For Lee Jeong-hoo (25‧ Kiwoom), the best hitter in the KBO League, 2023 is a year full of regrets. At the end of this season, he plans to challenge the major league stage through the posting system (private competitive bidding), but it is because he is uncomfortable with not doing his ‘homework’ before that.
Lee Jung-hoo, who conquered the league with batting to the extent that there is no need to list any more records, threw the number of wins ahead of this season. He was already a top hitter, but he changed his batting form to become a better hitter. Although it was an adventure, he regarded it as a process that he had to go through once considering his competitiveness in the major leagues. His performance at the World Baseball Classic (WBC) held before the season was also good. The batting form correction seemed to be completed successfully.
However, as the season began, an incomprehensible sluggishness continued. Although the overall detailed performance, such as hitting speed, was maintained at or higher than last year’s level, it did not work out as expected, with well-hit balls being out and the foul rate increasing. Lee Jung-hoo himself was somewhat embarrassed and fell into a vicious circle. In fact, his batting average dropped to 0.218 in 22 games until April. An unbelievable record was taken of Lee Jung-hoo’s grades.
He didn’t sit still. From May, his grades improved and he seemed to be finding his own. His batting average for May was 0.305, and his batting average for June rose to 0.374. Once he found his senses, his driving began. In his 13 games in July, his batting average was a whopping 0.435. Along with his peak skills, he went on a hunt for two rabbits to improve the performance of his team Kiwoom and raise the ransom. But at that moment, an injury came. The worst happened.
Lee Jung-hoo felt pain in his ankle while defending against Gocheok Lotte on July 22, and as a result of the examination, it was diagnosed that he would need rehabilitation for about three months. It was no different from the judgment that it would be difficult for him to participate in the rest of the season. Participation in the Hangzhou Asian Games scheduled for October has also become uncertain. Sparks sprang not only from Lee Jung-hoo, but also from his team, Kiwoom. This is the part where Lee Jung-hoo must feel the biggest guilt.
His Kiwoom, who showed off his potential by advancing to the Korean series despite adversity last year, saw this year as a match. After the season, Lee Jung-hoo’s advancement to the major leagues was predicted. Then, when this key player was present, he had to bet on the final challenge for the presidential championship. In fact, Kiwoom reinforced his power by signing Won Jong-hyun and Lee Hyung-jong in the transfer market ahead of this season. It was the moment when Kiwoom, who usually had the image of a ‘seller’, became a ‘buyer’ after a long time.
However, after Lee Jung-hoo’s departure, he was unable to use his strength in batting and fell to the bottom of the ranks. After losing against Gocheok Lotte on the 10th, with 42 wins, 59 losses and 3 draws, they eventually gave up 9th place to Samsung and fell to the bottom. Kiwoom, who judged that the possibility of advancing to the postseason after Lee Jung-hoo’s injury was low, traded Choi Won-tae, a key starting resource, to LG and received a promising player and nomination rights. The industry evaluates, “In fact, he gave up the season and entered the stage of preparing for the era after Lee Jung-hoo.”
Although everything was twisted, Lee Jung-hoo’s value itself was not greatly damaged. It is obviously painful that Lee Jung-hoo left due to an ankle injury, but the evaluation of Lee Jung-hoo has already ended among major league officials. I followed Lee Jung-hoo for a long period of more than 3 years and his skills were confirmed. This year, it was a step to check how much we have supplemented the areas that have been pointed out as weaknesses in the future. The opportunity to increase his ransom has disappeared, but this is why it is not expected to have a significant impact on his value at least.
Major league clubs are also showing interest. Numerous clubs have already written scouting reports on Lee Jung-hoo, and among them, so-called ‘big league’ teams that can spend a lot of money are expected to participate in the match. The same goes for San Diego, which has benefited greatly from Ha-seong Kim (28). Local media predict that Lee Jung-hoo will jump into the recruitment battle.
On the 11th (Korean time), Dennis Lin, a reporter in charge of San Diego for the North American sports media ‘The Athletic’, talked about San Diego’s possibility of recruiting international players in a question and answer section with readers, saying, ‘The Padres are looking to recruit players who played on the international stage this offseason. He may try to bring him to the United States, but Lee Jung-hoo, a former colleague of Kim Ha-sung, drew attention by evaluating him as an ‘obvious candidate’. Lynn is a veteran San Diego reporter. It directly conveyed the atmosphere of the club that is interested in Lee Jung-hoo.
Lin introduced that “San Diego sent several senior scouts before the Kiwoom Heroes outfielder suffered a season-ending ankle injury in July.” I’m watching it,’ he said.메이저사이트
San Diego is a representative team that has a deep relationship with Korean players and maintains a deep relationship with KBO league officials. knowledgeable about Asian affairs. It is also considered one of the clubs that closely observed KBO League stars in the process of recruiting Kim Ha-seong. In addition to Kim Ha-seong, foreign players who were active in the KBO League, such as Wilmer Font, Preston Tucker, and Angel Sanchez, have recently been recruited through minor league contracts. This is one of the proofs that he had a great interest in the KBO league stage.
Lin said, ‘It remains to be seen what effect (Lee Jung-hoo’s) ankle injury will have on his market. Unfortunately, that could lower his price,’ he concluded.
For San Diego, which currently has a full team payroll, signing Lee Jung-hoo, who will have to spend a lot of money, can be burdensome. However, the current starting center fielder Trent Grisham’s skills, especially his offense, are not satisfactory. It is also a team that has the right to recruit an outfielder if they give up the contract with Juan Soto. It is a team worth tinkering with Lee Jung-hoo as an option in preparation for various situations.