WMBD/WYZZ-TV - PEORIA, Ill. -- He won't turn 20 until November but Hak-Ju Lee is turning heads in the Midwest League.
The native of Seoul, South Korea is pegged as one of the top ten prospects in the Cubs organization.
"I know there's a lot of expectations on me, high expectations," Lee said through an interpreter. "Sometimes I realize it and I feel the pressure. But I'm trying to play as well as people expect."
The Chiefs shortstop has not disappointed anyone this summer. In his first full season of playing minor lague baseball in the U.S, he's played in the Midwest League All-Star and Major League Baseball Futures games.
Last week, he was voted as the Midwest League's top defensive shortstop by the league's managers.
"It's fun. I'm learning a lot. It's a good learning experience," said Lee. "So I think if I do a little bit more, then the future will be really good. I'm trying very hard and enjoying it."
Lee is banking on a career in baseball, in fact the Cubs project he'll be in the big leagues in the next three years. But if the baseball thing doesn't work out, he might want to try singing.
Some 2009 video of Lee crooning in English is making the rounds on You Tube. His teammates says Lee and Korean outfielder Jae-Hoon Ha are karaoke stars.
"They just sit around on their I-Pods and sing, non-stop," said Chiefs second baseman Logan Watkins, who has been Lee's roommate the past two summers. "I'm over the singing because every song sounds the same."
Lee says the singing helps him learn English. He also admits he has no aspirations of landing a recording contract.
"I don't have any professional hope," laughed Lee. "But when I'm down or tired, when I sing it lifts me up."
With scouts are singing his praises, soon Hak-Ju Lee could be making noise in the big leagues.