On the day the Major League Baseball (MLB) Rookie of the Year awards were announced, local media outlets were already pointing to Lee Jung-hoo (25-KIUM) as a possible candidate for next season’s award.
On Thursday, CBS Sports named three candidates for next season’s Rookie of the Year in both MLB leagues and mentioned Lee as a “wild card.
Earlier in the day, the MLB office announced the Rookie of the Year winners for the 2023 season in both leagues. Infielder Gunner Henderson (Baltimore) was unanimously named Rookie of the Year in the American League (AL) and outfielder Corbin Carroll (Arizona) in the National League (NL).
“Lee is a speedy center fielder with contact ability who has a .340 batting average, .407 on-base percentage, and .491 slugging percentage in seven seasons in the KBO,” the media outlet said, adding, “If he can adapt, he could challenge for the Rookie of the Year award.”
He also mentioned Kim Ha-seong (San Diego), who went to the MLB after playing with Lee Jung-hoo and won a Gold Glove this year, saying, “Kim showed that KBO hitters can be above average in the MLB. He needed time to adjust, and the same may be true for Lee.”
Joining Lee as a “wild card” for Rookie of the Year is Yoshinobu Yamamoto (Orix), who has conquered Japanese professional baseball and is on the verge of breaking into the big leagues. Yamamoto is already one of the most sought-after pitchers in MLB free agency.
“It’s almost insulting to describe him as a ‘rookie’ when he’s new to the MLB,” said CBS Sports, adding, “His velocity, command, and 안전놀이터 youthfulness are unparalleled. He will be a strong candidate for Rookie of the Year in any league.”
Meanwhile, Lee capped off the season by watching Game 5 of the Korean Series between LG and KT at Jamsil Stadium with MLB seniors such as Ryu Hyun-jin and Kim Ha-seong.