WBSC Premier12 and Tokyo 2020 star Jung-ho Lee to join MLB's San Francisco Giants

WBSC Premier12 and Tokyo 2020 star Jung-ho Lee to join MLB's San Francisco Giants
14/12/2023
The 25-year-old star outfielder's deal is the most significant contract signed by a KBO posted player.

WBSC Premier12 and Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games alum Jung-hoo Lee has agreed to terms with the San Francisco Giants of Major League Baseball (MLB) on a six-year deal worth US$113 million. It is the most significant contract awarded to a posted KBO player, surpassing the six-year, $36 million pact signed by pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin with the Los Angeles Dodgers before the 2013 season.

Lee has played for the Kiwoom Heroes (Nexen Heroes before 2019) from 2017 to 2023. He has a .340 career batting average over 884 games and 3,476 at-bats, the highest in the KBO's 41-year history among players with at least 3,000 plate appearances. He is not considered a power hitter (65 career home runs) but struck out only 304 times, approximately one every 12 at-bats.

The Giants project him as their starting centre fielder.

"In centre field, we've been average at best over the last few years defensively," said the Giants president of baseball operations, Farhan Zaidi, to the Yonhap News Agency.

The Giants used 11 different players in the position during the 2023 season.

The Kiwoom heroes posted Lee in November and will allegedly receive a release fee exceeding US$ 20 million.

Lee (25) was born in Japan while his father, Jong-beom Lee, a five-tool shortstop who retired after the 2001 season, played for the Chunich Dragons of Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB).

Both Lee Senior (1994) and Junior (2022) earned KBO's MVP honours. Since Jong-beom Lee was nicknamed The Son of the Wind, fans started calling Jung-ho Lee The Grandson of the Wind.