On the 9th (Korean time), American sports media outlet ‘CBS Sports’ explained 10 major league offseason predictions and predicted Lee Jung-hoo’s contract size and destination.
The media mentioned Lee Jeong-hoo for the fourth time.
The media said, ‘The San Francisco Giants finally get a star,’ and explained that this star was Lee Jung-hoo.
The media mentioned Lee Jung-hoo’s current value, saying, ‘Like Yoshinobu Yamamoto, he is only 25 years old, so if he signs a contract with any team, he can spend many of his prime seasons with him.’ Next, ‘Lee Jeong-hoo had a batting average of .3118, on-base percentage of .406, and slugging percentage of .455 in 86 games before suffering an ankle injury this year.
Last year, he won league MVP honors and finished with a batting average of .3059, on-base percentage and .4021 slugging percentage of .575, while hitting a career-high 23 home runs and walking 66, twice as many as he struck out.
He is also a talented defender,” he said, explaining Lee Jung-hoo’s performance in the KBO League.
The current situation in San Francisco was also explained. The media said, ‘San Francisco has had difficulty signing star players.
Lee Jeong-hoo is the player they need,” he said.
He can play a role in center field, and his hitting approach that focuses on contact rather than power is a good fit for Oracle Park.
it is expected that the contract will include an opt-out in the fourth year,’ he explained.
Recently, it was predicted that Lee Jung-hoo would receive a contract that included an opt-out right given to players who sign long-term contracts, especially superstars.
It is the right to receive market evaluation by giving up the remaining contract period and declaring free agency again.
As expected by this media, a contract including an opt-out will be signed, and Lee Jeong-hoo will be able to qualify as a free agent once again after his 29-year-old season. This means that Lee Jung-hoo is evaluated as a superstar.
It is a 100 million dollar contract. The contract size is comparable to that of Lee Jeong-hoo’s ‘idol’ Yoshida. Japanese outfielder Masataka Yoshida signed a large five-year contract worth $90 million with Boston last year.
At the time of signing the contract, the prevailing opinion was that they had overpaid Yoshida, who was expected to have contact skills but lack power.
However, Yoshida had a soft landing this year with a batting average of .2089, 155 hits, 15 home runs, 72 RBI, and an OPS of .783 in 140 games.
Concerns were completely washed away. Yoshida was Lee Jeong-hoo’s idol, and they strengthened their friendship by exchanging bats during this year’s World Baseball Classic (WBC).
MLB Trade Rumors’ compared the size of Lee Jeong-hoo’s contract to Yoshida’s and said, ‘Some evaluators say that it is unlikely that Lee Jeong-hoo will be fixed in the center field position due to the burden of the bat.
Although his pure contact skills are excellent, there are concerns that he may not have the power necessary to play every day in the corner outfield,’ he said.
Of course, some clubs expressed similar concerns when Yoshida came over from the Japanese professional baseball a year ago.
But Boston had enough faith in Yoshida to guarantee him a five-year, $90 million contract, suggesting that clubs vary in their expectations for players coming from other leagues.
The contracts of these players are notoriously difficult to predict,’ he explained.
It was predicted that if competition increases and there is additional certainty, the contract size could be higher.
Currently, San Francisco seems to be the likely destination for Lee Jeong-hoo in many ways.
NBC Sports Bay Area’, a local San Francisco media outlet, reported, ‘This summer, high-ranking San Francisco officials visited Korea to see Lee Jung-hoo.
General manager Pete Putilla returned to Korea to watch Lee Jung-hoo play his final game for the Kiwoom Heroes.
San Francisco spent months conducting a full investigation into Yamamoto and Lee Jeong-hoo.
He continued, ‘Lee Jung-hoo is a center fielder with a defense that best suits the San Francisco team philosophy at the plate. He explained that this year he has walked 49 batters while striking out only 23.
A scout who observed Lee Jeong-hoo for a long time said, “He has the best hand-eye coordination of any KBO player I have ever seen,” and praised him for his contact ability to hit the ball and his good eye for seeing the ball.
The media continued, ‘Lee Jung-hoo, a gap-to-gap hitter, hit 23 home runs in 2022, but this year, due to an ankle injury, he hit only 6 home runs in 86 games.
However, those who are familiar with his baseball skills believe that more power will come out,’ he said, adding that he expected to be able to show slugging power as well.
In addition, the fact that coach Bob Melvin, who helped Kim Ha-seong settle and grow in San Diego for three years until last year, will take over as coach of the San Francisco Giants starting next year is also a factor that could be helpful to Lee Jeong-hoo.
NBC Sports Bay Area’ said, ‘Coach Melvin is the person who helped Ha-seong Kim contribute to San Diego.
Kim Ha-sung’s success is one of the reasons why San Francisco is considering Lee Jeong-hoo as a center field solution, he said, predicting that coach Melvin’s presence could influence Lee Jeong-hoo’s decision.
Meanwhile, ‘CBS Sports’ has 9 other predictions in addition to Lee Jung-hoo: ‘Ohtani signs a 13-year contract worth 500 million dollars (about 655.8 billion won) with the Dodgers’, ‘San Diego’s Juan Soto is traded to the New York Yankees’, ‘Yoshinobu Yamamoto’ will sign a contract with the New York team.
The contract size is 8 years and $220 million (approximately 288.5 billion won)’, ‘Cody Bellinger will return with the Chicago Cubs after signing a 7-year contract worth $180 million (approximately 236.1 billion won)’, ‘Joy Votto’s hometown He predicted that he would sign a contract with the Canadian Toronto Blue Jays team.