“I think he’s much better than me.”
Lee Jung-hoo, 25, Kiwoom Heroes, will be knocking on the door of the Major League Baseball after this season.
Since joining Nexen (now Kiwoom)토토사이트 with the first pick in the 2017 rookie draft, Lee has made a name for himself as one of the best hitters in the game. Since his rookie year, he has been the Rookie of the Year, batting 3-for-2 in all games. He has been a consistent performer, racking up more than 150 hits each year. He won his first batting title in 2021 with a .366 batting average, and last year he won the regular season MVP after leading the league in five categories (batting average, hits, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, and RBI).
After this season, he will be eligible to play overseas through the posting system. Early on, he worked with Scott Boras, aka The Devil’s Agent, to prepare him for the major leagues. Lee’s games were watched by scouts and high-ranking officials from major league clubs.
After undergoing surgery for an ankle injury in late July, Lee came in as a pinch-hitter for Kiwoom’s final home game of the season on Oct. 10, despite not being 100 percent, and said goodbye to the home fans for the last time. In effect, he began to take steps to part ways with Kiwoom.
The Samsung-Keum game at the Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on the 10th. Lee Jung-hoo, who came in as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning, greets the fans.
The Samsung-Keum game at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on Tuesday. Fans cheer for Lee Jung-hoo, who came on as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning.
Kiwoom must now prepare for an era without Lee Jeong-hoo. This season, Kiwoom is facing a fall baseball setback and a last-place finish, but they were the favorites to win the title heading into the season.
After finishing the regular season in third place last year, the team took a step forward by reaching the Korean Series. With Lee Jeong-hoo possibly in his final year with Kiwoom, there was a clear motivation to win the title, but the team struggled to rebound after the start of the season with injuries everywhere and the departure of Lee Jeong-hoo and Ahn Woo-jin in the second half.
With Lee’s departure, Kiwoom quickly made a realistic calculation and looked to the next step. It sent starter Choi Won-tae to “championship contender” LG in exchange for prospect Lee Ju-hyung, pitcher Kim Dong-gyu, and a first-round pick in the 2024 rookie draft. LG won its first regular season title in 29 years.
Samsung and Kiwoom at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on the 10th. Lee Jung-hoo, who came in as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning, plays center field defense in the ninth inning.
Kiwoom laughed at Lee Ju-hyung. Lee has quickly become one of Kiwoom’s mainstays. Even at the time of his signing, a Kiwoom official smiled and said, “This trade is good for the rookie designation, but I was most satisfied because I was able to bring him here.”
Lee appeared in 69 games by the 13th, batting .322 with six doubles and six home runs.
As the team had vowed to win the championship while Lee was around, there was no doubt that Lee’s heart was heavy after not being able to share the title with him. Lee said, “I’m not disappointed with my personal performance because I did everything. It ended like this, but this is also my destiny, and I think I had a good experience rather than regret,” but he also showed regret, saying, “The team performance was disappointing.”
The game between the 2023 KBO League Kiwoom Heroes and KT Wiz was held at Gocheok Sky Dome on the 1st. Kiwoom’s Lee Ju-hyung celebrates after hitting a single in the third inning.
In the end, Kiwoom’s first win in the franchise was left to the remaining players. Lee Jung-hoo is happy to see Lee Joo-hyung fill his shoes. “I think he’s much better than me. Kiwoom has always been strong at filling in when someone is out, and (Lee) Joo-hyung did a great job when I was out. I think he can become a bigger player in the future. I hope he can use this year’s experience as a springboard and grow into a better player next season.”
In the meantime, Kiwoom has been able to fill in perfectly whenever a player has to leave the team for the major leagues. After Kang Jeong-ho, who was called the “King of Peace” at shortstop, left for the major leagues, Kim Ha-sung (San Diego) appeared, and after Kim Ha-sung left, Kim Hye-sung appeared. So far, Lee has been called the post-Lee Jung-hoo.
Lee said, “He’s too good of a hitter. As usual, I’m looking forward to next year more than this year, and I’m looking forward to the year after next. I hope I can use this year’s good experience as a springboard to do even better next year.” “It’s my first season, so I can’t say what kind of style I have. You have to create your own style now,” he said.