The local U.S. media selected Ha-seong Kim (28, San Diego Padres) as the MVP of the 2023 season of the San Diego Padres. At the same time, he was praised for being the most underrated for his major league-level offensive and defensive impact.

On the 3rd (Korean time), the American media outlet ‘Bleacher Report’ took the time to analyze the reasons after ranking the final power rankings of the 30 major league clubs for the 2023 season. 

San Diego, a member of the National League West Division, ranked 14th in the final rankings by Bleacher Report. Even in the opening game, they were expected to rank 3rd in the power rankings, and in fact, they climbed to 3rd place during the season and were on a roll, but at the end of the season, due to a lack of motivation, they fell to 26th place and ended up in 14th place.

Prior to the season, San Diego was considered a rival to the Los Angeles Dodgers, the strongest team in the Western Division, but unfortunately ended the season in 3rd place in the Western Division (82 wins, 80 losses). Of course, I didn’t receive an invitation to the fall stage. 

Bleacher Report said, “San Diego advanced to the National League Championship Series last year with tremendous talent. In addition, a new player named Xander Bogaerts joined this year, and Juan Soto and Josh Hader, who were recruited at the end of last year’s season, have completed their full seasons. “The Padres were poised to compete on equal footing with the Dodgers in the National League West Division,” he said. “San Diego finished the last month of the season with 20 wins and 7 losses, but the timing was too late. “It took too long to get back on track,” he analyzed. 

Even if a player fails to advance to the postseason, there is an MVP who performed well throughout the season. Bleacher Report mentioned the name of Kim Ha-seong, who took on the role of the starting second baseman and played a full role. The main photo of the San Diego section was also a photo of Ha-seong Kim playing defense. 

Bleacher Report said, “Utility man Ha-seong Kim quietly played his role this year and recorded WAR (Win Contribution Above Replacement) 5.9,” adding, “He left a major league-level impact in both offense and defense, but he is the most underrated player in baseball.” “He is one of the players,” he said. 

Kim Ha-seong, the representative shortstop of the KBO League, finished the 2020 season in Korea and signed a 4+1 year contract with San Diego for up to $39 million through the posting system.

It was true that at the time of signing the contract, I wondered, ‘Why did it have to be in San Diego?’ San Diego was a team with a solid infield, including superstar Fernando Tatis Jr., Manny Machado, and Jake Cronenworth, who ranked second in Rookie of the Year voting. Ha-seong Kim played as a backup as expected in his debut season, leaving behind a disappointing batting average of .202, 8 home runs, and 34 RBIs in 117 games.

Ha-Seong Kim finally got a full-time opportunity in the major leagues last year when Tatis Jr. left the team due to a wrist fracture. Along with his major league-level defense, which he showed off from his first year, he was recognized for his skills with a batting average of .205, 1 ri, 11 home runs, 59 RBI, 12 stolen bases, and an OPS of .708 in 150 games. 토토사이트

His third season also started with a question mark. In the Stove League, Kim Ha-seong’s position at shortstop became unstable with the addition of superstar Bogaerts. However, Ha-seong Kim moved to second base and became an indispensable infielder on the team. 

Ha-seong Kim served as the Padres leadoff in the 2023 season and played very well in 152 games with a batting average of .206, 17 home runs, 60 RBIs, 84 runs, 38 stolen bases, and an OPS of .749. His momentum was so high that he attempted to become the first Asian player to hit 20 home runs and steal 40 bases, and ranked first in the team in stolen bases, second in on-base percentage (.351), third in batting average, most hits (140), and fourth in RBIs (60). He stood shoulder to shoulder with highly paid players such as Machado, Bogaerts, Soto, and Tatis Jr. He performed well enough to be selected as San Diego’s MVP.

Meanwhile, Ryu Hyun-jin’s Toronto Blue Jays ranked 10th in the power rankings, Bae Ji-hwan’s Pittsburgh Pirates ranked 19th, and Shohei Ohtani’s LA Angels ranked 26th. Toronto is the only team to advance to the postseason.

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