Lee Jung-hoo is the KBO biggest contract holder for a reason

San Francisco Giants’ Lee Jung-hoo joins a long line of Korean players who have made their mark on Major League Baseball history.

MLB.com, the official media of Major League Baseball, reported on July 7, “Major League Baseball will make history when the LA Dodgers and San Diego Padres host the regular season opener at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul. For the first time ever, a major league regular season game will be played in Korea, home to some of the most passionate fans and culture in the world,” and highlighted Korean players who have played in the major leagues.

The first Korean player to play in the major leagues was Chan-ho Park, the “Korean Express”. Signed by the Dodgers in 1994 while still a student at Hanyang University, Park bypassed the KBO and headed straight to the United States. After surviving the minor leagues and making his big league debut, Park went on to have a successful career in the majors, 카지노사이트 compiling a record of 124 wins, 98 losses, two saves, and a 4.36 ERA in 476 games (1993 innings) over 17 seasons. His 124 wins still stand as the most by an Asian pitcher.

MLB.com writes, “It can be hard to remember the enormous shock that occurred when Chan Ho Park signed with the Dodgers. The LA Times dubbed it ‘Chan Ho mania. After a productive 17-season career, Park was named an All-Star in 2001 and his 124 wins remain the most by a Korean player.”

The first Korean to play in the major leagues was Hee-Sup Choi.

In four seasons in the majors, Choi batted .244 (220-for-915) with 40 home runs, 120 RBIs, and a .786 OPS in 363 games. According to MLB.com, “In 1998, South Korea finished runner-up in the Baseball World Cup, and Choi signed with the Cubs for $1.2 million. One of the most highly touted prospects in the minor leagues, Choi showed off his power in 2002, hitting 26 home runs at Triple-A. He finished his career with 40 home runs in the majors and became a cult favorite in Miami,” said the article.

Kim Byung-hyun became the first Korean player to win a World Series championship. In nine seasons in the major leagues, Kim compiled a 54-60 record in 394 games (841 innings) with 86 saves and a 4.42 ERA, impressing fans with his dominant pitching early in his career. In 2001, he helped Arizona win its first World Series title. “With a frisbee slider and rising fastball, Byung-hyun Kim blew leads in Games 4 and 5 of the 2001 World Series, but was a key part of Arizona’s bullpen all season long,” MLB.com wrote.

The first Korean pitcher to be named an All-Star was SSG Shin-soo Choo, who currently plays in the KBO.

In 1,652 career Major League Baseball games, Shin-Soo Choo batted .275 (6087-for-1,671) with 218 home runs, 782 RBI, 961 runs scored, 157 doubles, and an OPS of .824. He returned to South Korea in 2021 and has continued to perform well in the KBO, batting .266 (325-for-125) with 49 home runs, 168 RBI, 226 runs scored, 46 doubles, and an OPS of .819 in 361 games. Shin-Soo Choo announced his retirement from active play after this season.

MLB.com says, “No matter how you slice it, Shin-Soo Choo has been the best player in the major leagues among Korean players. He leads the league in Wins Above Replacement (WAR) (34.6), home runs (218), hits (1,671), and stolen bases (157). Shin-Soo Choo was a versatile star with one of the sharpest eyes in baseball and finished his major league career with the same on-base percentage (.377) as Hall of Famers Fred McGriff and Derek Jeter,” said Derek Jeter, who highlighted Shin-Soo Choo’s big league career.

Tommy Edmon (St. Louis Cardinals), the first American-born player to be selected to the Korean National Team, was also mentioned. Edman, whose mother is Korean-American, represented South Korea in the World Baseball Classic (WBC) last March. In five major league seasons and 596 games, Edmunds batted .265 (2227-for-590) with 53 home runs, 222 RBIs, 343 runs scored, 106 doubles, an OPS of .726, and won the National League Gold Glove at second base in 2021.

This season, Lee made history by signing a massive contract that exceeded everyone’s expectations.

Lee, who has been the best hitter in South Korea with a career batting average of .344 (3476-for-1181), 65 home runs, 515 RBIs, and an OPS of .898 in 884 KBO games, signed a six-year, $113 million contract with San Francisco last December. It is the largest contract ever for a KBO player to reach the majors.

Many experts were surprised that the Giants were willing to give Lee a $113 million contract to a player who had yet to play a single at-bat in the major leagues. However, Lee is proving why the Giants gave him the fifth-largest contract in franchise history, joining Buster Posey (nine years, $167 million), Johnny Cueto (six years, $130 million), Matt Cain (six years, $127.5 million), and Barry Zito (seven years, $126 million) as the fifth-largest in franchise history.

As MLB.com notes, “Lee has yet to make his major league debut, but he’s already set a record. His $113 million contract with San Francisco surpasses the four-year, 메이저 토토사이트 $80 million deal that Ryu Hyun-jin signed with Toronto in December 2019.” It’s not hard to see why the Giants would want to sign him. At just 25 years old, Lee is an all-around athlete who hit .340 with 65 home runs and 69 stolen bases in South Korea,” said the team.

Translated with DeepL.com (free version)

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