Lee Seung-yeop

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Lee Seung-yeop
YG-Lee-Seung-Yeop.jpg
Samsung Lions – No. 36
First baseman
Born: (1976-10-11) October 11, 1976 (age 38)
Daegu, South Korea
Batted: Left Threw: Left
Professional debut
KBO: April 15, 1995 for the Samsung Lions
NPB: March 27, 2004 for the Chiba Lotte Marines
Last professional appearance
NPB: October 18, 2011 for the Orix Buffaloes
KBO statistics
(through 2014)
Batting average .302
Home runs 390
RBI 1,203
Hits 1,704
Doubles 374
NPB statistics
(through 2011)
Batting average .257
Home runs 159
Runs batted in 439
Hits 686
Doubles 138
Teams
Career highlights and awards
Olympic medal record
Men's baseball
Competitor for  South Korea
Bronze 2000 Sydney Team
Gold 2008 Beijing Team
Lee Seung-yeop
Hangul 이승엽
Hanja 李承燁
Revised Romanization I Seungyeop
McCune–Reischauer Ri Sŭngyŏp
This is a Korean name; the family name is Lee.

Lee Seung-yeop also Lee Seung-yuop (born October 11, 1976[1] in Daegu, South Korea) is a baseball player, currently playing for the Samsung Lions of the Korean Baseball Organization. Nicknamed "Lion King" since his days with the Samsung Lions, while being affectionately known as "Mr. Seung" during his playing days with the Chiba Lotte Marines, Lee is arguably the greatest hitter in Korean baseball history. At the age of 26, he became the youngest professional baseball player in the world to hit 300 home runs. He formerly held the Asian home run record of 56 homers in a season, established in 2003 while playing for the Samsung Lions in the Korean league. The record was broken by Wladimir Balentein of the Tokyo Yakult Swallows, on September 15, 2013, when he hit his 56th and 57th Home Runs of the season against the Hanshin Tigers of the Nippon Professional Baseball League.

Professional career[edit]

Lee started his career with the Daegu Samsung Lions of the Korean Baseball Organization in 1995 and played with them for nine seasons. He then played for the Chiba Lotte Marines of Japan's Pacific League for two years. He signed a one-year contract with the Yomiuri Giants for 210 million yen, including a 50 million yen signing bonus, for the 2006 season. He bats fourth and plays first base there. He has explicitly shown interest in making a move to Major League Baseball.

He had a slow start in Japan. Lee hit just 14 home runs and drove in 50 runs while batting .240 in 100 games. In the next season, he greatly improved, making 30 home runs and 82 RBI while batting .260 in 117 games.

He was selected to play for the Korea national baseball team in the inaugural World Baseball Classic in 2006. He batted .333 and led all players in the tournament with 5 home runs and 10 RBI. This has increased speculation that an MLB team might eventually sign him. However, Lee was under contract to play with the Yomiuri Giants for the 2006 season. On 1 August 2006, Lee became only the third professional baseball player ever to hit 400-career home runs before the age of 30 (others include Sadaharu Oh and Alex Rodriguez).[2] In the 2006 season, he batted .323 with 41 homers.

On August 3, 2006, a report on MLB Radio on XM satellite radio stated that the New York Yankees and Lee had agreed to start negotiations during the offseason after the 2006 regular season. The South Korean daily, ChosunIlbo, had reported on July 19 that the Yankees had expressed interest in the slugger.[3]

After the conclusion of the 2006 season, Lee re-signed with the Yomiuri Giants, citing that he wishes to win a Japan Series with the team. However, there is also a clause which allows Lee to be a free agent if the Giants win the series.

As of February 2008, Lee still has not made an effort to play in the Major Leagues. He may have lost his best chance to play in MLB in 2004 when he demanded the LA Dodgers include verbiage in any contract they offered guaranteeing him a starting position, something no MLB player has ever had written into a contract.

After being released by the Giants at the end of the 2010 season, Lee joined the Orix Buffaloes of the Japan's Pacific League in December 2010.

