In retrospect, it was a month of nonstop running. And in that month, a lot has changed. Kim Ha-seong (28, San Diego), who was once thought of as “a guy who plays really good defense,” is now “one of the best center fielders in the major leagues on both sides of the ball.”
Kim’s defensive prowess was recognized early on. He was a Gold Glove finalist at shortstop in the National League last year. This meant that he was recognized not only by the objective numbers, but also by the people on the field. This year, he’s vying for the top spot in all of the major league’s defensive metrics, including DRS and OAA. As of the 13th, Kim is still the top second baseman in DRS at +16.
The only thing that has been lacking is offense. His bat was slow to warm up early in the season. At the end of April, his batting average was .209, and at the end of May, it was .241. That’s not enough to make it to the top of the overall evaluation. But in June, he rebounded. He hit .291 in June, and then surprised everyone in July when his bat exploded.
He hit .337 in July with a 1.000 OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) and continued his upward trend in August. In the second half of the year, he hit .363 with a .463 on-base percentage and a 1.012 OPS.
Along the way, a number of records were set. For starters, he had 15 consecutive games with two or more doubles, surpassing the previous Korean record of 10 games held by Choo Shin-soo. He also tied the Asian record of Ichiro Suzuki (15 games). Until December 12, he had a 16-game hitting streak. He also surpassed the Korean record of Choo Shin-soo (16 games).
His streak of 16 straight games with a hit and 19 straight games with a base hit was snapped when he went 0-for-4 against Arizona on July 13. His batting average, which was as high as .290, dropped to .286. The truth is, no matter how good a hitter you are, you can’t hit every game. The fact is, no matter how good a hitter you are, you can’t get a hit every game. However, Kim’s recent performance has been so spectacular that the “no-hitter” itself is more noticeable. It symbolizes the greatness of his recent run.
The San Diego Union-Tribune, a local media outlet, also highlighted the end of Kim’s hitting streak. The San Diego Union-Tribune reported on Thursday that “Kim’s streak of consecutive games with a hit ended at 16 games. He went 0-for-4 last night,” and marveled that it was the first time in his last 34 starts that he hadn’t gotten on base. As Kim has always had at least one hit in every start for more than a month, the “no-hitter” was bound to be a hot topic in the local media.
However, it was a record that would eventually be broken. There’s no reason to worry about it. He made up for it in the second half. Kim’s .363 second-half batting average is third in the National League, behind only Fred Freeman (LA Dodgers, .415) and Cody Bellinger (Chicago Cubs, .398). That’s an impressive mark. His slugging percentage is also fourth in the National League behind Freeman (.496), James Outman (LA Dodgers, .495), and Ronald Acuña Jr. (Atlanta, .465). Their late-season OPS (1.012) is also seventh in the league.
This second half OPS is the best in all of baseball for a center fielder (shortstop and second baseman). He ranks 11th in the majors, but the players ahead of him are all outfielders, corner infielders, or designated hitters. Behind him, Bobby Wiet (Kansas City) has the second-best second-half OPS among center fielders at 0.974, followed by Marcus Semien (Texas, 0.961) and Nick Gorman (St. Louis, 0.957). Kim’s majesty is palpable.
He’s also consistently ranked in the top 10 in Wins Above Replacement (WAR) according to FanGraphs. Thanks to a late-season surge. In the fielders category, Kim is currently ranked 8th with a WAR of 4.4 in 13 days. That’s a lot of superstar hitters in the major leagues. Considering the gap between him and fifth-place Wander Franco (Tampa Bay, 4.8), he could crack the top five with a little more effort.토토사이트
His position on the team is now crucial. Kim has been the leadoff man since the end of June, when his hitting started to pick up. Along with Juan Soto, he has the best offensive production on the team, so there’s no reason not to keep him there. The fans love him, too. The “Ha Sung Kim” chant that echoes through Petco Park is now a famous group cheer that the entire major leagues take notice of.
His hitting streak is over, but he needs to get back on track. The team still has a long way to go to regain its five-win percentage. Kim will start at first base for the final game of the series against Arizona on Thursday. Xander Bogaerts will be the designated hitter, and Kim will play shortstop. The word “dominant” comes to mind.