“The WBC (World Baseball Classic) is not a showcase for me and Lee Jung-hoo as an individual, but a time to run for the country with the Korean flag on my chest.”
Lee Jeong-hoo (25, Kiwoom), who announced his advance to the major leagues after this season, expressed his determination ahead of the WBC to be held in March.
On the 12th (Korean time), Lee Jung-hoo met with Star News at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA, and said, “I have announced that I will advance to the major leagues, but there is no burden or additional preparation at spring camp compared to previous years. I prepare for the season in good health as always,” he added.
Lee Jung-hoo, who debuted in the KBO League wearing a Kiwoom uniform in 2017, can advance overseas through the posting system after this season. At the end of last year, he announced his intention to challenge his team in the major leagues, and as Kiwoom also accepted Lee Jung-hoo’s intention to advance overseas, interest from major league clubs increased.
On the same day that Star News visited Kiwoom’s spring camp, four big league scouts followed Lee Jung-hoo and recorded his every move on camera. According to an official from Kiwoom’s PR team, “Scouts with different faces come every day, but an average of 4-5 scouts a day are steadily coming.”
Lee Jung-hoo said, “After he decided to challenge the major leagues, he personally started studying English, and he is also trying to adapt to the local food culture.”
When asked if the WBC stage, which is visited by major league scouts, is not burdensome, he said, “It is not burdensome at all,” and said, “Some say that the WBC is a showcase for Lee Jung-hoo, but I don’t think so at all. Not only can I not show myself to the scouts through ‘WBC’, but the WBC is a time to run for the country with a Korean flag on my chest. I will do my best for the glory of the country rather than myself.”
Lee Jung-hoo also revealed his goal, “If I go to the major leagues, I want to challenge the batting champion while running for a long time, not a player who shines and disappears once, and I want to achieve good results there.”
When he said that he would no longer be called ‘Big Leaguer Lee Jung-hoo’ rather than ‘Lee Jong-beom (53, LG coach)’s son’ if he succeeds in entering the major leagues, he said, “Because my father and I played in different eras, it is absolutely impossible to compare.” Even if I entered the major leagues, my father was still the best player of his era and that fact will never change.” 스포츠토토
Lee Jung-hoo will become a free agent (FA) when he finishes next season in Korea. After that, if you enter the major leagues, you can negotiate more freely than through the posting system, and the economic benefits you can get are great. Still, regarding the special reason for choosing to post a year earlier, he said, “Being a major league player has been my dream since I was young. I wanted to make my dream come true as soon as possible.
When asked if there was a team in mind if given the right to choose a team, Lee Jung-hoo said, “If an offer comes from the major leagues, I will discuss it with my agent, but right now there is no team I have in mind.” Even if I do not receive an offer, I will not be discouraged and will continue to work hard to advance to the major leagues and achieve my dream.”