At the time of the contract, +1 year seemed to be a safety device for both Kim Ha-seong and San Diego. From Kim Ha-seong’s point of view, it seemed that it would take time to rise to the starting lineup in San Diego, which already had a strong power. In fact, in 2021, when he was in the first year of the Major League (MLB), Ha-seong Kim played only 298 at-bats in 117 games. As revealed by the number of at-bats compared to the number of games, there were few starting games. He served as a backup infielder, playing the full infield position.
From the San Diego club’s point of view, the beginning of the contract was time to invest in Kim Ha-sung. He tested the potential of an infielder in his mid-20s who had just been quelled into the top league by putting him into several positions. As a result of his investment in his first year, the defense was able to give a passing grade, but the hitting was lacking. In the 2021 season, Kim Ha-seong had a batting average of 0.202, 8 homers, 6 steals, an OPS of 0.622 wRC+ 70.
However, he came up terribly from the second year. In the 2022 season, he jumped to the starting shortstop with a batting average of 0.251, 11 home runs, 12 stolen bases, OPS 0.708 wRC + 105. In December 2022, Ha-seong Kim moved to second base as San Diego brought shortstop Xander Bogarts from the free agent market.
And this year, the third year, Kim Ha-seong evolved once more. Until the match against Pittsburgh on the 26th (Korean time), batting average 0.272, 14 home runs, 19 stolen bases, OPS 0.810. wRC+ is 126. Wearing a San Diego uniform after signing a 10-year, $280 million contract, Bogarts has a batting average of 0.264, 11 homers, 11 stolen bases, OPS of 0.746 wRC+, and 110. Kim Ha-sung’s growth is engulfing Bogarts, who signed a large contract worth about 360 billion won.
Improved in all areas. 토토사이트 The frequent defensive moves experienced from the first year served as a boon to Kim Ha-seong. He has become a high-class multiplayer that can be trusted and entrusted to any position in the infield. If Bogatz needed a break all season, he took over at shortstop and moved to third base when third baseman Manny Machado was out with an injury.
The process at bat is as good as the result. According to the MLB Tracking Database Baseball Savant, the barrel hit rate has risen from 4.5% in 2021 and 4.2% in 2022 to 6.1% this year. The probability of a sweet spot that fits the center of the bat is also on a steady rise, with 31.3% in 2021, 34.0% in 2022, and 37.1% in 2023. As the accuracy increases, so does the quality of the batted ball. Infielders who hit and run well and defend well are treated exceptionally well in MLB. In other words, the 2025 option according to mutual agreement is meaningless to Ha-seong Kim now. If the uptrend continues, free agency, not a +1 option, is a natural choice ahead of 2025.
At this rate, a free agent contract of more than $100 million is not a dream. He is 29 years old in the first year of his free agency contract, and can spend his prime during the third or fourth year of his free agency contract. Last winter, there were a lot of special shortstops in the market. Besides Bogarts, Trey Turner signed an 11-year, $300 million contract, and Dansby Swanson signed a 7-year, $177 million contract. Kim Ha-seong is waiting for the largest contract in Korean big league history, surpassing Ryu Hyun-jin’s 4-year, 80 million dollars and Choo Shin-soo’s 7-year, 130 million dollars.