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U.S. media are raising their voices to see how quickly Lee Jung-hoo, who hit the highest record among Asian fielders, will be able to land in the Major League.

Considering the conservative U.S. media, more critics say that Lee is an overpayer. Kim Ha-sung (28, San Diego Padres), who is considered a success story now, also showed poor performance with a batting average of 0.202 (54 hits in 267 at-bats) during his debut season in 2021. He also recorded a batting average of 0.260 (140 hits in 538 at-bats) this year, when he spent his career high season. They believe that there is no guarantee that Lee will face similar challenges.

The Athletic used Kim Ha-sung’s 2020 and Lee Jung-hoo’s healthy 2022 season hitting performance as a basis. Kim Ha-sung recorded an average batting speed of 90.1 miles (145 kilometers), a launch angle of 13 degrees, a 50.4% portion of 95 miles (152.8 kilometers) per hour or more, and a maximum batting speed of 108.9 miles (175 kilometers). Lee Jung-hoo had an average batting speed of 88.7 miles (142.7 kilometers), a launch angle of 12.3 degrees, a ratio of 37.7% of hits over 95 miles per hour, and a maximum batting speed of 107 miles (172 kilometers). 토토사이트 추천

The Athletic said, “Lee Jung-hoo’s trackman batting speed data was below average in Korea, even compared to his peers.” In the KBO, Lee Jung-hoo fell short of Kim Ha-sung’s highest batting speed, and among the players in the Major League last year, only five were less powerful than Kim Ha-sung. Lee Jung-hoo also expressed concern, saying, “The hard hit (over 95 miles in batting speed) was less than that of Kim Ha-sung.”

CBS Sports said, “Whether or not to adapt to the Major League is a question that all batters who come from the KBO to the big leagues, including Lee Jung-hoo and Kim Ha-sung, get asked. KBO is the world’s third-largest league, but the ball power is lower than that of the big leagues and NPB. Lee Jung-hoo has a high-quality offensive ability, especially excellent contact. According to data obtained by CBS Sports, Lee Jung-hoo swung and hit the bat last season, 91 percent of which was the opponent’s swing. He is a batter who sets the strike zone well. However, his power is low.”

However, the U.S. baseball statistics website “PanGraphs” predicted that San Francisco signed a contract at a reasonable price, predicting the next six years for Lee. Using ZiPS (SZymborski Projection System, a baseball prediction system devised by Dan Zimbowski), PanGraphs released his forecast for Lee’s performance. It released its forecast for six years from 2024 to 2029, which is the highest with a batting average of 0.288 in both 2024 and 2025, and is expected to see the decline to 0.287 in 2026, 0.281 in 2027, 0.282 in 2028, and 0.281 in 2029. It has predicted that there will be eight to nine home runs and 60 RBIs every year.

The batting average of 0.288 is disappointing if the KBO league is the standard, but it can rank high in the major league. Based on this season’s performance, the batting average of 0.288 is the 14th in the entire big league. There were only nine hitters who hit .300 in the big league this year. Hitters who hit .300 are far more valuable than in Korea. Lee Jung-hoo is expected to enter his first season as he ranks among the top 15 in the big league through batting.

FanGraphs also pointed out that San Francisco did not overpay Lee Jung-hoo. “As a player who signed a huge contract, Lee was quite strong in both scouting and data-based predictions,” FanGraphs said. “The forecast for the ZiPS exceeds the average among key center field players. If this is the case, ZiPS will recommend a six-year, 132 million-dollar contract.”

“Lee Jung-hoo included a clause in his six-year contract that allows him to apply for opt-out four years later when he is 29 years old. If he is judged to earn more than $19 million in annual salary in the last two seasons of his contract, he can apply for opt-out and earn more money. ZiPS is evaluating that the value of his $113 million contract is the same as that of his six-year, $134 million contract, which includes a clause to apply for opt-out four years later,” he added.

FanGraphs said, “Lee’s weapon is his ability to control the bat. He has good reporting and hitting ability, and can send balls all over the ground. He also has the ability to manipulate the ball with his hands and eyes well. His swing is incredibly cool and fun to watch,” making Lee look forward to the day when he plays in the Major League.

However, “there is a slight danger when pitchers move from a league where they throw 91 miles per hour to a league where they throw 95 miles per hour.” As Lee observed throughout the 2023 season, fewer than 100 pitches were recorded at speeds exceeding 94 miles per hour. During the past two seasons, Lee has seen only 154 fastballs with speeds above the average speed of 93 miles per hour in the Major League. Lee recorded a batting average of 0.268, an on-base percentage of 0.348, and an on-base percentage of 0.415. Therefore, it will take some time for Lee to adjust to the balls of big league pitchers,” he said.

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