“I can only play when Kim is resting” SD leadoff ‘Kim Ha-Sung’ doesn’t even dare to top 433 billion hits
“Even Fernando Tatis Jr. can only hit leadoff if Ha Sung Kim has a day off (Tatis only hits leadoff if Kim has a day off).”
The San Diego Padres’ No. 1 hitter (leadoff) spot belongs to the steadfast Kim Ha-seong (29), who even Fernando Tatis Jr. (24), who signed a 14-year, $340 million (approx. KRW 43.3 billion) contract, doesn’t dare cross. San Diego’s leading media recognized this.
The San Diego Union-Tribune wrote on April 26, “Kim is good enough to be the leadoff hitter on a team with Juan Soto, Manny Machado, Tatis Jr. and Xander Bogaerts. His multi-homer game on Friday pushed his batting average to .289 with a .398 on-base percentage and .558 slugging percentage.”
In the second half of the season, Kim has continued his explosive hitting, batting .354 with four home runs, six RBIs, 17 runs scored, three doubles, and a 1.092 OPS in 12 games. As a result, Kim has started 23 of 26 games in the leadoff spot since June 22 against the San Francisco Giants. Two of the three games he didn’t lead off, he came in as a pinch hitter, so he’s actually led off in 23 of 24 games.
Based on his record, it’s inevitable that Kim will take the leadoff spot. Of these players, he is the most productive with a wRC+ of 162 after 25 games. His on-base percentage and slugging percentage in the leadoff spot are 0.393 and 0.558, respectively, which is not even close to Tatis Jr.’s 0.356 and 0.529. Tatis Jr. leads in stolen bases with 10 to Kim’s 7, but Kim is more efficient when you consider the number of at-bats he gets.
Tatis Jr. started the season as the leadoff hitter (45 games, 209 at-bats), but gradually gave way to Ha Sung Kim (26 games, 104 at-bats). According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, “Kim is one of six leadoffs the Padres have used this season (Kim, Tatis Jr., Trent Grisham, Bogart, Ludwig O’Doherty and Jake Cronenwirth). Through 26 games, Ha-Sung Kim’s 27 starts as the leadoff man are less than Tatis Jr.’s (45), but Tatis Jr. is now the leadoff man only when Kim is rested.”
Once again, Kim made his mark as a leadoff hitter, going 2-for-4 with a double and a stolen base in the leadoff spot in the 2023 Major League Baseball home game against Pittsburgh at Petco Park in San Diego, Calif.
He struck out in his first two at-bats against the oldest pitcher in the majors, Rich Hill (43), but managed to get a hit in his third at-bat in the bottom of the fifth inning. Despite an unfavorable pitch count of 0B2S, he took three low curveballs and concentrated on hitting them with one hand on the bat, dropping them in front of center field for a single. One of the leadoff man’s virtues, quick feet, also shined through. After reaching second on Tatis Jr.’s single to left, Kim attempted a double steal on Machado’s at-bat and reached third. His 19th stolen base of the season.온라인바카
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Kim again led off with a technical hit. Facing Yerry De Los Santos, Kim crushed a five-pitch slider on the outside of the plate for a multi-hit game. It was his 22nd multi-hit game of the season. This time, however, her 20th stolen base would have to wait until another time, as her attempt to steal second base was thwarted by the sensational touch of rookie shortstop Alyssa Williams. Had he succeeded, he would have become just the third Korean major leaguer to steal 20 bases in a season, joining Choo Shin-soo (SSG Rangers) and Bae Ji-hwan (Pittsburgh).
Meanwhile, San Diego defeated Pittsburgh 5-1 behind the play of leadoff hitter Ha-Sung Kim. Through 27 games as the leadoff hitter, Ha-Sung Kim was batting .294 (32 hits in 109 at-bats) with eight home runs, 14 doubles, 24 RBI, eight runs scored, eight stolen bases, a .0398 OPS and a .550 slugging percentage.