Even the New York Yankees, one of the best teams in the Major League, cannot easily guarantee the recruitment of Lee Jung-hoo 25, Kiwoom Heroes. That’s the value of Lee Jung-hoo, a former KBO MVP. 사설토토
The New York Post, a U.S. media outlet, said on the 24th, The current situation of the New York Yankees chasing outfield is full of doubts and competition, adding, The Yankees also inquired about Lee Jung-hoo, a center fielder of South Korea who is only 24 years old. But there are as many as 20 teams following him, he said.
As Lee Jung-hoo’s Major League posting is imminent, the enthusiasm for recruitment is gradually heating up. According to Kiwoom officials, Lee Jung-hoo’s posting is known to be until early December at the latest after Thanksgiving in the United States.
Yankees are one of the major teams looking for outfielders, especially center field, in the FA market, and have been consistently mentioned as the team that Lee Jung-hoo will go to. Currently, none of the Yankees outfield is certain except right fielder Aaron Judge. In such a situation, Lee Jung-hoo, who can expect excellent contact skills and above-average center field defense, is attractive.
Another media outlet, MLB Trade Rumors, condensed the team seeking Lee Jung-hoo into the Yankees and San Francisco Giants, saying, It is not surprising that the Yankees and San Francisco teams are interested in Lee Jung-hoo, according to MLB Network’s John Morosi. The two teams worked on scouting him, who was playing in the KBO League, and it fits their goals this winter, he explained.
Lee Jung-hoo, who joined Nexen Heroes currently Kiwoom as the first draft pick in 2017, recorded a batting average of 0.340 in 884 games in seven seasons, 515 RBIs, 581 runs and 69 steals, and a 0.407 slugging percentage of 0.491 OPS 0.898. In particular, in the 2022 season, he won the MVP with a batting average of 0.349 23 home runs and 113 RBIs with an OPS of 0.996, and ranked first in batting average among active players with more than 3,000 at-bats. However, he played only 86 games this season due to injury, leaving a batting average of 0.318, six home runs and 45 RBIs with an OPS of 0.861.
Nevertheless, MLB Trade Rumors said, Lee Jung-hoo was out of the season in early July due to ankle surgery, but he went through three months of rehabilitation and is not expected to affect next year’s spring camp, adding, Lee Jung-hoo will still be a goal for various teams and is unusually young for an FA player. There may be differences among teams on whether Lee Jung-hoo will play as a center fielder in the Major League, but others praise his contact ability and strike zone recognition ability. If the club judges that Lee Jung-hoo had a better defense in the corner outfield, Lee Jung-hoo’s average edge power will be more alarming, he analyzed.
As Lee Jung-hoo is considered to be attractive to any team, the Yankees cannot be relieved by the premium of being the most winning team in the Major League. However, other targets cannot be relieved. In addition to Lee Jung-hoo, FA Cody Bellinger and Juan Soto 25, San Diego Padres are aiming to trade, but it is not easy.
The New York Post said, The Yankees are also interested in Soto and like FA Cody Bellinger, but added, Some people are worried about the percentage of Bellinger’s batting average after the spectacular season. Bellinger, a left-handed hitter, returned to center field with a .306 batting average after years of injury and is a perfect fit for the Yankees. However, some analyses certainly work against him, he said.
Bellinger seemed to be on a roll in 2019 when he was with the Los Angeles Dodgers, winning the National League MVP with 47 home runs and OPS 1.035. Since then, due to injuries and sluggishness, he has recorded only 41 combined home runs from 2020 to 2022, completely falling. However, he signed a one-year contract with the Chicago Cubs after his release from the Los Angeles Dodgers, and has rebounded to some extent this year with a batting average of 0.307 in 130 games, 26 homers, 97 RBIs and 20 stolen bases, and an OPS of 0.881.
Kim Ha-sung’s teammate Soto also rebounded perfectly this year with a batting average of 0.275 in 162 games, 35 home runs, 109 RBIs and 12 steals, and an OPS of 0.930. However, the team’s total annual salary has been put up for trade with a year left until the FA due to the team’s situation in San Diego, which is nearing luxury tax.