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Jun-ho Jeon

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Jun-ho Jeon (전준호)

  • Bats Left, Throws Left
  • Height 5' 11", Weight 159 lb.

Jun-ho Jeon was a record-setting speedster in the Korea Baseball Organization.

Jeon started his career in 1991, hitting .263/.360/.347 for the Lotte Giants. In '92, he improved to .300/.376/.408 and finished among the KBO leaders in runs (90, 5th), triples (9, 3rd) and steals (33, 3rd). He fell to .282/.363/.333 in 1993 but was still among the leaders in runs (63, 5th), triples (7, 3rd), steals (75, 1st) and times caught stealing (25, 1st). He edged out Jong-beom Lee for the SB lead in an exciting race, 75-73. He also won his first Gold Glove, which in the KBO is for both offense and defense. He joined Kwang-rim Kim and Soon-chul Lee.

Jeon hit .288/.361/.349 in 1994 with 25 steals (6th) and 11 times caught (5th) in 79 games, his only time under 100 during the 1990s. He topped .300 for the second time during 1995 at .308/393/.395. He was 5th in the league in average and 6th in OBP while leading in runs (93, a career high), triples (12), steals (69) and times caught stealing (25). He won his second Gold Glove, alongside Kwang-rim Kim and Sang-ho Kim.

In 1996, Jeon led the KBO with 9 triples, was 9th with 23 steals and 10th with 12 times caught stealing in a big drop-off steal-wise. He hit .272/.346/.383. He was sent to the Hyundai Unicorns in the off-season. He had his worst season offensively in 1997, .247/.330/.339 with 23 steals in 35 tries; he ranked 8th in steals, 6th in times caught and 7th in triples. The next year, Jeon was resurgent and produced at a .321/.398/.422 clip. He was among the leaders in average (second, 21 points behind Joon-hyuk Yang and closer to 10th than to Yang), OBP (4th), steals (35, 4th), triples (7, 3rd) and times caught stealing (17, 2nd). He won his final Gold Glove, picked along with Jae-hyun Kim and Jae-hong Park. All of this came despite the fact that the KBO

The 29-year-old flyhawk hit .292/.380/.340 in 1999, finishing third in steals (38) and 6th in times gunned down (12). In 2000, he batted .316/.436/.388 in 87 games, with 18 steals (9th in the league) in 26 tries. Had he qualified, he would have edged Tyrone Woods out for 10th in average. Jeon had his best batting average in 2001, hitting .325/.426/.430. He finished 7th in average (between Hae-yong Ma and Jae-hyun Kim), 5th in OBP, second in triples (6), 5th in steals (27) and second in times caught stealing (15). On June 7, he hit for the cycle thanks to one of his four homers that year. On July 11, he broke Soon-chul Lee's KBO record of 371 career steals.

Jeon batted .300/.394/.395 in 2002, finishing 9th in average (between Jin-young Lee and Byung-kyu Lee), 6th in OBP, 4th in steals (26), 6th in caught stealing (11) and first in triples (8, his third time leading the league). In 2003, the veteran fell to .269/.365/.353 but again led in triples (6) and was among the leaders in steals (8th, 20 in 29 attempts). He hit .292/.377/.366 in 2004, finishing 7th in runs (88), leading in triples a fifth and final time (7), leading in steals at age 35 (53) and being caught stealing only 7 times. As if that weren't enough, he stole home in game seven of the 2004 Korean Series (it was not the last game of the Series - as Korea allows ties in its championship games, the Series went to nine games), the first player to steal home in a Korean Series game. It was the fifth and final time Jeon played for a Korean Series champion.

Jun-ho slumped to .266/.332/.309 in 2005; he became the first KBO player to 500 career swipes. He was back up to .287/.346/.337 in 2006 with 20 steals (7th in the league) and 7 times caught (8th). In 2007, he hit .297/.377/.332 and was 8th in times caught stealing (10). He scores his 1,044th run in the KBO, breaking the record held by Jong-hun Jang.

Jeon hit .310/.372/.392 for the Woori Heroes (Hyundai had quit sponsoring the Unicorns due to financial problems) in 2008; the 39-year-old finished 12th in average and still stole 16 bases in 27 tries. He also was third in the circuit with five triples. On October 3, he hit his 100th triple, the first KBO player to that mark. Also that year, he got his 2,000th hit, the second KBO player to do so, following Joon-hyuk Yang. He was 8 for 33 for the Seoul Heroes in 2009 to wrap up his career.

Overall, Jeon had batted .291/.375/.369 in 2,091 KBO games. He had 1,171 runs, 2,018 hits, 100 triples, only 42 home runs, 550 stolen bases and 217 times caught stealing. He coached for the SK Wyverns in 2010.

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