Although he was ignored by the All-Stars…”SD’s MVP” Kim Ha-seong becomes the ML-certified ‘best second baseman’ again?

Will the major leagues now recognize the true value of Kim Ha-seong of the San Diego Padres? Now is the time for everyone to know about Kim Ha-seong’s activities. 

On the 5th (Korean time), MLB.com introduced candidates for the second baseman category of the ‘All-MLB Team’, which selects the best player at each position in the Major League this year. The ‘All MLB Team’ is divided into a first team and a second team, and the final results are announced by adding 50% of fan votes and 50% of expert panel votes. Candidates are announced in November and the final selection is made in December. 

Ha-seong Kim was introduced as the fourth of eight candidates in the second baseman category. First, Marcus Semien (Texas Rangers) and Luis Arraez (Miami Marlins) were introduced as potential players, and then while introducing candidates, Kim Ha-seong’s name was mentioned next after Aji Elvis (Atlanta Braves). 온라인바카라

Afterwards, Ketel Marte (Arizona), Gleyber Torres (New York Yankees), Bryson Scott (Philadelphia), and Nico Horner (Chicago Cubs) were mentioned as dark horses.

The media said, ‘Although San Diego’s competition failed, Ha-seong Kim is San Diego’s most valuable player and MVP,’ and ‘fWAR (Contribution Above Replacement Based on Fangraphs) is the best in the team at 4.4, the best batting average (.275) in his personal career, and on-base percentage (.275). He explained Ha-seong Kim’s value by saying, “He has a slugging percentage (.429), OPS (.795), and 17 home runs.”

Next, ‘Ha-Seong Kim does not hit the ball particularly hard by the common standard among the All-MLB team candidates in the second base category, but he makes up for it by finding the right spot and hitting it. He is ranked 93rd in pursuit rate and 91st in swing and miss rate. In addition, he has stolen 31 bases and is showing off his solid defense with a defensive run save (DRS) of +10, which ranks 4th among second basemen. ‘He explained Kim Ha-seong’s persistent hitting ability, base running ability, and defensive ability. 

Although he was not selected as an All-Star, which is a measure of a popular player, he is recognized as a player worth more than an All-Star. Above all, this year is creating seasons that cannot be overlooked in the history of Korean big leaguers, and even Asian big leaguers. On the 4th, against the San Francisco Giants, he added two stolen bases, recording his 30th and 31st stolen bases of the season, becoming the first Korean major leaguer to steal 30 bases. Kim Ha-seong, who had already surpassed the record of most stolen bases (22) by a Korean major leaguer recorded by Choo Shin-soo in 2010 on the 5th of last month, did not stop.

Not only did he become the first Korean to steal 30 bases, but he also continued to have multiple on-base records in 15 consecutive games, tying the record with Ichiro Suzuki, the Asian big leaguer record holder. Ha-seong Kim’s festival-like record streak continues throughout the season.

In particular, it is meaningful that he is having an MVP-level season recognized by everyone, showing off his versatility in batting, fielding, and base running while playing the second baseman position, which is an axis of the infield center line with a significant defensive burden.

‘FanGraphs.com’ WAR 4.4 ranks 12th in the entire major league. However, Baseball-Reference WAR, another standard, is 6.0, ranking 5th overall in the major leagues. He is standing shoulder to shoulder with some of the best current players, such as Mookie Betts (LA Dodgers⋅7.8), Ronald Acuña Jr. (Atlanta⋅7.0), Freddie Freeman (LA Dodgers⋅6.1), and Corey Seager (Texas⋅6.0). 

In addition, if he adds just three more home runs, he can become the first Asian big leaguer to set a record of 20 home runs and 30 stolen bases, something that not only Choo Shin-soo but also Ichiro could do. Not only is he the first Asian player to achieve this record, he is also virtually the only second baseman in the league this year to achieve this record.

And Kim Ha-seong’s current position allows him to become the first Asian infielder to win a Gold Glove. Although the current defensive indicators have fallen somewhat, they are still competitive and are recording indicators that can be used as a basis for receiving awards. In particular, Ha-seong Kim is still ranked first in the SABR Defensive Index (SDI), a defensive index of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR), which is the standard for Gold Glove selection. As of last August 13, Ha-seong Kim’s SDI value was 8.3, which is better than Bryson Scott (6.4) and Nico Horner (5.7). It remains to be seen if there will be any changes in the indicators announced in September, but it is unlikely that there will be any major changes. The time to reap the fruits of Kim Ha-seong’s performance is approaching. /jhrae@osen.co.kr

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