Lee shows off bat, speed in encouraging Giants spring training debut

Lee shows off bat, speed in encouraging Giants spring training debut originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

It didn't take long for Jung Hoo Lee to show the Giants why he can be an exciting addition to the top of their lineup for years to come.

All it took was one at-bat.

Lee made his spring training debut in the Giants' 10-10 tie with the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday at Scottsdale Stadium, going 1-for-3 at the plate with a run scored in four innings in center field.

The 25-year-old wasted no time getting acclimated to MLB pitching, roping a leadoff single into right field off Mariners righty George Kirby in the top of the first inning.

In speaking to reporters after the game, Lee discussed his approach at the plate in his first at-bat.

“Kirby is a very known pitcher,” Lee said via interpreter Justin Han. “He was at two strikes, and I just thought, ‘Let’s just make contact.’ It went up in a good result, thankfully.” (h/t's Maria Guardado)

“It’s been kind of a long wait,” Giants manager Bob Melvin said of Lee. “To be delayed a little bit and then to go up there and get a hit in his first at-bat and score a run, looked pretty good to me.”

Thairo Estrada followed Lee's leadoff hit by reaching on a fielding error before LaMonte Wade Jr. singled home Lee from second, who impressed Melvin with his baserunning.

“He definitely has some speed,” Melvin said. “He had the ankle injury, and my understanding was last year they wanted him to be a little bit more careful. But from what we've seen, there’s good foot speed, so we’re going to try to see what he can do.”

The biggest question mark surrounding Lee is how he will adjust to MLB pitching in his rookie season. The average big-league fastball velocity typically is three to four miles per hour faster than the KBO, and so far, Lee has noticed the difference.

“Talking about the fastballs, for sure, there is a difference,” Lee shared. “But I feel that the biggest difference will be the breaking ball speed. Compared to the KBO and the Major Leagues, it’s different.”

Lee is not in the Giants' starting lineup for Wednesday's Cactus League matchup with the Oakland Athletics at Hohokam Stadium, but will look to build off his encouraging spring debut in his next appearance.

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