run batting speed on the day was at the top at 175.1 kilometers per hour, and the highest batting speed recorded on the day reached 183.1 kilometers. The player who can record a batting speed of 180 kilometers or higher in the league is literally on his hands. This is the point where you can feel Choi Hyung-woo’s good health.

Choi, who has already become a league history in some areas, is taking on challenges that even his seniors have not been able to achieve. This is the record of the highest number of RBIs in the age of 40 or older. Even Lee Seung-yeop and Lee Dae-ho, who were the best players in the KBO League and played active beyond 40, have failed to achieve this record.

Lee Seung-yeop, the current manager of the Doosan Bears, was active until the age of 41. Lee had a batting average of 0.303, 27 homers and 118 RBIs in 142 games in 2016, when he was 40. And he had a batting average of 0.280, 24 homers and 87 RBIs in 135 games in 2017, the last season. Lee, who was active until the age of 40, had a batting average of 0.331, 23 homers and 101 RBIs in 142 games during the 2022 season. Lee is the only two outstanding stars that have posted 100 RBIs in his 40s.

Currently, Choi’s RBI pace is 127, arithmetically. Although there is no guarantee that this will continue, there is a possibility that he will surpass Lee’s 118 RBIs considering that Choi’s batting is alive and the team’s batting lineup is strong overall. At least, the record for a 41-year-old hitter has become very likely. Although his career does not include an MVP or a splendid national team title, the page of his career Choi will write is as long as any other player.

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