Ha-Sung Kim (28, San Diego Padres)’s value is skyrocketing. Local media in the U.S. have been running feature stories on Kim, highlighting his many facets.
“The Padres’ Kim Ha-seong is an inspiration for the next generation of Korean players,” The Athletic wrote in a feature article on Sept. 9 (KST).
Even “Korean Express” Park Chan-ho was summoned. The article talked about the impact of Korean major league pioneer Park Chan-ho on Korean baseball. It then went on to note that the flow led to Kim Ha-seong.
It also shared an anecdote about Park Chan-ho, a San Diego native, visiting his hometown team’s home stadium and watching Ha-sung Kim bat. The San Diego fans were passionately cheering for Kim, and Park Chan-ho said he got a good look at the scene. “The sold-out crowd chanted Kim’s name,” the media outlet said, “and it was like this all summer at Petco Park.”
“Kim is one of the most valuable players in MLB,” the outlet said, “providing more wins than all but 13 players according to FanGraphs. He has 17 home runs and 31 stolen bases (now 34), the most ever by a Korean-American big leaguer, and is batting .290 since June 22. That’s the best batting average in San Diego during that span.”
His versatility is also appreciated. “He excels at second base, but he also plays third base and shortstop. This season, Kim could become the first South Korean player to win a Gold Glove. Last year, he was also a National League finalist (shortstop).”
He also highlighted Kim’s performance in Korea. Jake Brigham, a former pitcher for the Atlanta Braves, shared a story about playing with Kim in the KBO. “He always led players who were older than him,” he said, “and that’s not always allowed in Asia. There’s a respect there. But he was always a good and respected player, so age didn’t matter.”
Another source said “surprise” is the word that comes to mind when thinking about Kim’s time in the KBO. He also mentioned the fact that Kim won the Golden Glove three years in a row, from 2018 to 2020, the season before his big league debut.
He also shared an anecdote about dreaming of the big leagues and asking a lot of questions of Brigham and Park, who had already experienced MLB. “Over time, he would ask me, ‘Jake, how do I adjust in the MLB,'” Brigham said.
Brigham also praised Kim’s quick adjustment to the big leagues. “He adjusted to the new defensive tempo in spring training in his first season in the big leagues,” the outlet said.
There were difficult moments, too. “There were moments in my life when I was at the lowest point mentally,” says Kim, who finished his first season with a .202 batting average. “I thought I didn’t belong here and that I might have to go back to Korea.”
“I thought I didn’t belong, that I might go back to Korea,” he said, “but then I said, ‘Let’s challenge myself and see what happens,'” and he did.
“The experts were right when they said he needed a season or two to refine his swing,” the outlet said, highlighting his progress last season and his breakout performance this season. He also talked about his 15-game multi-hit streak.카지노
Comparisons were also made to the “Korean Monster” Ryu Hyun-jin (Toronto Blue Jays). “Ryu is still the most popular Korean major leaguer, but he only plays once a week,” the outlet said. “The excitement sparked by a strikeout can’t compare to the thrill of a home run or a quick hit. He’s delivered plenty of both this season.”
The same media outlet that said Kim was becoming a trailblazer quoted him again. “There are a lot of good players and young talent in Korea,” he said, “and that motivates me to work harder and get more attention from MLB scouts. “It motivates me to work harder and gets me more attention from MLB scouts.” He added, “It makes juniors dream more about making it to the big leagues.