Kim Ha-seong is attracting attention for his potential selection to the All-MLB Team, which is composed of the best players at each position, including offense and defense.
Baseball-Reference.com (BR) ranked Kim at No. 2 in its “Top 25 Major League Baseball Rankings for 2023, Second Base” section published on July 15 (KST). The top spot went to Marcus Simien of the Texas Rangers.굿모닝토토
BR’s end-of-season feature ranks all players by position. Following catchers and first basemen, the second basemen were highlighted today.
“As with our monthly rankings during the regular season, we’re looking at performance over the course of the season, with no regard for past performance or future expectations,” BR explains, “The eligibility criteria is a minimum of 200 at-bats, and players who played multiple positions are included at the position where they played the most defensive innings.
As a utility infielder, Kim made 626 plate appearances this season and played 856⅔ defensive innings at second base.
In 152 games this season, he batted .260 (140-for-538) with 17 home runs, 60 RBI, 84 runs scored, 38 stolen bases, a .351 on-base percentage, a .398 slugging percentage, and a .749 OPS. His 5.8 WAR per Baseball-Reference ranked eighth in the National League (NL) and second on the team.
Kim, who recently won the Gold Glove NL Utility Award and was among four Silver Slugger Utility finalists, was also named to eight All-MLB Team second baseman watch lists. In just his third year in the major leagues, Kim has reached career highs while gaining national recognition.
San Diego Padres second baseman Ha Sung Kim celebrates his two-run double during the fourth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies on Sept. 5, 2018. USATODAYYonline
Texas Rangers’ Marcus Simien hugs teammate Josh Chung after winning the World Series on Sept. 2. UPIYonhap
Bleacher Report wrote of Kim: “He’s been a star player for seven seasons.
‘After seven seasons as a star player in the KBO, Kim joined San Diego in December 2020 with a four-year, $28 million contract. In his first season, he batted .202 with an OPS+ of 73 in a utility role. However, after showing improvement offensively last year, he took over as the starting second baseman this season and performed much better at the plate. He won the NL Gold Glove for utility and was a finalist for the second baseman award. He also excelled on offense, posting an OPS+ of 110 with 40 home runs and 38 stolen bases.’
In short, he was a major league performer on both sides of the ball.
The All-MLB team, which was established in 2019 and is in its fifth year, is the best team of the season, comprised of the best players at each position in both leagues. It is divided into two teams: the first team, which is composed of the top rated players at each position, and the second team, which is composed of the top rated players at each position.
The winners will be determined by a combination of 50 percent fan votes and 50 percent votes from media outlets, commentators, retired players, and Major League Baseball officials with official titles. Fan voting will be open until 10 a.m. on Dec. 20, with the winners revealed on MLB Network on Dec. 17.
Kim Ha-seong celebrates with his dugout teammates after hitting a two-run double in the fourth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals on Sept. 23. USATODAYYonline
Atlanta’s A.J. Albies has the most home runs and RBIs by a second baseman this year. USATODAYYonline
It will be interesting to see if Kim Ha-seong will be among the top two second basemen. There is a strong field of competing second basemen, but Kim has a solid case for the No. 2 spot that BR has him at. MLB.com highlighted the second baseman in their article titled “The Most Surprising Players on the 2023 All-MLB Team Ballot” on March 13.
“The Padres’ highest bWAR player this year is Ha-Sung Kim, who ranks eighth in the NL with a 5.8 bWAR. It’s higher than Fernando Tatis Jr. and Juan Soto. He ranks second among all-time San Diego second basemen, behind only Mark Loretta (6.0) in 2004.
In addition to Kim, there are eight other second basemen on the list, including A.J. Albies (Atlanta), Jose Altuve (Houston), Luis Arajuez (Miami), Nolan Arenado (St. Louis), Nico Horner (Cubs), Ketel Marte (Arizona), and Marcus Simien (Texas). Albies leads second basemen in home runs and RBIs, while Araez leads the NL in batting average. Simien has 100 RBI and 102 runs scored. On offense, Kim is close behind. However, in combined WAR, Kim is second to Shimien (7.4).
The only other Korean player to make the All-MLB team is Ryu Hyun-jin, who was named to the Second Team for starting pitchers in 2019 and 2020.