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Free Agent Poll: Jung-Hoo Lee

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We have used this idea for the last couple of years. The idea is to go through some of the top free agents, use the contract FanGraphs suggests they will get and have a poll asking if we would like to sign him for that amount.

Keith Law at the Athletic has Jung-Hoo Lee in the 10th spot on his list. Ben Clemens at FanGraphs has him 14th.

Jung-Hoo Lee is a 25-year-old outfielder from the Korea Baseball Organization coming to the MLB. He is a left-handed hitter and has played center field for the Kiwoom Heroes for the last three seasons. He was posted last Thursday.

In 2022 he hit .349/.421/.575 with 23 home runs in 142 games. Last year, those numbers dropped some, .318/.406/.455, with 6 home runs in 86 games (he broke his ankle in July and missed the rest of the season.

I don’t know how that would translate to MLB numbers.

Keith Law says:

He’s a contact hitter with fringy power, reaching double-digit homers in the hitter-friendly KBO just twice in seven seasons, with 23 in 2022 as his high mark. He’s strong enough for doubles power but has to muscle up so much to get to over-the-fence power that it takes him out of his usual swing and approach. He’s a capable defender in centerfield but isn’t a burner and doesn’t have huge range, so he may end up in a corner in MLB. He’s the best hitter in Korea right now, and while the pitching he’s faced isn’t at the level of MLB pitching, he’s done everything you might reasonably ask a hitter to do in that environment, making a lot of hard contact and rarely swinging and missing, with some platoon split and not a ton of power.

FanGraphs:

If Lee doesn’t end up hitting for power, his center field defense will help buoy his overall contribution to a team. He’s a plus runner with above-average range and ball skills, and a plus arm. Whether he’s retained that coming off a 2023 ankle injury that required surgery, teams can’t know for sure. Lee also had left labrum surgery in 2018. He is perhaps the highest-variance free agent on the market this offseason because there are outcomes where Lee gets stronger and does at least a little bit of everything on top of an elite hit tool, but there are also outcomes where his center field-worthy speed is diminished and his hit tool doesn’t play the same in MLB. The most likely forecast is somewhere in the middle, and here Lee projects as a table-setting center fielder without much pop, though whatever the case, teams should be prepared to make a multi-year project out of Lee so he has time to adjust in the same ways Ha-Seong Kim has.

Ben Clemens figures him to get a 4-year deal at $15 million a season for a total of $60 million.

Poll

Should the Blue Jays sign Jung-Hoo Lee if the price is $15million annually for 4 years?

This poll is closed

  • 39%
    Yes, absolutely
    (161 votes)
  • 20%
    Probably, but I’m not enthusiastic about if
    (82 votes)
  • 26%
    Probably not, but I wouldn’t hate it
    (109 votes)
  • 13%
    No, Absolutely not
    (56 votes)
408 votes total Vote Now