South Korean baseball superstar Lee Jung-hoo recently revealed his intent on being posted to Major League Baseball (MLB).
Lee, 24, reportedly informed his current team, the Kiwoom Heroes, about his plan while visiting their office at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on Monday.
The athlete, a reigning Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) League MVP, will become eligible for posting after finishing his seventh run in the league in 2023.
Jung-hoo Lee met w/ #KiwoomHeroes management today and officially requested to be posted at the end of ‘23 season. #KBO MVP is considered best all-around player in the league and most #MLB ready. Heroes org hasn’t said anything yet, but is expected to post star OF as requested. pic.twitter.com/1zu9p0gt9S
— Daniel Kim 대니얼 김 (@DanielKimW) December 19, 2022
Nicknamed “Grandson of the Wind” – his father, KBO legend Lee Jong-beom, was known as “Son of the Wind” – Lee was named this year’s KBO MVP in November after receiving 104 out of 107 votes.
The award came after Lee performed a stellar feat while playing for the Kiwoom Heroes – he reached a .349 in batting average, a 421 on-base percentage, a .575 slugging percentage, 113 Runs Batted In (RBIs) and 193 hits. He was also considered a top hitter in the KBO after drawing 66 walks and only receiving 32 strikeouts out of his 627 plate appearances last season.
Lee, who has made over 3,000 plate appearances in total, reportedly holds the highest career batting average with a recording-breaking .342. He was also named Rookie of the Year while part of the Nexen Heroes in 2017 at the age of 19.
Since his first appearance in 2017, Lee has collected more than 1,075 hits.
If Lee becomes eligible for posting next year, any interested MLB teams will have a 30-day window to negotiate his transfer.
This is similar to what recently happened to Japanese All-Star outfielder Masataka Yoshida, who is now part of the Boston Red Sox.
Lee won’t be the first baseball player the Kiwoom Heroes will be posting. The South Korean team has previously posted other players to the MLB, including Kang Jung-ho, who now plays for the Pittsburgh Pirates; Kim Ha-seong, who plays for the San Diego Padres; and Park Byung-ho, who used to play for the Minnesota Twins.