The Mets' Jiman Choi homers during a spring training game...

The Mets' Jiman Choi homers during a spring training game against the Miami Marlins last month. Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa Loarca

LAKELAND, Fla. — The South Korean first baseman competing for a spot on the Mets’ roster revealed Thursday that everyone has been spelling the English version of his name kind of wrong his whole career.

Jiman Choi, who can opt out of his minor-league contract on Saturday, said that is the best way to write it, with the first name as one word, no hyphen, lowercase m.

In the past, different variations have included Ji Man (as MLB lists it), Ji-man (Wikipedia) and Ji-Man. The last version is how it appeared on the scoreboard at the Tigers’ spring training stadium Thursday.

Really, Choi emphasized, he doesn’t care that much — though he doesn’t know why the hyphen ever appeared, beginning when he debuted in the majors in 2016.

Across parts of eight seasons with the Angels, Yankees, Brewers, Rays, Pirates and Padres, he never said much about it.

But when pressed about the most correct way, the way his parents would want it, he acknowledged that Jiman is optimal. That’s the way it is spelled on his bank accounts and passport, he said, and — less officially — the way it is stitched into his mitt.

Whether this remains relevant to his current team is to be decided soon. Choi, 32, is trying to stick with the Mets. With his first opt-out date looming this weekend, he expects to talk to team decision-makers, who will choose between adding him to the 26-man roster or risk him leaving.

Choi has two additional opt-out chances during the season, he said. That is normal for a veteran on a minor-league deal.

DJ Stewart, who like Choi is a lefthanded hitter, is the other primary candidate for that job. The Mets can freely option Stewart to the minors if they want. He is, however, more versatile defensively and able to play the corner outfield positions.

The winner of that competition figures to be a part-time player, collecting some at-bats at DH.

On the mound

Righthanded pitching prospect Dom Hamel allowed four solo home runs (six hits total) across parts of four innings against Detroit in his first Grapefruit League start. He called it “pretty ugly.”

“Obviously, not the best boxscore to look at,” he said during the Mets’ 10-5 exhibition win. “It was a cool opportunity and I’m sure I’ll see hitters at that tier soon enough. So take it with a grain of salt and keep moving.”

Shintaro Fujinami threw two more wild pitches to hand Detroit a run in his inning.

Michael Tonkin, a very strong bullpen candidate, tossed 2 1/3 scoreless innings to maintain his 0.00 spring training ERA.

Extra bases

Zack Short’s grand slam capped the Mets’ seven-run eighth inning . . . Brett Baty hit his third home run of camp and two other balls at 105 mph or faster . . . A Tigers infielder named Carlos Mendoza singled in the eighth. The Mets’ Mendoza said he was aware of this person’s existence because he sometimes is mistaken for his father, also Carlos Mendoza, an outfielder who played 15 games for the 1997 Mets.


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