Its Look at the Trend of High School Students Going Straight to the U.S. and Lee Jeong-hoo

 Lee Jeong-hoo (25) entered the major league receiving special treatment. 

With direct travel to the United States starting to become popular again for high school players

attention is being paid to what impact Lee Jung-hoo’s mega-big contract will have in the future.

On the 13th (Korean time), American media outlets, including MLB Network

reported that Lee Jung-hoo agreed to a six-year contract worth $113 million (about 148.4 billion won) with the San Francisco Giants.

He hit the jackpot with the highest contract ever among Korean players who entered the major leagues through the posting system

surpassing pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin, who signed a six-year, $36 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers after the 2012 season.

He was treated as the best among Asian fielders.

As a result, Lee Jeong-hoo became the 6th player in history to advance directly from the KBO League to the Major League using the posting system.

Starting with Ryu Hyun-jin, infielder Kang Jeong-ho (Pittsburgh Pirates, 4+1 years, $11 million) after the 2014 season,

first baseman Park Byeong-ho (Minnesota Twins, 4+1 years, $12 million) after the 2015 season, and pitcher Kim Gwang-hyun (4+1 years, $12 million) after the 2019 season.

Following the St. Louis Cardinals (2 years, $8 million) and infielder Kim Ha-seong (4+1 years, $28 million) after the 2020 season

Lee Jung-hoo surprised everyone with the highest treatment ever.

Lee Jung-hoo’s young age of only 25 was largely responsible for being able to sign a contract that exceeded expectations.

After joining Nexen Heroes (now Kiwoom) in the first round of selection in 2017

Lee Jeong-hoo quickly met the qualifications for the number of first-team registration days for the 7th season required to advance overseas.

He won a gold medal at the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games, and resolving the military issue early with military service benefits was crucial. 먹튀검증사이트

Kim Ha-seong, another gold medalist at the time, also headed to the major league stage at the age of 25 after playing for seven years in Korea.

Although it was not as big a contract as Lee Jeong-hoo, he received a 4+1 multi-year contract in recognition of his young age and growth potential.

Kim Ha-seong, who will become a free agent after the end of next season, is only 29 years old, so expectations are still high for a huge contract.

Following Kim Ha-seong, Lee Jeong-hoo’s success is expected to be a great motivation for Korea’s young dreamers who dream of becoming future big leaguers.

Rather than going directly to the United States, the standard route could be to first succeed in the KBO League and then move to the Major League.

This is more about stability than adventure.

After the success of ‘Korean’s first big leaguer’ Park Chan-ho, many amateur players headed to the United States from the late 1990s to the early and mid-2000s.

Players who played full-time in the major leagues for many years

including Choo Shin-soo, who had the best career, Kim Byung-hyun, Seo Jae-eung, Choi Hee-seop, and Choi Ji-man

had such a low chance of success that they could be counted on one finger.

Most of the players wasted time due to being bound by the two-year grace period when returning to Korea.

After quieting down for a while, high school students traveling directly to the United States has recently begun to become popular.

Number one high school pitchers, including Shim Jun-seok (Pittsburgh Pirates) in 2022 and Jang Hyun-seok (LA Dodgers) in 2023

boarded flights to the United States one after another. 

In addition, pitcher Choi Hyun-il (Dodgers) in 2018, outfielder Cho Won-bin (St. Louis) in 2022, catcher Eom Hyeong-chan (Kansas City Royals), and pitcher Lee Chan-sol (Boston Red Sox) in 2023 moved to the United States.

The merit of going directly to the U.S. increased as minor league treatment and welfare were significantly improved through the Major League’s labor-management agreement in March of last year.

As minor league training and major league debuts have become faster thanks to advanced coaching systems

the number of players choosing to go directly to the United States has begun to increase.

It remains to be seen how successful they will be in the future

but with the exception of Hangzhou Asian Games gold medalist Jang Hyun-seok, these players have unresolved military issues, so the risk is clearly high.

There is a case of Choi Ji-man, who obtained permanent residency in May 2020 and postponed military service until the age of 37

but it is of little significance unless he has a long run in the major leagues.

Among the players who went straight to the U.S., only two, Chan-ho Park and Shin-soo Choo, played in the major league until their late 30s.

Among active big leaguers, Choi Ji-man is almost the only success story. Park Hyo-jun (Oakland Athletics)

who experienced the big league in 2021-2022, stayed in the minor league this year, and Bae Ji-hwan (Pittsburgh Pirates) is also difficult to say that he has yet established himself as a big leaguer.

In addition to posting, players who went directly from the KBO League to the Major League through FA include Kim Hyun-soo, Hwang Jae-gyun, and Yang Hyun-jong. 

Oh Seung-hwan and Lee Dae-ho, who passed through Japan, cannot be left out.

Due to the revision of the Korea-US posting system in July 2018

the amount of money players receive has increased compared to the past. Attention is being paid to whether the success of Lee Jeong-hoo

who entered the United States with super-special treatment

will change the minds of top prospects dreaming of the future of America.

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