Kim Ha-seong (27, San Diego Padres) has seen his stock soar. His eye-catching performances have made Korean baseball fans proud.
Starting at first base and batting second against the Detroit Tigers in the 2023 Major League Baseball (MLB) World Series at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan 카지노사이트 (USA), Kim went 3-for-4 with one home run, two doubles, one walk, and two RBIs to lead San Diego to a 14-3 victory. Raised his individual batting average to .268 from .262.
Tied his career high for home runs and set a new career high for runs batted in in a game. Kim drew a walk from opposing starter Matt Manning in the top of the first inning. In his third at-bat in the top of the fourth with his team leading 4-3, Kim singled up the middle against reliever Mason Englert to move runners to second and third. The next batter, Fernando Tatis Jr.
In the fifth inning of an 8-3 lead, Kim completed his “three-strikeout” game with his second walk of the game, and in the top of the seventh inning, in his fifth at-bat with the bases loaded, he took a 145 mph (180 km/h) four-seam fastball (fastball) from Chasen Shreve for an instant home run.
The home run set a new MLB record for most home runs in a single season. It surpassed the 11 he hit last season (2022). The previous day (22), Kim hit a home run in the top of the second inning against Detroit, but was robbed of one when left fielder Akil Badu made a leaping catch. However, he made amends in the sixth inning when he hit his 14th double of the season, and eventually his 12th home run, off Shreve, who doubled.
Kim came to bat again in the top of the ninth as San Diego’s bats exploded, and with the bases loaded, he hit a clean single to give him his first “three-hit game” in seven games, dating back to the 16th against Philadelphia. Five walks, including a double. He also set a new single-game record for runs batted in.
Kim Ha-seong was the KBO’s leading shortstop. His long bat and quick feet made him a valuable infielder. His offensive prowess often overshadowed his top-notch defence.
In his first season in MLB (2021), Kim struggled to adjust to the fastball, hitting just .202 with eight home runs and 34 RBIs. However, he proved competitive at backup second base, shortstop, and third base, and last season (2022), filling in for injured and suspended starting shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. He was named a National League (NL) Gold Glove finalist (of three) for his solid and spectacular defence.
Kim made two spectacular defensive plays against the Los Angeles Angels on the 5th. With two outs in the top of the fourth inning and a ball deflecting off first baseman Jake Cronenwirth’s glove, he made a dynamic, bare-handed catch. Aka barehanded. He didn’t get the ball in one motion, but he followed it up with an immediate catch of pinch-hitter Mike Moustakas. In the top of the ninth inning, with the bases loaded and reliever Josh Hader facing a double play, Kim made a quick snag of Taylor Ward’s hard-hit, spinning grounder to get the final out.
At the plate, Kim has continued to adjust to the big leagues this season. His monthly batting average continues to rise. In April, he had a monthly average of 0.177, but in May, he hit 0.276, and in June, he hit 0.291. He also broke his personal record for most home runs in a month (4). July is still a week away, but he’s already batting .308 with three home runs.
The San Diego local media outlet, the Union-Tribune, while sharply criticising the team’s performance, which saw them drop to fourth place in the division (National League West) with 48 wins and 51 losses, raved that “Kim has been the only player who hasn’t disappointed this season”. He cited sabermetric defensive and offensive metrics, as well as wins above replacement (WAR). He went on to say that he has gone from a bench player to one of the best players on the team. Manny Machado, a pillar of the batting order, and Blake Snell, an ace on the mound, have also expressed their love for Ha-Sung Kim.
As of 23rd, Kim ranks fourth on the team in home runs (12) and fourth in on-base percentage (.428). That’s better than starting shortstop Zander Bogaerts (11 homers, .401 on-base percentage), who was signed last winter for a total of $280 million.
Many second basemen are relatively better hitters than shortstops. Kim is tied for ninth in home runs and 11th in on-base percentage among league starters. He’s also 11th in batting average.
Like Marcus Semien (Texas Rangers), he commands an astronomical price tag ($175 million). Brandon Drury (Los Angeles Angels) and Weeks Merrifield (Toronto Blue Jays) are also big-boned veterans. Nico Horner is the next leader of the Chicago Cubs, and Luis Ararez is the current batting leader. Aji Alvis leads the Atlanta Braves batting order alongside Ronald Acuna Jr. and Austin Riley.
He’s right up there with most of the players that MLB fans in Korea are familiar with. At this pace, he could easily reach 20 home runs and 20 doubles. He just needs to add two more stolen bases, and the home runs will follow. Shin-Soo Choo
Shin-Soo Choo played 16 seasons in the big leagues, but it took him until his fifth season (2009) to reach 20 home runs and 20 steals. Because of his service time, Shin-Soo Choo didn’t even get paid $500,000 until the 2010 season. Kim’s contract runs through 2024. If he continues his current growth and remains competitive, he can expect a contract similar to Shin-Soo Choo’s. It could happen in June or July.