San Diego Padres outfielder Ha-Sung Kim continues to boost his stock with a series of stellar performances in the field.
He’s the favourite to win the Gold Glove this season, and he’s also expected to receive votes in the MVP voting. He is at the top of the NL in WAR, which is a uniform measure of a player’s value.
Kim started at shortstop in the No. 8 spot in the lineup against the Chicago Cubs at Petco Park on 6 June and went 2-for-3 with a double, a walk and an RBI in a 5-0 win.스포츠토토
Two days after going 2-for-2 against the Cubs on the 4th, Kim recorded his 10th multi-hit game of the season, raising his average to .251 (44-for-175) with five home runs, 19 RBI, 23 runs scored, 11 doubles, and a .742 OPS.
With the bats coming together, San Diego remained in fourth place in the NL West with a 28-32 record. Their lead over the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks has shrunk to seven games, and they are still four games behind the third wild card, the Milwaukee Brewers.
San Diego took a 3-0 lead in the second inning on Gary Sanchez’s two-run homer and Ha-Sung Kim’s two-run double to left field with runners on first and second. On a 3B1S count, Kim pulled a five-pitch 88.9-mph body sinker from Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks and lined it past third baseman Patrick Wisdom for a two-run double down the left-field line, driving in pinch-hitter Matt Carpenter.
San Diego, which made it 4-0 on Jake Cronenwirth’s RBI single in the third, added a run in the bottom of the eighth on Carpenter’s sacrifice fly to centre field.
Kim struck out swinging in his second at-bat of the inning, and in the seventh, he led off with an infield single that bounced off the pitcher’s foot and moved to third on a single by Brandon Dixon and a grounder by Luged O’Dowd, but was thrown out at second base by Fernando Tatis Jr.
In the eighth, they had runners on first and third with one out, but again failed to score.
With his multi-hit game and walk, Kim proved his worth again and now ranks seventh in both leagues in Baseball-Reference WAR at 2.8.
He is behind Tampa Bay shortstop Wander Franco (3.7), Texas second baseman Marcus Simien (3.4), Atlanta outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. (3.3), Toronto shortstop Bo Bichette (3.1), Cubs starter Marcus Stroman (3.1), and Los Angeles Angels two-hitter Shohei Ohtani (3.0).
In the NL, he is third behind Acuna Jr. and Stroman. Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman, the 2020 NL MPV and NL Player of the Month in May, is seventh with 2.6, and teammate outfielder Juan Soto is ninth with 2.3. Last year’s NL MVP, St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, is outside the top 10 at 2.3. In other words, Kim’s performance is objectively higher than the big MVP hitters.
If we were voting for an MVP right now, Kim would get a lot of votes.
Of course, his defensive WAR of 1.7 is still the best in the game. That’s 0.3 higher than the next best player, Toronto outfielder Kevin Kiermaier (1.4). Overwhelming.
Kim’s defence is already proving to be one of the best in the majors. “When I first came to the major leagues, I didn’t think about the Gold Glove,” he said in an interview with The Athletic, “but now in my third year, I think, ‘I can get it. If I work hard and do my part, I can be rewarded,” he said, expressing his desire to win the award.
According to The Athletic, “Kim leads the majors with a +13 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) while playing three positions.
Fellow third baseman Manny Machado said, “He doesn’t play one position. He’s a guy you want to be the best defender you can be, no matter where you play. This is definitely going to be his year,” said fellow third baseman Manny Machado, predicting a Gold Glove win.