Lee Jung-hoo (25, Kiwoom Heroes) is practically a lock to make it to the Major League Baseball (MLB). He’s already declared his intention to play in the US before the season, and scores of scouts have traveled to the stadium to watch him play. There’s even talk that he’s already been evaluated.
So, where will Lee end up after this season? The San Francisco Giants have emerged as a possible destination.
“The Giants are keeping tabs on two of the biggest free agents this offseason,” NBC Sports reported on Aug. 28 (KST), “continuing their evaluation of Japanese right-hander Yoshinobu Yamamoto and South Korean outfielder Jung-Hoo Lee.”
Lee has been linked to San Francisco several times before. Bob Melvin, who helped break Kim into the big leagues with the San Diego Padres, is now in charge of the Giants.
“According to a source familiar with the Korean market, Lee will sign with a team that will use him as a starter, and he will be motivated by the patience he will need to work through a potential slump,” The Athletic reported recently, adding, “Melvin maintained a friendship with Ichiro in Seattle from 2003 to 2004 and got along well with Darvish.”
“He also had a strong relationship with Kim Ha-sung over the past two seasons, who is a former coworker and close friend of Lee Jung-hoo’s,” he said, adding that Kim “blossomed under the tutelage of Melvin, who treated him as a starter.”
Of course, NBC Sports’ report was weighted in favor of Yamamoto. “Giants general manager Pete Putilla and vice president of pro scouting Jack Minassian recently traveled to Japan to scout Yamamoto, but they were the only team in attendance,” the outlet reported. “On an episode of Giants Talk, president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi called Yamamoto ‘one of the best starting pitchers in the world’ and said he has ‘a tremendous combination of athleticism, stuff and command.'”
However, when asked about the players on NBC Sports after Melvin’s hiring, Zaidi was cautious about their marketability, saying, “Obviously, they’re two of the best players in their respective leagues, and we’re obviously monitoring what’s going on with them and making sure they’re actually being evaluated,” but not hiding his interest.토스카지노
The outlet went on to detail Lee’s KBO record. While Lee has only played in 86 games this season due to injury, it was clear that last year he put up stellar numbers with a .349 batting average, 23 home runs, 113 RBIs, a .421 on-base percentage, and a .575 slugging percentage in 142 games.
Lee Jung-hoo will try to make it to the MLB through the posting system. Kim Ha-seong, his teammate, also used the system to make his way to San Diego, where he reportedly received $5.25 million (KRW 7.5 billion).
Unlike Kim, Lee’s primary position is in the outfield, but his hitting ability is much more highly regarded. Scouts are more interested in him now than they were then. That’s why it’s believed that Lee’s posting price will be higher than Kim’s.