Jung-Hoo Lee Set to Impress? San Francisco Giants Back Korean Star as $113 Million Price Tag Looms Large

Published 02/08/2024, 11:10 AM EST

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No matter how this offseason ends up being, the San Francisco Giants will look back at it with fond memories. The chief reason is the 25-year-old Korean superstar “the grandson of Wind” Jung-Hoo Lee. An unusual signing for a team that has remained financially prudent, Jung-Hoo represents the Giants taking a major risk. But that risk becomes palatable when one looks at Jung-Hoo’s immense promise.

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While the Giants are still on the lookout for a major star, Jung-Hoo Lee is the type of signing that few associate with them. Giving a six-year $113 million contract to a player with no experience in the major league? That’s so not how the Bay Bombers function. But when one looks at the projected performance of Jung-Hoo, it becomes obvious why the GM Farhan Zaidi was so quick to make this decision.

Lee Jung-Hoo could prove to be a game-changer 

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The Athletic reported how Jung-Hoo Lee could turn out to be a game-changing signing for the Giants. It’s a known fact that hitting has been the Achilles heel of the Bay Bombers for a long time. The team lacks a heavy hitter, partly due to the pitcher friendliness of the Oracle Park. Although Jung-Hoo isn’t a heavy hitter, he has some big tools in his arsenal. 

“His athleticism plays well in center field and atop a lineup. He walks more than he strikes out — and he almost never strikes out. “The Athletic reported. Though he isn’t as fast as his father, Jung-Hoo’s quickness has always been a killer part of his play. His 383 career walks are a huge increase over his 304 strikeouts. However, it’s his projected performance in MLB that has caught the eye of baseball fans.

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According to most projections, Jung-Hoo Lee is expected to hit between .275 and .291, with OBP ranging from .344 to .354. Above all, the slugger is expected to remain close to league leaders in strikeout rates. 

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All of this adds up to create a beautiful picture for the Giants. But then there is a special care that they need to pay. Or else things could spiral out of control very soon.

An important point to remember for the San Francisco Giants

Last season in KBO, Jung-Hoo Lee only hit 6 Home runs. In fact, in his seven-year career, Jung-Hoo has only hit 65 homers. As a result, he is a classic contact hitter, the kind who will always find space in the field. While that is a highly beneficial thing, “the Giants still need to be able to drive him in.”

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This again shifts the discussion to the hitting woes of the Bay Bombers. Their current lineup has been a bit hit-and-miss. Perhaps that’s why the franchise has been linked with Matt Chapman and Jorge Soler. With the offseason still going strong, there’s a chance the Giants bolster their batting lineup. It’ll certainly benefit Jung-Hoo Lee if they do.

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Written by:

Sanskar Dubey

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“Rigidity leads to demise, while adaptability paves the path to vitality." Driven by a deep passion for sports, I’m glad I found baseball. Now serving as an MLB writer at EssentiallySports, I love to write about the thrilling tussle between the National League and American League throughout the season, although I may have a fondness for a particular Yankees icon named Alex Rodriguez.
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Edited by:

Deepanshi Bajaj

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