From BR Bullpen
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 190 lb.
- High School Yonghung High School
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 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.