‘Grandson of the Wind’ Lee Jung-hoo (25, Kiwoom Heroes) is looking to break into the major leagues next season, and his stock is already soaring.
He is now looking to break into the major leagues through the posting system. Right now, the San Francisco Giants seem to be the most likely team to sign him. Giants general manager Pete Putilla made a surprise visit to Gotham SkyDome at the end of the regular season to watch Lee play and expressed interest.
However, the San Diego Padres cannot be ignored. San Diego has already made a big splash by signing Korean major leaguer Kim Ha-seong. What’s more, Kim was a teammate of Lee’s growing up, so he’s the perfect person to help Lee adjust quickly. Add to that the fact that it’s looking increasingly likely that the Padres will trade Juan Soto, and they’ll need to find a replacement in the outfield, and Lee’s name is being thrown around.
“San Diego is interested in Lee,” the East Village Times reported on Monday (April 29).토스카지노 주소
“The goal of general manager A.J. Preller and the front office is to create more consistency in the San Diego offense next season,” the East Village Times said, “and a South Korean free agent could be the answer. Lee Jung-hoo will be eligible for free agency at Stavrig and is expected to draw interest from several clubs. San Diego is also reportedly interested in Lee.”
A San Diego club official told the East Village Times, “We are interested in Lee Jung-hoo. He is a talented player. We’re already discussing it internally,” a San Diego team official told the East Village Times.
Lee made his debut with the Nexen Heroes (now the Kiwoom Heroes) in 2017, hitting .324 with two home runs, 47 RBIs, and 12 stolen bases, winning Rookie of the Year honors. After hitting .355 with six home runs, 57 RBIs, and 11 doubles in 2018 and .336 with six home runs, 68 RBIs, and 13 doubles in 2019, Lee hit .333 with 15 home runs, 101 RBIs, and 12 doubles in 2020 for his first career double-digit home runs and triple-digit RBIs, and then hit .360 with seven home runs, 84 RBIs, and 10 doubles in 2021 to win his first career batting title.
It was in 2022 that Lee showed an upgraded version of himself, batting .349 with 23 home runs, 113 RBIs and five doubles, not only winning his second straight batting title but also setting career highs in home runs and RBIs. This year, he was limited to 86 games with a .318 batting average, six home runs, 45 RBIs, and six stolen bases due to an ankle injury, but there is no indication that his injury history will affect his progression to the majors.
The outlet also said, “Lee has been sidelined since late July with an ankle injury, cutting his season short. However, his skills are already well known, so the injury is unlikely to affect his free agent contract.”
The East Village Times added, “Lee is an excellent hitter and has impressive skill at putting the ball in play with his bat. In 142 regular-season games last year, he struck out just 32 times and drew 66 walks. He won the KBO League MVP award that season after batting .349 with 23 home runs and 113 RBIs. In his seven seasons in the KBO, Lee has a slash line of .340 with a .407 on-base percentage and .491 slugging percentage in 884 games and 3,947 at-bats.”
The media outlet predicted that Soto’s departure from San Diego will have an impact on Lee. “Kim’s friendship with Juan Soto, and San Diego’s interest in him, could shed light on Soto’s future,” said the East Village Times. “Hitters from the KBO have traditionally been rarely seen in the majors, but Kim has shown that he can adjust well to major league pitching this season. Adding him to the lineup would help San Diego offset the loss of Soto. Lee is expected to get around what the Boston Red Sox paid Masataka Yoshida last winter (five years, $90 million).”
Even now, trade speculation surrounding Soto continues to build in San Diego. After spending so much money this year and failing miserably, the Padres may be looking to “trim the fat. Soto has been San Diego’s go-to hitter this year, hitting .275 with 35 home runs, 109 RBIs and 12 doubles, but he’s one of the team’s highest-paid players and will be a free agent after next season, so there’s talk of him being traded sooner rather than later. Soto made $23 million in salary this year. MLB Trade Rumors (MLBTR) recently projected Soto’s salary for next season at $33 million.
If Soto leaves San Diego, the Padres will need to fill a void in the outfield. Jung-Hoo Lee is the next best option.
According to the East Village Times, “It may take time for Lee to replicate his performance in the KBO in the United States, but he’s clearly on the right track. He’s had more walks than strikeouts for the past five consecutive seasons.” “Lee is the son of former KBO League MVP Lee Jong-beom. His father was a professional player for 19 years, so he has a high baseball IQ (Baseball IQ-BQ),” he said.
The East Village Times went on to say, “Defensively, he is rated as a plus defender who can stick in center field. He has above-average speed and decent shoulders. He has above-average speed and decent shoulders, which makes his value jump.” The East Village Times also praised Lee’s ability to defend the outfield.
“San Diego is definitely interested in him, but he’ll be in high demand,” said the East Village Times, predicting that there will be fierce competition for his services. Who will be the winner in signing Lee? It’s already interesting.