On 5 December 2011, Lee rejoined his former team Samsung Lions signing a one-year deal.[4]

Lee is 6'0" tall and his playing weight is listed at 187 pounds (85 kg).[5]

2008 Summer Olympics[edit]

Lee played for the South Korean national team in the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing. Slowed down by an injury to his left thumb, Lee struggled in the preliminary rounds, limited to 3-for-22 (.136) with two runs batted in and no home runs, before coming alive in the medal round games against Japan and Cuba.

In the semifinal game against Team Japan, Lee hit a dramatic go-ahead two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning off reliever Hitoki Iwase, which proved to be the winning runs in Korea's 6-2 win.

In the gold medal game against Cuba, Lee hit a two-run home run in the first inning off Cuban starter Norberto González to help Korea defeat Cuba and win the gold medal.[6]

Career statistics[edit]

Career Statistics in KBO[edit]

Season Team G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB SF BB HBP K GIDP E AVG SLG OBP OPS
1995 Lions 121 365 55 104 29 1 13 73 0 9 33 4 54 4 8 0.285 0.477 0.345 0.822
1996 Lions 122 459 57 139 32 6 9 76 4 6 34 5 42 10 5 0.303 0.458 0.354 0.812
1997 Lions 126 517 96 170 37 3 32 114 5 5 49 6 79 10 4 0.329 0.598 0.391 0.989
1998 Lions 126 477 100 146 32 2 38 102 0 8 78 5 97 4 3 0.306 0.621 0.404 1.025
1999 Lions 132 486 128 157 33 2 54 123 10 4 112 12 114 7 0 0.323 0.733 0.458 1.191
2000 Lions 125 454 108 133 33 0 36 95 4 3 80 7 113 5 2 0.293 0.604 0.404 1.008
2001 Lions 127 463 101 128 31 2 39 95 4 3 96 12 130 6 4 0.276 0.605 0.412 1.017
2002 Lions 133 511 123 165 42 2 47 126 1 2 89 15 109 11 4 0.323 0.689 0.436 1.125
2003 Lions 131 479 115 144 23 0 56 144 7 6 101 10 89 11 5 0.301 0.699 0.428 1.127
Total - 1143 4211 883 1286 292 18 324 948 35 46 672 76 827 68 35 0.305 0.614 0.410 1.024

Career statistics in NPB[edit]

Season Team G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB SF BB HBP K GIDP E AVG OBP SLG OPS
2004 Lotte 100 333 50 80 20 4 14 50 1 3 42 3 88 6 4 0.240 0.328 0.450 0.779
2005 Lotte 117 408 64 106 25 2 30 82 5 3 33 1 79 9 2 0.260 0.315 0.551 0.886
2006 Yomiuri 143 524 101 169 30 0 41 108 5 7 56 5 126 5 3 0.323 0.389 0.616 1.003
2007 Yomiuri 137 541 84 148 29 2 30 74 4 1 38 1 119 8 5 0.274 0.322 0.501 0.823
2008 Yomiuri 45 153 21 38 4 0 8 27 1 0 11 6 37 3 0 0.248 0.324 0.431 0.755
2009 Yomiuri 77 223 33 51 9 0 16 36 1 1 28 5 65 1 3 0.229 0.327 0.484 0.811
2010 Yomiuri 56 92 13 15 1 0 5 11 1 0 12 3 26 0 2 0.163 0.280 0.337 0.617
2011 Orix 122 394 28 79 20 0 15 51 0 6 32 0 121 8 4 0.201 0.257 0.365 0.622
Total - 797 2668 394 686 138 8 159 439 18 21 252 24 661 40 23 0.257 0.324 0.494 0.818

References[edit]

  1. ^ His birth date is August 18, 1976 in the lunar calendar.
  2. ^ 이승엽, 400호 홈런 폭발 (in Korean). YTN. 2006-08-01. 
  3. ^ Digital Chosunilbo (English Edition) : Daily News in English About Korea
  4. ^ "Slugger Lee Seung-yeop rejoins former S. Korean team". Korea Herald. 2011-12-05. Retrieved 2011-12-05. 
  5. ^ "Seung-Yeop Lee Profile". Japanesebaseball.com. 2008-08-23. Retrieved 2008-08-23. 
  6. ^ "Korea clips Cuba to take baseball gold". Reuters. 2008-08-23. Retrieved 2008-08-23. 

External links[edit]