“I look up to Korean big leaguers,” says Kim Hae-sung, now rubbing shoulders with ‘wannabes’

Kim Ha-seong (28-San Diego Padres) is breaking records for Korean major leaguers. But he still has respect for his predecessors.

MLB.com, the official website of Major League Baseball (MLB), reported on Wednesday (June 12), “Kim said, ‘I admire all the Korean players who played in the big leagues. I watched them and wanted to be like them,’ he said.”

On that day, Kim challenged a Korean leaguer’s batting record. Shin-Soo Choo (41-current SSG) set the record for consecutive hits with Cincinnati in 2013. Shin-Soo Choo had a 16-game hitting streak from July 3 to July 23 against San Francisco. Shin-Soo Choo has reached base in 10 or more consecutive games eight times in the major leagues.

Kim Ha-seong, who had previously held the major league record for the longest hitting streak at eight games (June 16-23, 2023), matched Choo. Starting as the team’s leadoff hitter and second baseman against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field in Arizona, he went 2-for-5 with a double, one RBI and one run scored. In doing so, he extended his hitting streak to 16 games, dating back to a home game against Pittsburgh on May 25.

Kim, who is batting .378 with a 1.050 OPS in the second half of the season, had another multi-hit game to lead his team to a 10-5 victory and snap a four-game losing streak. Kim, who finished tied with Ichiro Suzuki for the Asian record for consecutive multi-hit games by an Asian hitter (16, 2007), is making up for it with back-to-back multi-hit games.

Having already broken Shin-Soo Choo’s Korean single-season record for stolen bases (22, 2010) in the last five days, Kim is now just three away from becoming the first Korean leaguer to steal 30 bases in a season. He also needs five more home runs to join the 20 (home runs) – 20 (stolen bases) club, which was previously held by Shin-Soo Choo. Kim’s footsteps are now on the path to making history as a Korean big leaguer.

But Kim has consistently shown his respect for those who came before him. “All baseball players, including me, grew up watching him play,” he said late last month, referring to Ryu Hyun-jin (36-Toronto), who just returned from Tommy John surgery (elbow ligament splicing). “Having a player like him makes Korea produce great baseball players. It’s a blessing.”

And even after breaking the Korean record for consecutive hits, Kim said, “I respect all Korean leaguers. I watched them and wanted to be like them,” he said in awe.

That’s because for the past two years, Kim has been blocked by a major league wall. In his first year in a San Diego uniform ahead of the 2021 season, he hit just .202, and last year he hit 11 home runs but had a mediocre .251 batting average. While he was recognized as an offensive shortstop in South Korea, where he hit 30 home runs, he was known as a defensive player in the big leagues.

According to MLB.com, “Many people gave Kim advice on how to adjust to the major leagues. But he knew that to get the feel for it, he had to experience it firsthand.” Kim learned about the major leagues by watching games from the bench, something he wasn’t used to in Korea.

“I believed in myself,” he said, “and I knew that if I worked hard every day, I would eventually get good results.” “I like to believe in myself,” he said. This was evident in the way he worked with his former Kiwoom Heroes teammate Lee Jung-hoo (25) before the season, modifying his batting form to attack fastballs.

And once the season got underway, Kim looked different. According to MLB.com, “The percentage of swings at pitches outside the strike zone has dropped from 24.9 percent last year to 19.3 percent, while his walk rate has risen to 12.9 percent. That’s tied for 16th among all hitters.” As a result, Kim’s on-base percentage (.382) has also improved. He also leads the league in Wins Above Replacement (WAR) at 5.9, according to Baseball Reference, making him one of the best players in the game.카지노

As a result, his team’s ratings are rising. San Diego manager Bob Melvin said, “It’s great. He’s been fantastic all season, and he’s the most consistent player on the team,” said San Diego head coach Bob Melvin.

The seniors also supported Kim. Choo Shin-soo recently mentioned Kim in an interview after he surpassed his own stolen base record, saying, “He’s only going to get better, and it’s great to see.”

Kim has successfully established himself in the major leagues. Now, it’s time to see what he can do to surpass his predecessors.

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