It was a seemingly reckless move to the San Diego Padres, but in just three years in the big leagues, Kim has turned question marks into exclamation points. Ha Sung Kim (28-San Diego Padres) is the hottest hitter in San Diego right now.
‘Awesome Kim’s’ bat was hot again today. Starting at first base in the lineup for the third game of the Padres’ three-game series against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado, USA, Kim went 2-for-3 with a home run, one RBI, two walks and three runs scored in the Padres’ 11-1 victory.
He started the home run barrage in his first at-bat. He led off the first inning with a leadoff solo home run off Colorado starter Kyle Freeland. Took a high 90.5 mph (145 km/h) fastball from 1B-1S for his 15th home run of the season, his first in eight games since July 25 against the Pittsburgh Pirates. It hit 103.1 mph (165 km/h) and traveled 425 feet (129 meters). It was his first hit in his last nine games.
In the third inning, with a 1-0 lead, he drew a walk off Freeland to extend his multi-hit streak to 11 games. He then came home on Juan Soto’s game-tying two-run homer.
Kim’s hitting continued. He led off the fifth inning with a 3-1 lead and worked a 1B-2S count, but took a four-pitch high slider from Freeland for a single to left field.
With two outs in the ninth inning and a 5-1 lead, Kim drew a seven-pitch walk off Daniel Bard for his fourth walk of the game. He then came home on Tatis Jr.’s three-run homer to score the third run of the game.
After the game, CBS Sports in the United States highlighted Kim’s performance with the headline “Kim’s game-winning home run. “Kim hit a leadoff home run off Freeland to lead off the game,” the media outlet wrote, “After batting 3-for-7 with five home runs and a .999 OPS in 24 games in July (89-for-30), Kim has started August with eight hits and four RBIs. He’s done a great job in the leadoff role for San Diego this season.”
As the media reports, Kim is having a breakout year in his third year in the big leagues. This season, he’s been the Padres’ No. 1 hitter, batting .288 with 15 home runs, 41 RBIs, 22 doubles, and an .838 OPS in 104 games. In April, he hit just 1.7 WAR per month, but improved to 2.7 WAR in May, 2.6 WAR in June, and 2.9 WAR in July, culminating in 3.3 WAR in August. In August, he continued his momentum with a batting average of 5 in 2 games.
The KBO’s leading shortstop signed a 4+1 year, $39 million contract with San Diego through the posting system after the 2020 season.
At the time of the signing, there was a question of ‘why San Diego’. The Padres had a solid infield with superstar Fernando Tatis Jr, Manny Machado, and Rookie of the Year voting runner-up Jake Cronenweth. Kim bounced around backup as expected in his rookie season, batting just .222 with eight home runs and 34 RBIs in 117 games.
Kim finally got a full-time major league opportunity last year when Tatis Jr. went down with a broken wrist. He showed off his major league-caliber defense from his freshman year, batting .251 with 11 home runs, 59 RBIs, 12 doubles and a .708 OPS in 150 games.
His third season started with a question mark. With the addition of superstar Xander Bogaerts at shortstop, Kim’s position in the St. Louis Cardinals organization was in jeopardy, but he moved to second base and became an integral part of the team’s infield.
According to Baseball-Reference, Kim’s WAR (Wins Above Replacement) is second in the major leagues (5.3), behind only Shohei Ohtani (Los Angeles Angels), who is also a two-hitter. In the National League, he is tied for first with Ronald Acuna Jr. (Atlanta Braves). This puts Kim on par with the best players in the league 토토사이트.
“Kim has been one of the few bright spots for the Padres this season,” said Sports Illustrated (SI). “Kim has been consistent this season, improving on last year’s numbers, and he continues to play elite defense in the infield. He also continues to play elite defense in the infield, which is why his WAR is projected to exceed 5.0 in 2022.”
A move to San Diego seemed reckless just four years ago. But in just three rookie seasons, Kim has changed all that. Now, America recognizes him.