The San Diego Padres have announced that Ha Sung Kim will continue to bat first next season.
Kim had his best season this year. In 152 games, he hit .260 (140-for-538) with 17 home runs, 60 RBIs, 84 runs scored, a .351 on-base percentage, a .398 slugging percentage, and a .749 OPS. A career-high season by most metrics. This is Kim’s best performance since breaking into the major leagues in 2021.
Kim was moved to the leadoff spot midway through the season. San Diego manager Bob Melvin made this decision to capitalize on his improving batting average. As a leadoff hitter, Kim was more persistent against opposing pitchers, and he lived up to his manager’s trust with his excellent initiative. In the top of the order, he made bold baserunning plays and fulfilled his leadoff role.
Head coach Bob Melvin said, “Ha-Sung Kim made some fantastic plays, including a key hit, a leadoff home run, and a stolen base. He is the engine of our team and his passion is evident in his play. He’s a future All-Star. He’s going to be an All-Star in a couple years,” said Melvin, who praised Kim’s performance.
Kim’s presence on defense is also notable. He was a Gold Glove finalist at shortstop last year, but the acquisition of Xander Bogaerts forced him to switch to second base. Despite the unfamiliarity of the position, Kim adapted quickly and remained a solid anchor in the San Diego center field.
Kim’s dominance throughout the season helped him break the Korean Major League Baseball record. He broke Shin-Soo Choo’s record for most stolen bases in a season (22) while playing for the Cleveland Indians, and tied Ichiro Suzuki’s Asian Major League record with 15 multi-hit games. He was unable to become the first Asian player to reach the 20-homer, 40-steal plateau as he suffered an unexplained stomach bug late in the season that slowed him down.
Based on his performance, Kim is expected to be a consistent first baseman and second baseman next year. On Nov. 11 (KST), American media outlet Bleacher Report released its projected starting lineup for next season for the team that was eliminated from the postseason, and the outlet predicted that Kim will play first base and second base.카지노사이트
Behind Kim, the lineup will be Fernando Tatis Jr. (right field), Juan Soto (left field), Manny Machado (third base), Zander Bogaerts (shortstop), Jake Cronenwirth (first base), Luis Camposano (catcher), Matt Carpenter (designated hitter), and Trent Grisham (center field).
While the batting order is unlikely to change much, the mound situation is different. San Diego could face major changes as starting pitcher Blake Snell and closer Josh Hader become free agents.
Meanwhile, Kim Ha-seong is expected to arrive at Incheon International Airport on Nov. 11 and begin preparing for next season.