Kiwoom Heroes’ Lee Jung-hoo (25) is garnering more and more attention as he enters the official posting process.
The KBO announced on April 24 that it has requested the Major League Baseball (MLB) Secretariat to post Lee Jung-hoo to 30 major league clubs at the request of the Kiwoom Heroes organization. Once the Major League Baseball Secretariat publishes Lee’s post to major league clubs, he will officially begin the process of entering the major leagues.레모나토토
Lee is arguably the best hitter in South Korea, batting .344 (3476-for-1181) with 65 home runs, 515 RBIs and an OPS of .898 in 884 career KBO games. In 142 games last season, Lee batted 30-for-44 (553-for-193) with 23 home runs, 113 RBIs, and a .996 OPS, winning five batting titles (batting average, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, runs scored, and RBIs) and the league MVP. This year, his season ended early due to injury, but he bounced back with a .861 OPS with six home runs, 45 RBIs, and six doubles in 86 games (105-for-330).
The interest from major league clubs in Lee is unimaginable. Scores of major league scouts came to watch Lee during spring training and the regular season, and during Kiwoom’s final home game, San Francisco general manager Pete Putilla personally visited Gocheok SkyDome to watch Lee’s final at-bat. Lee’s overseas agent, Scott Boras, said that “nearly half of the major league clubs have inquired about Lee,” and New York Post reporter John Heyman said that “20 clubs are interested in Lee”.
“Given his impressive record in South Korea and his young age of just 25, Lee is expected to sign a five-year, $50 million contract (about 65.3 billion won) or more,” said MLB Trade Rumors. San Francisco, the Yankees, and San Diego are among the teams that have been publicly linked to Lee.”
The most sought-after player in the Asian market this winter is Yoshinobu Yamamoto (Orix), who became the first player in Nippon Professional Baseball history to win four titles in three consecutive years. Like Lee, Yamamoto, Japan’s top ace, will enter the major leagues via posting. His posting was announced on the 21st of this month, and he is expected to receive a contract worth over $200 million (approximately KRW 261.3 billion).
MLB Trade Rumors said, “Lee will get a much smaller contract than Yamamoto. However, they are similar in that they are both entering the major leagues at the young age of 25. Korean and Japanese players are usually posted in their late 20s and early 30s, but both players are several years away from their prime and have yet to reach their peak.”
Lee has been compared to Yoshida Masataka, who signed a five-year, $90 million ($117.6 billion) deal with Boston last winter. Yoshida, who excelled in Nippon Professional Baseball, a higher-level league than the KBO, isn’t as well-regarded for his bat, but his defense is better.
According to MLB Trade Rumors, “Some scouts believe Lee will have a harder time generating long balls against major league pitching than he did in Korea. Some scouts have compared Lee to Yoshida. While Lee may not be able to stay in center field, he has more potential defensively than Yoshida.”
Fans are increasingly interested and excited to see which team Lee will sign with, as he is expected to surpass Hyun-jin Ryu (6 years, $36 million) as the highest contract for a KBO post player in history.