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Hyang-nam Choi

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Hyang-nam Choi

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 2", Weight 190 lb.

BR Minors page

Hyang-nam Choi is a pitcher who has spent two decades in pro baseball. He had a sub-.500 record from 1990 through 2005 before getting a shot in the USA, where he pitched very well at AAA for one year. He returned to Korea for two seasons, then had a strong 2009 in AAA.

Choi debuted with his hometown Haitai Tigers in 1990, walking 7 and allowing 10 hits and 10 runs in 5 1/3 IP, going 0-1. He did not resurface with Haitai until 1995, when the 24-year-old went 0-5 with a 3.86 ERA. In 1996, Choi was 1-0 with a 4.88 ERA. The next year, he moved to the LG Twins and emerged as an effective pitcher, going 8-3 with a 2.99 ERA.

In 1998, Choi's record was 12-12, 3.63 as he had his best season in terms of wins. He followed with a 8-5, 4.26 campaign. During the 2000 season, he went 4-7 with 5 saves and a 3.46 ERA, striking out 80 in 78 IP. He only pitched 3 games in 2001, going 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA.

Choi bounced back in 2002, with a 7-9, 4.46 season. He missed all of 2003 with a shoulder injury and was released by the Twins.

In 2004, Choi signed with the KIA Tigers and was 2-1 with a 3.57 ERA. He had several appearances at tryouts run by Major League Baseball by no one picked him up and he returned to KIA, going 2-5 with one save and a 4.10 ERA in 2005.

In October of 2005, Choi returned to the US for more tryouts and this time, drew the interest of the Cleveland Indians and was signed. He had a very good year with the Buffalo Bisons, going 8-5 with a 2.37 ERA. He struck out 103 in 106 1/3 IP, walking 35. Used as a starter and reliever, Choi did not get a call-up to the majors despite his success.

In 2007, Choi was picked up by the Lotte Giants. He went 5-12 with a 5.00 ERA in 2007, then improved to 2-4 with 9 saves and a 3.58 ERA in 2008. Choi allowed 36 hits in 50 1/3 IP.

In 2009, Choi signed an unusual monthly contract with the St. Louis Cardinals. In spring training 2009, Choi was released and then signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He had a very good 2009 with the Albuquerque Isotopes, going 9-2 with a 2.34 ERA in 33 games, striking out 77 in 57 2/3 IP.

Sources: KBO player page, Korean wikipedia entry, two Korea Times articles, [1]

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