Just as ‘Heroes Senior’ Kang Jung-ho ( retired)’s major league performance made it easier for Kim Ha-seong (San Diego Padres) to take on the big league challenge, he also paved the way for his junior Lee Jung-hoo (Kiwoom Heroes) with his performance this season. are making

“Korean star outfielder Lee Jung-hoo suffered a serious ankle injury that required season-ending surgery.” “It has become difficult to predict due to the still developing power, the additional posting fee, and especially the weak free agent market this season. You can set a huge price or you can expect an extremely cautious price.”

In a game against Lotte Giants in Sajik on the 22nd of last month, Lee Jung-hoo underwent surgery on the 27th of last month due to damage to his left ankle kidney belt (the membrane surrounding the ankle tendon) maintained during defense in the bottom of the eighth inning. According to the Kiwoom club, the rehabilitation period is about three months, and the season is expected to be out as well as participating in the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games next month.

As fast feet are an important type due to a lack of long hits, a three-month-old ankle injury in the Major League post seemed to be a handicap again this season, but the U.S. does not seem to be too concerned. “Lee Jung-hoo suffered an ankle injury that is expected to be out of the season, but exactly any injury does not affect him (to advance to the Major League),” Bleechers Nation said

Major League Baseball, also posted an interview with Brooks Reilly (New York Mets), who played an active role as Lee Jung-hoo’s nemesis during the KBO League, and sent a friendly gaze. In an interview with MLB.com, Rayleigh said, “Lee Jung-hoo is a great player. His coordination is amazing and his power has improved a lot. Earlier this year, I saw Lee Jung-hoo push and hit a home run, and it made me feel how much stronger he has become. ” he praised.

It is a landscape that is rarely seen in the past. In the meantime, there has always been a skeptical look at fielders coming from Asian leagues such as the KBO and Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB). Basically, there was a large gap in defense due to differences in athletic ability, and even in batting, less than half of the skills shown in the previous league came out. However, the recent negative gaze toward Kim Ha-sung’s big success is gradually showing signs of change.

“I have to point out one thing. The last young star beast to come from Korea was Kim Ha-seong,” Blitzer Nation said. He is currently playing as one of the most valuable players on San Diego’s first team roster.”

This season, Kim Ha-sung has a batting average of 0.288, 15 home runs, 41 RBIs, 63 runs, 27 steals, 0.384 on-base percentage, 0.451 slugging percentage, and 0.835 OPS in 110 games. Based on the U.S. baseball statistics site Baseball Reference, WAR (contribution to victory over substitute players) is 5.9, tied with Shohei Otani (29, Los Angeles Angels) of 9.0, and is on par with Ronald Acuña Jr. (26, Atlanta Braves), MVP candidate in the National League.

“Kim Ha-sung is showing great defense throughout the infield this year, and there are people who want players from Korea or Japan to always look poor in performance, but that’s not an accurate judgment,” Blitzer Nation said. “I bet many teams are kicking themselves for missing Kim Ha-sung.” There is no reason to believe that it cannot succeed.”

It is a virtuous cycle due to Kim Ha-sung’s soft landing in the Major League after receiving good treatment for his senior Kang Jung-ho’s big league performance, but it was almost impossible to evaluate the success of KBO League infielders before Kang Jung-ho in the U.S.
However, Kang Jung-ho made his big league debut with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2015, hit double-digit home runs from the first year, and received good reviews in defense, and his recognition began to improve. Although his career ended due to his mistake, he recorded a batting average of 0.254, 46 home runs, 144 RBIs, 120 runs, 8 steals, 0.331 on-base percentage, 0.466 slugging percentage, and 0.796 OPS in four major league seasons.

Thanks to this, six years after Kang Jung-ho entered the big leagues, Kim Ha-sung was able to sign a four-year, $28 million guarantee contract with San Diego, the highest amount in the KBO League. Since then, Kim Ha-sung has broken the Asian infielder glass ceiling with only his personal efforts.

Kim Ha-sung, who played as a platoon member in his first season, played full-time as a shortstop last year and was named the final three candidates for the National League Gold Glove. His perception of defense has changed 180 degrees, changing his batting form with Lee Jung-hoo ahead of this season, and he eventually succeeded.

Lee Jung-hoo has emerged as the FA’s biggest fish with a potential of $100 million (about 132.9 billion won) thanks to his outstanding seniors. Earlier this year, CBS Sports estimated Lee Jung-hoo’s total contract to be $100 million. In addition, despite the recent worst news of ankle surgery, it is evaluated that the Major League contract has not been significantly affected. It was possible because there was “Awesome Kim,” who is considered the best player in San Diego this season.

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