Ha-seong Kim (28, San Diego) opened both his wings, both attack and defense, in the 2023 season, his third year in the big league. While he proved his true worth in defense last year, he has clearly been reborn as a ‘commander of offense and defense’ this season. Locally, there are already predictions about how Kim Ha-seong will be utilized, including his position next season.
Ha-seong Kim ended the year with an away game against the Major League Baseball (MLB) Chicago White Sox held at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago, Illinois, USA on the 2nd. San Diego finished third in the National League (NL) West Division and failed to advance to the postseason.
Ha-seong Kim did not hit a hit in his last game against the White Sox, going 0-hit in 4 at-bats and 1 RBI. As a result, his final performance this season is a batting average of 0.260, 140 hits, 17 home runs, 60 RBI, 38 stolen bases, and OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) of 0.749. Although he recorded a ‘career high’, it is regrettable that he lost his original batting pace as his stamina declined in September.
Ha-seong Kim’s hitting was so hot that his batting average reached 0.290 at one point in August. From the game against Detroit on July 23rd to the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on August 8th, he continued to record multiple on-base hits for 15 consecutive games, putting him on par with Japan’s ‘baseball hero’ Ichiro Suzuki.
Ha-seong Kim also became the second Korean major leaguer, following Choo Shin-soo (SSG), to attempt the record of ’20 home runs and 20 stolen bases’, a symbol of the Hota Junjok. His stolen bases exceeded 20 early on, but his home run hit came to a halt with just three left to reach the record.
Although his performance at the end of the season feels somewhat regrettable, Kim Ha-seong’s value remains the same. According to ‘Baseball Reference’, an American baseball statistics site, Ha-seong Kim’s WAR (Contribution to Wins Above Replacement) this season is 5.8, ranking 8th overall among NL fielders. Although he has a slim chance of actually메이저사이트 winning the award, he could also win votes in NL Most Valuable Player (MVP) voting. His defensive ability, which showed stability as he played in all infield positions except first base, has also remained unchanged, leading to analysis that he deserves another shot at winning the Gold Glove Award.
Ha-seong Kim ends his four-year contract with San Diego at the end of next season. If he continues the performance he showed in offense and defense this year next year, he could well be in line for a large contract in the future.
Meanwhile, local media are mentioning the possibility of a position change for Sander Boharz, who played as San Diego’s starting shortstop this season, and are mentioning Ha-seong Kim as his replacement next season. For Ha-seong Kim, this is a good opportunity to increase his value.
The San Diego local newspaper ‘San Diego Tribune’ recently reported, “San Diego is already internally discussing moving Boharz’s infield defense position.”
If Bohartz actually moves positions, his replacement will likely be Kim Ha-seong. Sports Illustrated said, “Even if Boharz moves to a new position, there will not be much loss due to the versatility of Kim Ha-seong.”