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Reigning KBO MVP named team captain

09:44 January 20, 2023

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL Jan. 20 (Yonhap) -- The reigning South Korean baseball MVP Lee Jung-hoo was named captain of his club Friday.

The Kiwoom Heroes announced Lee, the 24-year-old star outfielder, will captain the club in the 2023 season. They said manager Hong Won-ki asked Lee to take on the role during their meeting earlier this month, before Lee left for Los Angeles for offseason training.

In this file photo from Nov. 17, 2022, Kiwoom Heroes outfielder Lee Jung-hoo kisses the trophy after winning the most valuable player award in the Korea Baseball Organization at the awards ceremony in Seoul. (Yonhap)

"We have a lot of young players on this team. And I think the manager named me captain because he wanted me to help young guys get settled in and pick them up when they're down," Lee said in a team statement. "I want to create an environment where my teammates, regardless of their age, can come to me and talk to me about anything. I will try to do my part to help the team reach the next level."

Lee is scheduled to join the Heroes at their spring training site in Scottsdale, Arizona, on Jan. 29.

Lee won the 2022 regular season MVP in a landslide after leading the league in five major hitting categories: batting average (.349), hits (193), RBIs (113), on-base percentage (.421) and slugging percentage (.575). Among all KBO hitters with at least 3,000 plate appearances, Lee has the highest career batting average with .342.

Lee will likely be captain just for one season, as he is set to be posted for major league clubs after the 2023 campaign.

In this file photo from Nov. 8, 2022, Lee Jung-hoo of the Kiwoom Heroes celebrates after hitting a solo home run against the SSG Landers during the top of the sixth inning of Game 6 of the Korean Series at Incheon SSG Landers Field in Incheon, some 30 kilometers west of Seoul. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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