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San Francisco Giants coach Bob Melvin (62), who led the growth of Kim Ha-seong (28, San Diego Padres), is joining hands with Lee Jeong-hoo (25).
Local media, including Major League Baseball's official website MLB.com, reported on the 13th (Korean time) that "San Francisco and Lee Jung-hoo have agreed to a contract."
The contract size is 6 years and $113 million (approximately 148.4 billion won). It includes an opt-out that allows the player to give up the remaining contract after four years and enter the free agent (FA) market.
Lee Jeong-hoo, who entered the professional ranks as a first-round pick for the Nexen Heroes (now Kiwoom) in 2017, achieved his dream of entering the American Major League (MLB) wearing a San Francisco uniform.
San Francisco, which ranked fourth in the National League (NL) West Division (79 wins and 83 losses) in the 2023 season, appointed Melvin as its new head coach last October.
Coach Melvin, who became the first big league manager after taking command of the Seattle Mariners in 2003, later led the Arizona Diamondbacks (2005-2009), Oakland Athletics (2011-2021), and San Diego (2022-2023). He was recognized for his leadership, winning Coach of the Year awards in 2012, 2017, and 2018.
Coach Melvin is also famous for forming a deep bond with Asian players. He has previously worked as a coach and player with Japanese players Ichiro Suzuki and Hideo Nomo, and Korean major leaguer Byung-Hyun Kim.
Domestic fans are familiar with Kim Ha-seong because of his relationship with him.
Coach Melvin took office in San Diego in 2022, when Ha-seong Kim is in his second year in the big league.
Ha-seong Kim, who played the role of a backup infielder in 2021 by switching between second base, third base, and shortstop, has firmly established himself as a starting infielder after taking over as manager Melvin. Ha-seong Kim played in 131 games as a shortstop last year and 106 games as a second baseman this year. In addition, Kim Ha-seong's ability to play a variety of defenses was also actively utilized.
Through this, Ha-Seong Kim carved a deeper presence in the big league. He was a finalist for the Gold Glove Award in the second base and utility categories this year and succeeded in winning the award in the utility category. This is the first achievement by an Asian infielder in history.
Ha-seong Kim confessed, "The most memorable congratulatory message I received after receiving the Gold Glove was from Coach Melvin. I heard him say, 'Out of all the players I've ever met, you were truly one of the best. It was great to be with you.'" Ha-seong Kim sent a long letter to coach Melvin after he left the team.
Now Coach Melvin is working with Lee Jeong-hoo, the best star in the KBO League. Coach Melvin's leadership,
Tuesday, December 12, 2023