Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Top Amateur Signing from SK......
I know this isn't directly related to Taiwanese baseball, but it's interesting news anyways. Some Korean news outlets are reporting that an 18 year old HS SS - Hak-Joo Lee from Chungahm HS received a $1.15 million signing bonus (I'm hearing that his signing bonus may actually be closer to $750 K - either way it's a significant amount) from the Chicago Cubs recently. The 6'o", 170 pounder was signed by Steve Wilson, who's been active in South Korea. Wilson also signed SK HS'ers Hae-Sung Kook and Dae-Eun Lee ($810 K bonus) last year. DE Lee (Rhee) has been tremendous so far this year in Peoria. *Edited/Updated
HJ Lee's strengths are reportedly: his plus speed (runs the 100 in 11 seconds/4.10 seconds from home-to-first), his defense, arm (clocked at 89 mph), ability to make good contact, and has average power. He's been compared to Ichiro by some scouts because of his tools. The kid sounds very comparable to Red Sox signee Che-Hsuan Lin. Speaking of Lin, Red Sox Prospects has a breakdown of his stats this season.
Lee's signing bonus puts him in some elite company - check out what some of the top international prospects received last year and in 2006. It sounds like Lee would be the top SK positional HS prospect to sign with a ML organization since Shin-Soo Choo (a 2 way-star in HS who received a $1.3 million bonus in 2000). Hopefully we'll continue to see more top HS kids from South Korea give the ML's a try.