The San Francisco Giants’ interest in Lee Jeong-hoo (25), who announced his intention to advance to the major leagues after this season, is quite specific. While he is consistently mentioned as a free agent player that San Francisco will target before the end of the season, visits to Gocheok Dome have actually stopped since July, drawing attention.
The American media outlet The Athletic mentioned Lee Jung-hoo on the 29th (Korean time), saying, “San Francisco pursues a younger and faster roster.”
This year, San Francisco finished 4th in the National League West Division and 7th in the Wild Card with 78 wins and 81 losses, failing to advance to the postseason. Although many of the expected prospects were brought up, the main problem was that, except for Logan Webb, who signed a long-term contract at the beginning of the season, they were unable to find a player who could become a focal point in pitching and batting. In particular, The Athletic pointed out that although the Major League this season actively encouraged stealing bases by increasing the base size and introducing restrictions on pitchers, San Francisco failed to follow the trend. In fact, San Francisco’s team steals this season are 57, an overwhelming last place compared to the 188 of the Cincinnati Reds, who ranked first in the category, and the 71 of the Colorado Rockies, who ranked 29th.
In an attempt to change things, he brought up Lee Jung-hoo’s story while asking the team to consider renewing the contract with Mike Yastrzemski (33), who has been on the injured list three times this season due to a hamstring injury. The Athletic said, “San Francisco needs to pave the way for outfield prospects such as Tyler Fitzgerald and Luis Matos,” and added, “They may find them in free agency. Cody Bellinger (Chicago Cubs) and last year’s KBO League MVP Lee Jung-hoo are in positions that San Francisco wants ( These are one of the few players with potential as fast outfielders. They might be the only two free agents who could represent a significant two-way upgrade to the San Francisco outfield. Giants’ outfield mix.”
Andrew Bagolli, who wrote the article, is a San Francisco reporter for The Athletic and mentioned the San Francisco team’s interest in Lee Jung-hoo four days ago. The Athletic said, “Why does San Francisco want to spend a lot of money on reinforcing pitchers when upgrading the batting lineup appears to be a higher priority?” and “It’s a question of supply and demand. The hitters who will play consistently in the lineup with star power are Jeong-hoo Lee and Belin. “We are limited to the free agent market, including myself and Matt Chapman (Toronto), and they are all Scott Boras’ clients. Of course, there is Ohtani as well,” he said.
Kiwoom Lee Jeong-hoo.
Another media outlet, CBS Sports, also introduced three Asian players on the 29th, Lee Jeong-hoo, Yamamoto Yoshinobu (Olix Buffaloes), and Imanaga Shota (Yokohama Baystars), as players who will challenge for the major league through this season’s posting system. CBS Sports said, “Until now, Jeong-hoo Lee has been considered a plus (All-Star level) runner and defender. We will see how this ankle surgery will affect his play in the future,” and added, “Jung-hoo Lee has shown above-average contact ability and a good starting pitch throughout his career. “He has shown this and has had more walks than strikeouts for 9 consecutive seasons. Also, although there are almost no home runs in his batting, there is some expectation of power as he will hit 23 of his 65 career home runs in 2022.” He added, “San Francisco, which needs a center fielder, has been watching Lee Jeong-hoo extensively. San Diego is also interested, and we believe he will have a slight advantage as he was a teammate of Kim Ha-seong.”레고토토
The recent explosive recruitment rumors are not for nothing. San Francisco’s interest in Lee Jeong-hoo has been steady and long-lasting. San Francisco is one of the major league clubs that does not have a scout based in Korea. Scouts in charge of the Pacific region are mainly stationed in Japan, and they are dispatched to Korea and Taiwan when there are players interested. In that sense, Kiwoom’s Arizona spring camp early this season was a great opportunity to observe Lee Jeong-hoo right in front of us. At the time, San Francisco’s team leader scout visited Kiwoom’s spring camp site several times to take a look at Lee Jeong-hoo, and that interest continued until the first half of this year. In the Gwangju KIA game last June, a scout was seen watching Kiwoom’s game.
However, according to Kiwoom officials, San Francisco scouts have visited Gocheok Dome less than 10 times in the first half of the year, and not since early July. Before Lee Jeong-hoo suffered a left ankle extensor zone injury on July 22, he was put out of action. Rather, starting in July, the number of visits by a National League team and an American League team, rather than San Francisco and San Diego, which are known to be interested, has increased significantly.
Considering the explosive increase in transfer rumors as the offseason approaches, it is more appropriate to say that San Francisco’s interest has not ceased, but rather that judgment on Lee Jung-hoo’s skills and value was completed before July. Multiple major league scouts who met at Gocheok Dome also said, “Lee Jeong-hoo is a player we have been watching in the major leagues for several years. Any club would have finished evaluating his skills.”
Lee Jeong-hoo also knows well how major league clubs evaluate him. All that remains now is to come back healthy and let people know that they are alive and well. Recently, Lee Jung-hoo visited Gocheok Dome and completed a brief training, raising the possibility of appearing on the field just before the end of the 2023 season.