Looking back, it was a month of non-stop running. And in that month, a lot has changed. Ha-seong Kim (28, San Diego), who had the image of “a player who is very good at defense,” has now become “the best central infielder in the major leagues on both sides of the ball and defense.”메이저놀이터
Ha-seong Kim’s defensive power was already recognized early on. He was immediately a finalist for the Gold Glove Award for last year’s National League shortstop. It meant that it was recognized not only by objective figures, but also by people involved in the field. This year, everyone competes for first place in defensive indicators that represent the major leagues, such as DRS and OAA. As of the 13th (Korean time), Kim Ha-seong is still the 1st in the second baseman category with +16 in DRS.
The only regret was the attack. At the beginning of the season, the bat warmed up slowly. At the end of April, Ha-seong Kim’s batting average was 0.209, and at the end of May was 0.241. He was a bit lacking to go to the top level in the overall evaluation. However, a rebound occurred in June. In June, he stretched out with a batting average of 0.291, and from July, his sense of hitting exploded, surprising everyone.
Kim Ha-seong recorded a batting average of 0.337 and an OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) of 1.000 in July, drawing an upward trend and continuing that momentum in August. Ha-seong Kim’s batting average in the second half reached 0.363, his on-base percentage reached 0.463, and his OPS hit the ceiling with an OPS of 1.012.
Among them, many records appeared. First of all, he recorded 2 or more on-base games in 15 consecutive games, far exceeding Choo Shin-soo (10 games), who had the Korean record in this category. He also stood shoulder to shoulder with Ichiro Suzuki (15 games), a new Asian record. He even had a 16-game hitting streak by the 12th. He reached the heights of Choo Shin-soo (16 games), who also held the Korean record.
However, on the 13th in the Arizona away game, he went 4 at-bats and had no hits, ending his 16-game hit streak and 19-game on-base streak. His batting average, which had risen to 0.290, also came down slightly to 0.286. The truth is, no matter how good a hitter he is, he can’t hit every game. If he plays 6 or 7 games, there will be at least one no-hit game in between. However, Ha-seong Kim’s recent performance has been so great that the ‘no match’ itself is more eye-catching. It symbolizes that Kim Ha-sung’s recent run was great.
The local media, ‘San Diego Union-Tribune’ also covered the end of Kim Ha-sung’s streak of hits with great importance. ‘San Diego Union-Tribune’ said on the 14th, ‘Ha-sung Kim’s streak of consecutive hits ended at 16 games. “I went 0-for-4 last night,” he said, surprising him as “the first game he didn’t get on base in his last 34 starts.” Since Kim Ha-seong, who always went on base at least once when he started for over a month, ‘no on base’ had to become a hot topic even in the local area.
But it was a record that would break someday. There doesn’t seem to be any reason to be particularly concerned. There is so much he has earned in his second half, so he has room to spare. Ha-sung Kim’s batting average of 0.363 in the second half is third in the National League after Fred Freeman (LA Dodgers‧0.415) and Cody Bellinger (Chicago Cubs‧0.398). It’s a great record. The on-base percentage is also fourth in the National League after Freeman (.496), James Outman (LA Dodgers‧0.495), and Ronald Acuna Jr. (Atlanta‧0.465). His second half OPS (1.012) is also 7th in the league.
In the case of OPS in the second half, it is the best performance in the entire major league for a central infielder (shortstop/second baseman). Ha-seong Kim ranks 11th overall in the major leagues, and all players ahead of him are outfielders, corner infielders, or designated hitters. Following Kim Ha-seong, Bobby Witt (Kansas City) ranked second in OPS in the second half of the central infielder, with 0.974, followed by Marcus Simian (Texas‧0.961) and Nick Gorman (St. Louis, 0.957). You can feel the dignity of Kim Ha-seong.
It is also steadily maintaining the ‘TOP 10’ in the win contribution (WAR) compared to substitute players tallied by ‘Fan Graph’. It is thanks to the great run in the second half. In the field field, Ha-seong Kim recorded a WAR of 4.4 on the 13th and is currently ranked 8th. He has risen above all of the major league superstar beasts. Considering the gap with 5th place Wander Franco (Tampa Bay‧4.8), it is a position worth aiming for’TOP 5’ if you exert a little more strength.
Now, his place in the team is absolute. Ha-seong Kim has been used as a built-in leadoff since the end of June, when the sense of hitting began to rise. He, along with Juan Soto, is one of the best offensive productions in his team, so there’s no reason he shouldn’t be used there. Fans’ love is also absolute. The cry of ‘Ha Sung Kim’ resonating in Petco Park has now become a famous group cheer that the entire major league pays attention to.
The streak of consecutive hits has stopped, but Kim Ha-seong has to run again. Teams that have yet to recover their .500 win rate have a long way to go. Kim Ha-seong will play as the starting shortstop in the last game of the away series against Arizona on the 14th. The starting shortstop, Xander Bogarts, enters as the designated hitter, and Kim Ha-seong takes over as the shortstop. The word vertical and horizontal comes to mind.