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Jin-young Lee

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Jin-young Lee

  • Bats Left, Throws Left
  • Height 6' 1", Weight 198 lb.

Jin-young Lee is an outfielder in the Korea Baseball Organization.

Lee played well for South Korea in the 1997 World Junior Championship, hitting .409 with three steals. He made the Best Nine in the 1998 Asian Junior Championship. Lee began his professional career with the Ssangbangwool Raiders in 1999, hitting .258/~.319/.347. In 2000, he batted .247/~.299/.401 for the SK Wyverns, who replaced the disbanded Raiders. Lee produced at a .280/~.351/.402 in the 2001 KBO campaign.

In 2002, Lee hit .308/~.378/.492 with 8 triples for the Wyverns and was 8th in the KBO in average. In the 2002 Intercontinental Cup, the left-handed Lee batted .333/.421/.455 with 8 RBI in 9 games as the South Korean center fielder. He was named to the tournament All-Star team, joining Katsuaki Furuki and Daniel Matsumoto in the outfield. He tied for 7th in the Cup in hits, tied for 9th in RBI and tied for 4th in steals (2). He was 0 for 4 with a strikeout in the Gold Medal game 2-1 loss to the Cuban national team but did have an outfield assist in the contest.

Lee batted .328/~.410/.520 for the 2003 Wyverns with 29 doubles, 17 home runs and 81 runs scored in 128 contests. He made the KBO All-Star Game for the first time and was named playoff MVP though the Wyverns lost in 7 games in the Korean Series. He was 5th in the regular season in batting average. Lee played for South Korea in the 2003 Asian Championship. In 2004, Jin-young improved to .342/~.440/.505 at the plate and was second in average, one behind Cliff Brumbaugh. He also won a KBO Gold Glove Award; unlike in the USA, the Gold Glove goes to the best overall players by position, not just best defensive player.

Lee hit .291/~.351/.470 in a decline season in 2005 though he did crush 20 home runs and drove in 74, both career highs to that point. In 2006, Jin-young batted .273/~.340/.381. Lee played for South Korea in the 2006 Asian Games and 2006 World Baseball Classic and also appeared in his second KBO All-Star Game. In the 2006 World Baseball Classic, Lee was one of the worst hitters on a strong Korean outfit; he hit just .150/.190/.200. Only Kab-yong Jin had a lower OPS among South Korean hitters with 10+ at-bats.

Lee hit .350/~.414/.518 in a resurgent 2007 but did not play enough (220 AB) to qualify for the batting title, or he would have won. He was with Korea for the 2008 Final Olympic Qualification Tournament, Lee disappointed with a .143/.250/.214 batting line while splitting right field duties with Yong-kyu Lee. Only Seong-hoon Jeong had a worse average among South Korea's position players in the tournament. South Korea still clinched a spot in the 2008 Olympics with their performance in the event.

Lee did well as a RF-1B in the 2008 Olympics and batted .333/.400/.333 as Korea won Gold. Down 2-1 in the 7th inning of the semifinals against Japan, Lee pinch-hit for Jin-man Park and drove in the game-tying run against Kyuji Fujikawa; South Korea went on to advance to the Gold Medal game, where they won for the best moment in national team history.

Lee hit .315/~.382/.451 for SK in the 2008 KBO to help SK set a single-season league record for wins. In the 2009 World Baseball Classic, Lee was a regular right fielder for South Korea, going 4 for 16 with 3 walks, a steal, a homer and 7 RBI. Most of the RBI came on a grand slam off Indians signee Chen-Chang Lee. Lee tied Norichika Aoki, Adrián González, Bum-ho Lee and Shuichi Murata for 5th in the tourney in RBI.

He moved to the LG Twins in 2009.

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