For the KBO’s best hitter, Lee Jung-hoo (25, Kiwoom), 2023 has been a bit of a downer. He struggled with his hitting at the beginning of the season, and once his hitting picked up, he suffered some pretty big injuries.
For me personally, 2023 was a year with a lot of goals. First of all, I decided to challenge the major leagues through the posting system (closed competitive bidding) after this season. Many teams have been following his progress for four or five years. It is expected to be the biggest box office success in the history of posting Korean players. For Lee, this season was his final showcase before heading to the major leagues.
It wasn’t just a personal honor, either. During pre-season camp, Lee said he was going to put the idea of reaching the majors on the back burner for the season. First and foremost, he was determined to help his team Kiwoom challenge for a major championship this year. Last year, the team finished as runners-up in the Korean Series, so his desire was even stronger. As it was my last season before going to the major leagues, I wanted to leave with good memories, a good performance, and a smile on my face.
But an unexpected ankle injury threatened to derail much of that. Of course, the scouting reports have already piled up. It’s unlikely that the injury will be a major setback for him, but it’s a missed opportunity to show that he’s made up for his shortcomings. Kiwoom is also drifting due to Lee’s injury and the poor performance of their main players. As of Aug. 28, they are 47-69-3 (.405), last in the league. They have effectively given up on the postseason. At this point, this is the most painful part.
Despite the early season slump, Kiwoom never let the season slip away. However, the sudden shift in stance is likely related to Lee’s injury in late July. Lee is expected to take three months to rehabilitate, and if the original reports are to be believed, he is unlikely to return in time for the season. Kiwoom, realizing that it would be difficult to perform well without him, boldly looked to the future. In doing so, Lee has grown into a player who is crucial to the team’s short-, medium-, and long-term strategy.
With his participation in the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games now in doubt, Major League Baseball’s interest in Lee hasn’t waned. A number of clubs have reportedly completed their final evaluations of Lee. Big-market clubs representing the major leagues are also reportedly reviewing the market situation. It’s not hard to find Lee’s name in the local media now. He is tied to the 2023-2024 transfer market class. There is a general consensus in the local media that he is a ‘top 30’ player. 스포츠토토
The New York Yankees, one of Major League Baseball’s most prestigious clubs, have also been mentioned as a possible destination for Lee, who is in the midst of one of his worst offseasons. The New York Post, the largest local media outlet, reported on the team’s expected move for the outfielder on July 27 (KST). The Post mentioned Lee’s name as one of the outfield targets.
Vader, who made his debut with the Reds in 2017 and was traded to the New York Yankees in 2022, is a passionate pl