MLB Dotcom picked the players who made the biggest leap forward for each of the 30 major league teams this season on the 14th (Korea Standard Time), and San Diego selected Kim Ha-sung.
Considering Kim Ha-sung’s dramatic growth this season, it is not a surprising result.
“Everyone knows that Ronald Acuña Jr. (Atlanta Braves) and Mookie Betts (LA Dodgers) are competing for the National League MVP,” MLB Dotcom said. Matt Olson (Atlanta) and Freddie Freeman (LA Dodgers) are right behind him, he said. “But who will be ranked fifth in the NL in terms of contribution to victory over substitute players in the Baseball Reference?” “Kim Ha-sung, who stands out despite his poor team performance, is the main character,” he explained.
Kim Ha-sung also played in various infieldes as the team’s main infielder this season. He also raised his value by improving his batting, which was prominent as a weakness last year.
With 17 home runs and 35 steals as of the 15th, he will be the first Asian infielder to join the 20 home runs and 20 steals club. Furthermore, 20 home runs and 40 steals are worth aiming for.
Kim Ha-sung, who also has 5.7 in the WAR based on baseball reference, ranks fifth in the National League after Betts (8.1), Acuña Jr. (7.6), Olson (6.4) and Freeman (6.2). He is also ranked 10th in MLB overall.
Although the pace has been somewhat low in September, Kim Ha-sung’s performance in the overall season impressed the entire MLB beyond the team.
MLB Dotcom said, “Kim Ha-sung has grown into an elite leadoff with a 0.358 on-base percentage and 35 steals per at-bat,” adding, “There is no player better than Kim Ha-sung in San Diego defensively.” To fill the gap, including injuries to his teammates, he played not only at second base but also at shortstop and third base, and played everywhere he needed him,” he praised Kim Ha-sung’s versatility.
Meanwhile, Kim Ha-sung will play in three consecutive away games against the Oakland Athletics from the 16th after a day off on the 15th.