Why is U.S. considered Lee Jung-hoo’s weakness as a “former from the KBO”… in competition with MVP hitters

The U.S. media “Just Baseball” ranked center field players in the FA market on the 26th (Korea time), with Lee Jung-hoo (25) proudly ranking second after Cody Bellinger (28).

In the U.S. Major League this winter, Lee Jung-hoo is considered an FA big fish that can be recruited from overseas along with Japanese pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto (25). Lee Jung-hoo is highly regarded for his outstanding and sophisticated batting ability to win the KBO League MVP last year, and for being a young center fielder in his mid-20s.

Lee Jung-hoo reached an agreement with Kiwoom Heroes on his bid to enter the U.S. after the last season, and the KBO asked the MLB Secretariat to post Lee Jung-hoo to 30 MLB clubs at Kiwoom’s request on the 24th. The 30 MLB clubs can freely negotiate from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the 30th day after the Secretariat notifies the posting. The posting notice is not yet. 토토사이트

The U.S. media is drawing a rivalry between outfielder Bellinger, a former MVP of the 2019 National League, and Lee Jung-hoo. Bellinger peaked in 2019 with 156 games, a batting average of 0.305 (170 hits in 558 at-bats), 47 home runs, 115 home runs, and 1.035 OPS, before falling into a slump. Although he suffered humiliation that was released by the Los Angeles Dodgers after the 2022 season, he successfully made a comeback with a batting average of 0.307 (153 hits in 499 at-bats), 26 home runs and 97 RBIs in 130 games with the Chicago Cubs this year. Just by competing with such a player, you can see how highly he appreciates Lee Jung-hoo in the big league.

If a team needs center field, it is expected that the team will weigh Bellinger and Lee Jung-hoo to reinforce its power. The New York Yankees and the San Francisco Giants are constantly mentioned as clubs seeking to reinforce their outfield. San Francisco sent its general manager to Korea last month and watched Lee Jung-hoo in person at the Gocheok Dome, the home of Kiwoom.

Lee joined Nexen Heroes (currently Kiwoom) as the first player to post his batting average of 0.340 (1,181 hits in 3,476 times at bat) while playing for seven seasons in the KBO League so far this year. Lee is the youngest (23 years, 11 months and eight days) and has produced 1,000 hits in at least 747 games last year. It is no exaggeration to say that this is an ability that the U.S. is paying the most attention to.

However, it is also true that it is undervalued because it was achieved in the KBO League. Justbaseball said, “Players who move from the KBO League to the Major League sometimes take a little longer to adjust. It is not easy to adapt to a completely different style of game during a professional career. This means that no matter how likely Lee Jung-hoo is, he may not be able to reach his full potential right away. Lee Jung-hoo said, “It will be difficult to replace a team that needs center fielder like Bellinger.”

Another U.S. sports media, “The Athletic,” had a similar opinion. The media pointed out that the Yankees are from the KBO League as the reason why Lee Jung-hoo should not be chosen.

The Athletic said, “The Yankees are aiming to win the World Series next season, so it can be difficult to put a player in the lineup who may take years to adjust to Major League pitchers. In 2021, Kim Ha-sung (28) signed with the San Diego Padres while playing in the KBO League and made his big league debut, and he had a harsh time at bat. Kim Ha-sung became a batter who hit above average in the league for the second consecutive year after his debut season, and also won the Gold Glove. However, the Yankees still have many players left in their heyday, including Aaron Judge and Gerrit Cole. Do they need to put their hopes on Lee Jung-hoo’s potential and take risks?”

Lee Jung-hoo is definitely an attractive FA, except that he was a former KBO player. “There are as many as 20 teams that are interested in Lee,” said John Hayman, columnist for the New York Post.

JustBaseball said, “Most of the sources expected Lee Jung-hoo, the KBO MVP in 2022, to sign a contract worth four to five years, 50 million or 60 million dollars. The club that recruits Lee Jung-hoo will also have to pay the posting amount to its original team (Kium), so it will add about $10 million to the final cost.” Even if there are voices of concern, it is a good evaluation beyond Kim Ha-sung, who signed a four-year, $28 million contract with San Diego in 2021.

The Athletic said, “Lee Jung-hoo is a left-handed batter with top-notch contact technology. He struck out very low, and he had 23 career-high home runs last year,” predicting that it would be good to compete with existing young outfielders at the Yankees.

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