Ha-seong Kim, who has improved his ‘eyes’… The answer was outside the zone

Ha-seong Kim of the San Diego Padres in the Major League continues to evolve and grow into a top-notch infielder in the big leagues. Not only has he secured the starting position more clearly, but he is also the best second baseman in the National League (NL) at this point.

Last year, he successfully completed his second year in the US, but some question marks followed Ha-sung Kim’s position. San Diego had a big influence on the signing of Xander Bogarts. Ha-seong Kim transformed into a second baseman and traffic was controlled, but some rumors of a trade came out.

After 4 months, the situation has completely changed. Kim Ha-seong, who started this season’s opening game as the 8th hitter, was promoted to 토토사이트an immovable leadoff. The possibility of being used as a trade item is also greatly reduced. It is a kind of guarantee check that San Diego was chosen as the main character of the ‘Seoul Series’ to be held in March next year.

Ha-seong Kim’s performance this year is comparable to that of the best second baseman in the National League. This is the case if you look at the win contribution ratio (WAR) compared to substitute players, which is often used to abbreviate player value.

WAR is counted differently depending on which performance is weighted, but Kim Ha-sung’s performance this year overshadows this distinction. This is because both Baseball Reference, a representative baseball statistics site, and WAR calculated by Fangraph.com are flying high. Based on the former, it is 5th in both leagues, and the latter is 14th. When limited to NL second basemen, both are first.

What stands out in particular is the batting record. Even last year, Ha-seong Kim’s contribution to the attack was relatively poorly evaluated. He had a 0.708 OPS, which was among the lowest among NL shortstops. This year, as of the 18th (Korean time), he has risen to 5th in the NL second baseman with a 0.769. His batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage all increased by 1-3 pennies from last year, and his home runs also reached double digits in the first half.

The secret to his improved offensive power over the years is pointed out as ‘eye baseball’. According to Baseball Savant, the rate of Ha-seong Kim’s reaction to a ball out of the strike zone was 24.2% in 2021, the first year of his entry into the United States, and 24.9% last year. He tended to pick out manned pitches better than the big league average (about 28%), but this year he went a step further with 19.3%. This is an excellent record for being in the top 6% of the league.

Moreover, the contact rate that hits the bat when the ball is out of the zone has increased. He went from 62.8% in the first year to 66.7% last year to 70.5% this year. The leading hitter’s home run in the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies the previous day was a representative example. On a 2-2 ball count, he scooped up opposing starter Zack Wheeler’s sweeper and passed his left wall. His timing itself was fast, but the fact that he didn’t lose his balance even in a situation where his posture collapsed was effective.

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