The Detroit Tigers finished their season on a high note, making September their best month of the season. And though they missed the playoffs all signs point to progressed and an improving core of players that are going to make baseball fun again in Motown. Now, word is spreading that the Tigers are the front-runner for the KBO star outfielder Jung Hoo Lee.
Jung Hoo Lee could be a splash play by Scott Harris
After making a deal for Mark Cahna earlier this week, this news is a mark that Scott Harris is not playing around. He is doing what he can to pull out a number of stops to make the Tigers better in 2024. The Tigers have never really been players in the International Market, but should they land Lee, it will make them a very intriguing team in 2024.
Jung Hoo Lee by the Numbers
Lee is a 25-year-old outfielder who bats left-handed and throws right-handed. In the KBO he is an on-base machine, who rarely strikes out, and creates a ton of runs offensively. He is a centerfielder by trade but has time in each of the outfield spots.
Here are what his 2023 numbers looked like:
- Slashed .318/.406/.455 in 387 plate appearances
- Had a wOBA of .396 and a wRC+ of 139, or 39% above league average in run creation
- 12.7% walk rate to go along with a 5.9% strikeout rate
- He hit six home runs, drove in 45 RBI, and stole six bases.
The impact of signing Jung Hoo Lee on the Tigers
You make think, “Not another outfielder?!” But, this is a great signing should it come to fruition. It allows Riley Greene to move to right field and take care of his body a little more, pushing Kerry Carpenter into a role he's best at in designating hitting and makes pieces like Parker Meadows and Akil Baddoo incredibly expendable to trade for a shortstop, catcher, third, or second baseman. This would be a signing that says: “Don't sleep on the Tigers.”
The Bottom line: Scott Harris is making a play
This move would signal something to Tigers fans: Scott Harris isn't messing around. Getting involved in a free agent internationally has never been something the Tigers have done and now a higher-profiled free agent has interest in coming to the Tigers. Things are going to be looking up for the Tigers come 2024, especially if they land this guy.