“It’s too bad we didn’t get to see Kim’s shortstop defense.”
The San Diego Padres’ Ha Sung Kim continues to have one of his best seasons of the year. Even after switching to second base, he’s still anchoring San Diego’s center field with his solid defense, and his offense has been stellar, earning him a spot in the leadoff spot.
Kim’s presence is especially noticeable on defense. He is now one of the best second basemen in the league. According to Baseball Reference, he has a defensive WAR of 2.0, which ranks fourth among all players in the league. When you narrow it down to second base, he’s the best performer. It’s hard to imagine San Diego without him now.
In some circles, some fans lament the fact that they never got to see Kim at shortstop. Until last year, Kim played shortstop and was a finalist for the Gold Glove, which is awarded to the best defender. But when Xander Bogaerts joined San Diego last winter in an 11-year, $280 million deal, Kim was forced to move to second base.
“Kim’s offense was below the major league average, but he was a shortstop who boasted a spectacular defense,” said American media outlet Fan Nation on Nov. 21 (KST). His offense has improved dramatically since playing second base. This year, he hit .281 with 15 home runs, 44 RBIs, and an OPS (on-base percentage) of 0.810. “It’s unfortunate for San Diego that they missed out on the shortstop,” he said, “but Bogaerts is currently considering a position change, so it’s possible that Kim will be able to play shortstop again.
‘Fan Nation’ reported, “San Diego is considering a position change for Bogaerts. Some team officials would like to see him move to first or second base next season,” suggesting that Bogaerts will play somewhere other than shortstop.
If Bogaerts’ defensive position does change, Kim will likely move back to shortstop. “In San Diego, I can see him playing a super-utility role where he can already play left field, second base, and first base,” the outlet said.
The change in position puts a strain on his defense, which could have a detrimental effect at the plate. This is what Fan Nation is concerned about. “Any time you change a player’s defensive position, you’re taking a risk. The player”s defense could suffer while he learns the new position. If a player focuses on defense, his offense may suffer,” they wrote.안전놀이터
This is not only true for Bogart, but also for Kim. He’s already shown that he can play shortstop, but this year he’s been playing mostly second base. Going back to shortstop could be a burden.
The local media’s reaction to the signing of Bogart was somewhat cynical. This was because San Diego, who already had Ha-Sung Kim, had just acquired another shortstop. If Bogaerts were to change positions, the Padres would be admitting that their free agent signing strategy failed.