The most talented hitter from the KBO.”
An article calling for the reunion of Kim Ha-seong (San Diego Padres) and Lee Jeong-hoo (Kiwoom Heroes) appeared again in the United States. On the 15th (Korean time), Yadbacher selected Jeong-hoo Lee, Max Kepler (Minnesota Twins), and Lucas Giolito (Cleveland Guardians) as players that the San Diego Padres should target in the 2023-2024 free agent market.
There is constant talk of interest in Lee Jung-hoo, especially among major league Western clubs. Former Hanwha manager Carlos Subero, who knows the situation well in the major league and minor league, predicted at spring camp last February that clubs that are accustomed to recruiting international free agents could eventually step forward again.
In that respect, San Diego is a perfect fit for Lee Jeong-hoo. San Diego boasts an ultra-luxurious lineup, but his center field is somewhat weak. He has Trent Grisham, who has outstanding defense. But his batting is not good. In 141 games this season, he has a batting average of 0.202, 13 home runs, 48 RBIs, 62 runs, and an OPS of 0.674. His career records are a batting average of 0.217 and an OPS of 0.702. Even if Lee Jung-hoo needs time to adjust to the major league, will he be worse than Grisham?
Jadbacher said, “Ha-seong Kim was one of the best hitters in the KBO even before joining San Diego. San Diego could once again turn to Asia to fill its roster needs. Lee Jeong-hoo’s post this offseason is a highly anticipated event for international baseball fans. “Lee Jeong-hoo, who just turned 25 in August, is probably the most talented Korean hitter to ever enter the major leagues.”
Yadbacher said of Lee Jeong-hoo, “He is a true contact hitter with gap power.” At the same time, he brought up the story of his father, Lee Jong-beom, LG first base coach. “Legacy is meaningful in baseball, and Lee Jung-hoo has a famous pedigree. His father, Lee Jong-beom, played in the KBO and Japanese professional baseball, winning numerous awards, including KBO MVP in 1994. “Lee Jong-beom is considered one of the most talented players of his generation.”
San Diego’s 2023-2024 free agent market is in a fog. It remains to be seen whether another presidential drive will be made in a situation where the payroll is already full. The biggest variable is determining the stance on Juan Soto, who is one year away from becoming a free agent. Although Lee Jung-hoo is the right card for San Diego, it remains to be seen whether it will lead to actual recruitment.
If Kim Ha-seong and Lee Jeong-hoo join together starting from the 2024 season, it will be four years since 2020. The two are best friends and also work out together every off-season. Even for Lee Jeong-hoo, who needs to adapt to the major league, going to San Diego, where Kim Ha-seong is, is not a bad idea. As San Diego will hold its regular season opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers on March 20th next year, it is also interesting that Lee Jeong-hoo’s major league debut is likely to be at the Seoul Gocheok Sky Dome, which he is very familiar with.스포츠토토
In addition, it remains to be seen whether Lee Jung-hoo will actually be able to sign a $100 million contract. However, it is true that his performance in Kiwoom this season is not as good as last year, when he won 5 batting awards and was selected as MVP, and that he had surgery last July due to an ankle extensor zone injury and was out for the season, which are negative factors. At present, among the international free agents who will move from Asia to the Major League this winter, only Yoshinobu Yamamoto (Orix Buffaloes) is expected to receive a $100 million contract.