“Ha-seong Kim (28, San Diego Padres) is worth enough for his elite defense.”
Ha-seong Kim started as a 6th hitter and second baseman against the Atlanta Braves in the ‘2023 Major League Baseball’ held at True Park in Atlanta, Georgia, USA on the 10th (Korean time).
On this day, Kim Ha-seong showed excellent attack power. 안전놀이터In the beginning of the second inning, when the game was tied at 0-0, he hit a double with an RBI from second base to center field to take the lead 1-0. After that, in the beginning of the 3rd inning, with no runners out, he got on base with a walk in his second at-bat.
The highlight was the third at-bat. In the top of the 5th inning, when the team was leading 6-0, pitcher Lucas Ricky, who had changed from 1 out 3 base, kicked up the 5th pitch sweeper and hit a 2-run homer that went over the left fence.
In particular, this ball came in low enough to become a one-bound if left alone. The distance from the ground was only 0.82 feet (about 25 cm), which was the 5th lowest ever since Statcast (a major league statistics system) was created in 2015, and tied the record with the ball hit from the lowest height. The US ESPN commentators, who were broadcasting the game, also raised their thumbs at Ha-sung Kim’s upper swing, saying, “Have you seen this golf shot? Ha-sung Kim attacked the slider for the second time today.”
Kim Ha-sung’s final score that day was 4 at-bats, 2 hits (1 home run), 3 RBIs, 1 run, and 1 walk. He helped the team win 10-2.
Kim Ha-seong also shone in defense. In the bottom of the 5th inning, when the team was ahead 8-0, he showed off his baseball sense enough at second and third base. Ronald Acuña Jr. hit a ball that went over pitcher Seth Lugo’s height, but Kim Ha-seong ran and caught it, threw it to third base instead of first base, and caught the runner on second base. Although he gave up runs from third base runners, he gave Lugo a boost with a defense that erased the leading runners.
At the beginning of this season, Kim Ha-seong is showing increased power. He has a 0.594 slugging percentage with six extra hits, including two home runs, in nine games. He also has a high OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) of 0.937.
AJ Casabel, a reporter in charge of San Diego on the official Major League homepage ‘MLB.com’ in response to Kim Ha-seong’s active performance in the offense and defense, said on his personal SNS, “Kim Ha-seong is worth enough just for his elite defense. To become a very valuable player, record an OPS of 0.900 or more. You don’t have to. But before the season started, I passed the OPS of 0.900 in less than 10 games,” he applauded generously.
Meanwhile, Kim Ha-seong is playing as the team’s starting second baseman this season. He gave up his place to first-class shortstop Zander Bogatz (31), but he shows a sense of stability even as a second baseman and is bringing vitality to the team.