Interest in ‘genius hitter’ Lee Jeong-hoo (25, Kiwoom Heroes), who is aiming to advance to the U.S. Major League this winter, is increasing. In particular, the general manager of the San Francisco Giants, who are considered one of the candidates for recruitment, also praised Lee Jung-hoo and did not deny his keen interest in him. In fact, they declared a competition to recruit Lee Jeong-hoo.
On the 6th (Korean time), the podcast ‘Giants Talk’ operated by ‘NBC Sports Bay Area’ released an interview with San Francisco Baseball Operations President Farhan Zaidi. In a one-on-one interview, reporter Alex Pavlovich asked President Zaidi how much interest there was in Japanese pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto (Orix Buffaloes) and Korean outfielder Lee Jeong-hoo, both of whom are entering the major league free agent market this winter.
Mayor Zaidi said, “They are both really great players. Jeong-hoo Lee’s success with the San Diego Padres, along with his teammate Ha-seong Kim during his time in Korea, will likely raise his profile further. We visited Korea several times and learned a lot about Lee Jeong-hoo. “He missed a lot of time in the second half of the season due to injury, but we expect him to get healthy.”
Last February, San Francisco visited Kiwoom and the World Baseball Classic (WBC) national team camp set up in Arizona, USA, and observed Lee Jeong-hoo from close range. Even after the season opened, high-ranking officials visited Korea and continued scouting work for Lee Jeong-hoo. As the batting line needs to be strengthened and the outfield is weak, it was selected as a team that would be highly interested in Lee Jeong-hoo, and President Zaidi also acknowledged this in an interview that day.
On the 29th of last month, ‘The Athletic’ reported, ‘In the free agent market, center fielder Cody Bellinger (Chicago Cubs) and 25-year-old center fielder Lee Jeong-hoo, who won last year’s KBO MVP, are the few fielders that San Francisco wants.’ We have reported that San Francisco is looking for an outstanding fielder. Lee Jeong-hoo, who is young in his mid-20s and possesses speed, is the perfect fit for the type of player San Francisco needs.
It is also noteworthy that President Zaidi even mentioned Kim Ha-seong. President Zaidi, who also noticed that the two players worked together for four years at Kiwoom from 2017 to 2020, believed that Kim Ha-seong’s success in the major league would also have a positive impact on Lee Jung-hoo, as they are from the same KBO league although their positions are different.토토사이트
President Zaidi also spoke about Japan’s best pitcher Yamamoto along with Lee Jeong-hoo, saying, “He is one of the best starting pitchers in the world. “It may sound like an exaggeration, but it is by no means an exaggeration,” he said. “Both Yamamoto and Lee Jung-hoo will attract the attention of major league teams.” He revealed that he is preparing to compete for recruitment by saying, “I think it will be posted within a few months and I am working on it.”
If San Francisco recruits Lee Jeong-hoo, it is highly likely that it will be a large, long-term contract. President Zaidi predicted an aggressive bet, saying, “We want to increase the stability of players who will be with us for a long time,” and “If we see a player we need in the field field and are given the opportunity to recruit him, we will take it with a very open mind.”
San Francisco is a team in desperate need of change. This year, they finished fourth in the National League West Division with 79 wins and 83 losses (a winning percentage of .488), and fall baseball was frustrated for the second year in a row. On the 30th of last month, with the team’s elimination from the postseason confirmed, they fired coach Gabe Kapler, who had one more year left on his contract, and began a full-fledged reform of the team.
Their pitching ability was not bad, ranking 11th in ERA (4.02) out of 30 teams this year, but their offense was very weak, ranking 28th in team batting average (.235) and 26th in OPS (.695). The team was also unable to cope with changes in league regulations, such as enlarging the size of the base, to the point where it ranked 30th (57) in stolen bases. You can’t help but be attracted to Lee Jeong-hoo, who has accuracy, good eye, and mobility.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Major League Trade Rumors (MLBTR), which reported President Zaidi’s interview, also said on the same day, “Lee Jung-hoo does not have a high level of recognition like Yamamoto, and his price is expected to be much lower, but it is a good contract because it is an off-season where there is a shortage of premium free agent fielders.” ‘We will be able to reach a conclusion,’ he predicted.
He continued, ‘Lee Jung-hoo is expected to arouse a lot of interest as he possesses a variety of skills in addition to his hitting potential. If San Francisco recruits Lee Jeong-hoo as their new starting center fielder, Mike Yastrzemski or Austin Slater will play as a corner outfielder. At present, San Francisco’s starting center fielder is expected to be Luis Matos, a former top prospect, but if Lee Jung-hoo joins, he will be able to easily adapt to the big leagues in a part-time role,’ he said, looking forward to the effects of Lee Jung-hoo’s addition.