Kim Ha-seong, who was nominated by the Nexen (now Kiwoom) Heroes with the 29th overall pick in the 2nd 3rd round of the 2014 rookie draft, played in 891 games in 7 seasons in the KBO League. 940 hits, 133 homers, 575 RBIs, 606 points, a batting average of 0.294 OPS 메이저놀이터 and 0.866, then challenged the major leagues. And through the ‘posting system’, he succeeded in embracing a contract with the San Diego Padres for up to 39 million dollars (approximately 51.3 billion won) for 4+1 years.
Kim Ha-seong is a player who clearly received a lot of attention for his offensive ability rather than his defensive ability during his KBO League days. However, his performance in the early days of his debut clearly did not live up to expectations. Ha-seong Kim had a hard time adapting to the fast ball of major league pitchers, and as time passed, the frequency of starting from the bench rather than starting and playing as a defense increased as time went on, appearing in 117 games with 54 hits and 8 home runs. He recorded 27 RBIs, a batting average of 0.202, and an OPS of 0.622.
The turning point where Kim Ha-seong was able to leap as a ‘main player’ was last season. With key shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. having to miss the entire season due to injury and taking prohibited drugs, San Diego showed expectations for Kim Ha-seong by sending “top prospect” CJ Abrams (Washington) in a trade. And he hit the right spot in San Diego’s selection.
Kim Ha-seong showed off his spirit by being selected as the final candidate for the National League Gold Glove shortstop category based on his solid defense, which had been in the spotlight since his first season in the major leagues. Significant growth was achieved with an OPS of 0.708. However, Kim Ha-sung’s image was still more focused on defense than attack.
But he is a little different this year. He is catching both rabbits in defense and offense. Kim Ha-seong, who played as a second baseman, ran to the top of the National League second baseman in OAA (Outs Above Average), DRS (Defensive Run Save, Defensive Contribution), and UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating), becoming a Korean ‘first’. He is developing his chances of winning a Gold Glove award.
His aggression is also evident. Kim Ha-seong started as a third baseman and first batter in a home match against the LA Dodgers on the 8th (hereafter Korean time), and flew with 2 hits and 1 run in 5 at-bats, writing a significant record. Ha-seong Kim showed off 15 consecutive ‘multi-on-base’ games, starting with the Detroit Tigers on the 23rd of last month and ending with the Dodgers on the 8th.
Kim Ha-seong showed off a multi-hit game by producing hits in each of the 2nd and 3rd at-bats on the 8th, and Ichiro Suzuki, the ‘legend’ who hit ‘3089 hits’ only in the major leagues through 15 consecutive multi-on-base games (2007, 15 game) and succeeded in standing shoulder to shoulder. If Kim Ha-seong plays a multi-on-base game in the game on the 9th, he will surpass Ichiro and write a ‘new history’ with the most Asian players.
At the end of the game on the 8th, Kim Ha-seong recorded 104 hits, 15 home runs, 41 RBIs, 62 points, 24 stolen bases, and a batting average of 0.288 OPS and 0.834 in 108 games. Kim Ha-seong, who was on the verge of entering the 30% batting average with less than 10 players in all 30 major league clubs, was tied for first place with Ronald Acuna Junior (Atlanta) with a ‘baseball reference’ bWAR (contribution to victory versus substitute players) of 5.6. , ‘Fangraph’ fWAR was 4.2, ranking 10th overall in the major leagues.
While Kim Ha-seong is continuing a good trend every day, voices insisting on a ‘long-term contract’ are constantly pouring out in the local media. San Diego local media ‘East Village Times’ recently insisted on a seven-year, $150 million (approximately 197.6 billion won) contract extension, saying, “Wherever Kim Ha-seong plays, he must sign an extension as soon as possible.”
Ha-seong Kim holds an $8 million mutual (mutual) option after the 2024 season, but if he is active now, there is no reason for Ha-seong Kim to exercise the option. The reason he just needs to leave in search of a bigger contract. In response, the’San Diego Union-Tribune’ also raised its voice on the 8th, saying, “Ha-seong Kim has a mutual option (mutual option) of $8 million after the 2024 season, and he will have a huge salary increase if he wants to stay in San Diego for the long term.”
The value of Kim Ha-seong, who stands alongside the “legend” Ichiro and Acuna Junior, who is certain to win the National League MVP this season, is increasing day by day. He may soon hear of a mega-long-term deal or a jackpot contract signed as a free agent after the 2024 season.