Ha-Sung Kim, 28, has been named the San Diego Padres’ most improved player this season.
MLB.com, the official website of Major League Baseball, named one player from each of the league’s 30 clubs as the most improved player on Thursday. For San Diego, it was undoubtedly Ha-Sung Kim.
As MLB.com notes, “Ronald Acuña Jr. (Atlanta Braves) and Mookie Betts (Los Angeles Dodgers) are in a tight MVP race. You also know that Matt Olson (Atlanta) and Freddie Freeman (Dodgers) are close behind. But do you know who is fifth in the National League (NL) in WAR (per Baseball-Reference)?” said Kim.
In the NL, Betts (8.1), Acuña (7.6), Olson (6.4), and Freeman (6.2) are the top five in WAR, followed by Ha-Sung Kim (5.7). Betts, Acuña, Olson, and Freeman are all superstars who represent the league as potential MVP candidates, so it’s surprising to see Kim ranked after them.
“One of the few bright spots for an underperforming San Diego offense this season has been Ha-Sung Kim, who is 3-for-5 with eight home runs and 35 stolen bases, and has developed into an elite leadoff man, ranking second in pitches per plate appearance,” MLB.com explained.
“Defensively, there is no better player in San Diego than Ha-Sung Kim. This season, he has not only played second base, but third base, shortstop, and anywhere else the team has needed him when teammates have been injured.
Kim went 0-for-4 with a walk and three strikeouts against the Dodgers, dropping his season average to 2-for-6 with a .492 batting average and .132 OPS. In 11 games in September, he’s 1-for-7 with an OPS of .423 in 45 at-bats, a clear drop in hitting, but one that he’s been building toward all season. The local media’s positive assessment of him hasn’t changed either.
In addition to Kim, second baseman/left fielder Davis Schneider (Toronto Blue Jays), shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. (Kansas City Royals), center fielder Luis Robert Jr. (Chicago White Sox), pitcher Bryce Elder (Atlanta), shortstop CJ Abrams (Washington Nationals), pitcher Justin Steele (Chicago Cubs), and pitcher Ryan Peavy (Dodgers) were the most improved players on their respective teams.메이저사이트
Abrams, who competed with Kim for the starting shortstop job at the beginning of last season, has also begun to fulfill his potential in Washington. Abrams, who was acquired by the Nats at the trade deadline in early August of last year, is batting 24-for-48 (123-for-495) with 18 home runs, 57 RBIs, 41 doubles and a .726 OPS in 135 games this year.
According to MLB.com, “Abrams has shown improvement in every category in his first full season in the majors. Washington manager Dave Martinez has praised his defensive improvement, which is the result of a dedicated routine.” “Since moving to leadoff, he has shined with 11 home runs and an on-base percentage over .450. He’s also a threat on the basepaths with 41 stolen bases.