Ha-seong Kim (28, San Diego Padres) has been recognized for his top-class defense in the league since his MLB debut. Maybe he could move back to shortstop, pushing out a more experienced veteran.
Sports media The Athletic reported on the 22nd (Korean time), “San Diego is likely to ask Xander Bogaerts (31) to move to a position next season, and the team believes that Ha-seong Kim moving to shortstop is the best combination.”토스카지노
San Diego finished the season in 3rd place in the National League West Division with a record of 82 wins and 80 losses (0.506 winning percentage) in the 2023 season. They brought in slugger Juan Soto at last year’s trade deadline, and also strengthened their power by giving Bogatz 280 million dollars (about 380 billion won) over 2011 in the Stove League. Fernando Tatis Jr., the ‘2021 home run king’ who missed the entire season last year due to injury and ban on banned substances, also returned to full strength. In addition, existing star players such as Manny Machado were also alive and well.
However, San Diego has not been able to beat the .500 winning percentage this season. Until early September, he failed to show concentration, being the only player in the major league to not achieve four consecutive wins. In the end, he fell away from the leaders and at one point fell to 4th place. San Diego returned to a winning percentage of .500 by recording 8 and 5 consecutive wins at the end of the season, but it was already far from a playoff spot.
As there are voices calling for team reorganization, there are also calls for position changes. In particular, active claims are being made regarding the infield. This year, San Diego’s lineup consisted of first baseman Jake Cronenworth, second baseman Ha-seong Kim, third baseman Machado, and shortstop Bogaerts. In particular, Bogaerts was the only infielder to play more than 1,000 innings in one position (1,285⅔ innings), maintaining his solid starting position.
This was thanks to Bogaerts’ brilliant career and large contract. Bogaerts, who debuted in the major league with the Boston Red Sox in 2013, played in 1,419 big league games over 11 seasons until this year, achieving a batting average of 0.291, 175 home runs, 741 RBI, 93 stolen bases, and an OPS of 0.812. He is a four-time All-Star and five-time Silver Slugger, and is a veteran who also won two World Series in 2013 and 2018 during his time in Boston.
San Diego brought in Bogaerts even though it already had two starting shortstops in Kim Ha-seong and Tatis. Accordingly, San Diego completed traffic control by moving Ha-seong Kim to second base and Tatis to right field. This was a part that showed the expectations for Bogaerts. Bogaerts ended the season with a batting average of 0.285, 19 home runs, 58 RBIs, and an OPS of 0.790. Although it was the team’s best performance in batting average and hits (170), it showed a poor performance with a scoring average of 0.192. The latest defensive index OAA (Outs Above Average, 0 is average) was +3, which was average and 15th overall in the major leagues.
On the other hand, Ha-seong Kim, who was pushed to second base, ranked 7th with +7. All positions combined were +10. Thanks to this performance, Ha-seong Kim was proudly ranked as one of the three finalists in the second baseman and utility categories for the National League Gold Glove Award. Ha-Seong Kim, who was a finalist in the shortstop category last season and still faced hardships, will challenge for the award again this year.
In addition, his batting also performed well. Kim Ha-seong, who mainly played as the number one hitter this season, posted a batting average of 0.260, 17 home runs, 60 RBI, 84 runs, 140 hits, 38 stolen bases, and an OPS of 0.749 in 152 games. In July, he had a ‘crazy summer’ with a batting average of 0.337, 5 home runs, and an OPS of 0.999. Although he suffered a poor batting average of 0.176 due to injuries and a slump after September, and was unable to become the first Asian infielder to achieve 20 (home runs) and 20 (stealing bases), he had a career-high season in home runs, stolen bases, and hits.
The media claimed, “Kim Ha-seong is under contract with the club until 2024, and even after performing outstandingly as the starting second baseman, he is consistently evaluated as a shortstop with the best defensive ability in the team.” At the same time, he mentioned the player’s own will by introducing an interview with Kim Ha-seong, who said, “I still think shortstop is my main position and the position where I can perform at my best.”
It appears that the club will also request Bogaerts to change his position. The media said, “Club officials mentioned asking Bogaerts to move to a position on the right side of the infield (first baseman, second baseman),” adding, “Although his OAA was above average, he had an arm that was in the bottom 24% based on Statcast. “There is,” he said. He also mentioned that half of the season’s total errors (eight) were committed in one month starting from mid-August. Bogaerts said through the media, “It was a mental issue. I was aiming for a double play rather than getting a clear out. It was a mistake that came from trying to overdo it.”
Ha-seong Kim only had one season as a full-time shortstop last year. The fact that there is even talk of such a player surpassing veteran Bogaerts can be interpreted as meaning that Kim Ha-sung’s abilities are recognized in many places.