CBS Sports in the U.S. selected three candidates for the Rookie of the Year award in the MLB 2024 season on the 14th (Korea Standard Time), classifying Lee Jung-hoo as a “wild card” with a potential for the Rookie of the Year award.
The media said, “Lee Jung-hoo is a fast center fielder with the highest level of contact ability and posted a batting average of 0.340, an on-base percentage of 0.407, and a slugging percentage of 0.491 in seven seasons in the KBO League,” adding, “If Lee Jung-hoo adapts well, he will be able to challenge for the Rookie of the Year award.”
In the end, he predicted that the key to success will be how quickly Lee Jung-hoo will demonstrate his skills in the KBO League on the MLB stage.
Kim Ha-sung (San Diego Padres), who became the first Asian infielder to win the Gold Glove (utility category) after adapting quickly after moving to MLB after conquering the KBO League, can be a good example.
CBS Sports also said, “Kim Ha-sung, who was Lee Jung-hoo’s teammate, proved that batters from the KBO League can play above average in MLB. Nevertheless, Kim Ha-sung needed time to adapt, and Lee Jung-hoo, who ended the season early due to a broken ankle, may also be the same.
Meanwhile, like Lee Jung-hoo, Yoshinobu Yamamoto (Orix Buffaloes), who is aiming to advance to the MLB through the posting system after the end of this season, was classified as a player with a potential rookie award. Yamamoto is also attracting attention as the biggest pitcher in the free agent (FA) market.
The media said, “It is insulting to express Yamamoto as a ‘newcomer’ to come to MLB for the first time,” adding, “Yamamoto is the best pitcher on the market.” He is unmatched by speed, control, and young age. He explained that he will be a strong candidate for the Rookie of the Year award in the league he joins this winter.