As soon as the World Series ended, there was a lot of talk about adding new players to the roster. One Korean player generating a lot of buzz is Lee Jung-hoo (25, Kiwoom Heroes).
After being ranked 13th in free agency, fourth among hitters, and with a projected price tag of $56 million (KRW 73.4 billion) over four years, the San Francisco Giants are the latest outlet to point to Lee as a possible destination.
Sports Illustrated (SI) mentioned Lee alongside Yoshinobu Yamamoto and others in a story titled “5 Free Agents Who Would Be Perfect Fits in San Francisco” on July 7 (KST).
“Michael Conforto’s decision to opt-in makes the Giants’ outfield more crowded and left-handed, but that won’t stop them from being aggressive in their pursuit of center fielder Lee Jung-hoo (the No. 9 free agent) this offseason,” the publication said.
He went on to say that Lee is considered the best player in the KBO and provided a breakdown of his stats. He also shared his impressive resume, including being named the KBO’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) last year after batting .349 with 23 home runs and a .996 OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage), although he has been hampered by injuries this season.
Of particular note is his strikeout rate. “He has a career .342 batting average in over 3,000 plate appearances and has drawn more walks than strikeouts over the past four seasons,” the publication said, “In fact, his strikeout rate since 2019 is just 6.5%.”
His defense also makes him a perfect fit for the Giants. “The Giants have relied heavily on the health of Mike Yastrzemski in recent seasons, and if Lee has similar traits to him, it will give manager Bob Melvin more flexibility and injury insurance.”
This isn’t the first time San Francisco has been mentioned as a destination for Lee. Bob Melvin, who coached Ha-Sung Kim with the San Diego Padres, recently took over the managerial reins and has been heavily linked to a move to San Francisco.
“According to a source familiar with the Korean market, Lee will sign with a team that will use him as a starter and will be motivated by the patience he will need to work through a potential slump,” said The Athletic. “Melvin maintained a friendship with Ichiro in Seattle from 2003 to 2004 and got along well with Darvish,” said the source. 토토사이트
“He also had a strong relationship with Ha-Sung Kim over the past two seasons, who is a former coworker and close friend of Lee’s,” he said, adding that Kim blossomed under the tutelage of Melvin, who treated him as a starter.