San Diego Padres outfielder Ha-Sung Kim, 28, is having a breakout season that’s on par with stars like Ki Rah Sung.
In his third year in the majors, Kim is batting .288 (101-for-353) with 15 home runs, 41 RBIs, 61 runs scored, 24 doubles, and an OPS of .839 in 106 games. His 5.6 wins above replacement (WAR) per Baseball-Reference ranks third in the American League, behind Shohei Ohtani (Angels, 8.6) and Ronald Acuña Jr. (Atlanta, 5.7).
Mike Petriello of MLB.com, the official site of Major League Baseball, appeared on MLB Network’s broadcast program on Sept. 6 to discuss Kim’s performance this season.
“Let’s talk about the hidden baseball star,” the host said, “I think he was a decent player in 2021. In his first year in the major leagues, he had an OPS+ (100 is the league average) of 73, but he was a great defender and a great runner, and then last year he had an OPS+ of 106, which was above the league average. And this year, he’s hitting .380 with an OPS+ of 134. He’s still not very well known, but I think he’s a great player,” he said of Kim’s performance this season.
“There are different versions of WAR,” Petriello said. According to Baseball-Reference, Kim is in the top three in the majors in WAR. Ohtani leads the way, and Kim and Acuña Jr. are in the mix,” he said, noting Kim’s WAR.
“I’m not saying he’s the third-best player in the majors,” Petriello cautions, “but that’s the net function of WAR. He’s hitting better than Rafael Devers (Boston). And he can take any pitch in the middle (second base, shortstop). Kim is on pace to hit 20 homers and 20 doubles this year and is a strong Gold Glove candidate. He should win the award. It’s not like we’re just like, “Hey, he’s got 40 RBIs. Is he having a good season, I don’t know.” He’s not one of those players you can just look at and say, “Oh, he’s got 40 RBIs. WAR shows that he’s one of the best players in baseball. You don’t have to say he’s third or 10th or 15th, but he’s having a fantastic season and his WAR reflects his value,” he said, emphasizing that it’s important to understand that he’s having a great season rather than his WAR ranking.
The moderator asked, “Someone would say that Ha-Sung Kim is not worth the same as Freddie Freeman (Dodgers) or Akuña Jr. Isn’t that right?” the host asked.
Petriello responded, “I don’t think he’s the third best player in the major leagues. If you take a random baseball fan and ask them to name the 50 best baseball players in the world, there’s a good chance he’s not on that list. Probably not,” he says, noting that Kim is not yet a widely recognized star among casual fans.카지노
“That’s why WAR is a good metric,” Petriello said, “because it says, ‘No, no, no, no. Don’t underestimate Ha Sung Kim. He’s doing as good a job as anybody else,'” he said, reiterating that Kim is having a great season. “I’m not really trying to say that he’s better than Freeman,” he added, explaining that it’s important to pay attention to WAR net.
Kim is having one of his best seasons this year. He’s a fan favorite in San Diego. However, his national recognition is still a bit lacking. However, through the metric of WAR, he is slowly making a name for himself alongside the stars of the National League.