Lee Jung-hoo (25, Kiwoom Heroes) was not the only KBO league player that the American major leagues were paying attention to.
American media Baseball America (BA) on the 1st (Korean time) selected the top 10 prospects for players who have not yet entered the major leagues among the players participating in the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC).
The first to third places were occupied by Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) players. Loki Sasaki (Chiba Lotte), who achieved a perfect game last year with a 160km/h fastball and a splitter, took first place. Second place was Yoshinobu Yamamoto (Orix Buffaloes), who won the Sawamura Award for the second year in a row. Murakami Munetaka (Yakult), who set the record for the most home runs in a single season by a Japanese player with 56 homers last year, placed third.
Lee Jung-hoo placed 4th, proving the major leagues’ keen interest in him. BA introduced Lee Jung-hoo’s biography and said, “He has excellent contact ability with a sense of making quick swings and barrel hitting balls.” In addition, he is likely to play in right field, but he can play all outfield positions. “He can become a main center fielder with average hits in the top batting line in the major leagues. He is expected to come to the major leagues after the 2023 season,” he said.
So far, this isn’t much of a surprise. It is because the major league interest in Lee Jung-hoo is already well known. As Scott Boras, who is called the devil’s agent in the major league club, recognized the possibility and joined hands with Lee Jung-hoo, the possibility of advancing to the big leagues is gradually becoming a reality. However, in the second half of the top 10 prospects, there are two more names familiar to KBO fans that draw attention.
Kang Baek-ho (24, KT Wiz) was introduced as the 7th first baseman. BA summarized, “Kang Baek-ho set the record for the most home runs by a rookie in the KBO League at the age of 18 and was one of the best hitters after his debut.” . In addition, while pointing out major weaknesses in his injury and swing last year, he paid attention as an interesting prospect, paying attention to his coordination, batting speed, and steadily improving walk-strikeout ratio.
In ninth place, Kim Hye-seong (24, Kiwoom) was named. BA said, “Kim Hye-seong was the best high school player in Korea during her amateur days. After her professional debut, she spent two seasons as a double-acting partner with Kim Ha-sung.” Kim Hye-seong was also introduced as a player with a natural talent for contact like Lee Jung-hoo, while recognizing her as a hitter who made a lot of doubles and triples. 토토사이트
The media said, “Kim Hye-seong is a plus defender at second base (all-star level on the 20-80 scale) and can play as a shortstop if necessary.” He will be a left-handed utility hitter.”
As a result, the same number of people entered the 2023 WBC top 10 prospect list with three each from Korea, Japan, and Cuba, and Australia’s Mitch Neun Vaughn was named last. There is a strong feeling of distribution by country, but the fact that BA has been recognized for its potential as a medium with high public confidence related to prospects does not significantly fade. For example, in the list of prospects that BA made at the WBC in 2009, all of the top 10 players, including Ryu Hyun-jin (Toronto), Kim Kwang-hyun (SSG), and Darvish Yu (San Diego), all succeeded in advancing to the major leagues and were recognized for their reliability.