Maybe we’ll see an “All-Star” Kim Ha-Sung (28-San Diego Padres) in a few years. That’s according to a veteran manager who has been in the big leagues for 20 years.
“San Diego manager Bob Melvin said, ‘Kim is expected to be an All-Star player in a few years,'” MLB.com, the official website of Major League Baseball (MLB), reported on Nov. 11.
Kim’s once-promising bat has fallen off a bit. In his last 30 games through Nov. 11, he was batting .218 (26-for-119) with two home runs, 16 RBIs and a .604 OPS. Against Houston on Nov. 11, he went 1-for-4, including nearly having a hit stolen on a bad call.
Nevertheless, Kim’s season can still be considered a success. In 139 games this season, he’s batting .271 with 17 home runs, 57 RBI, 34 doubles, and a .779 OPS. While his home run pace has slowed, he is still on track to become the first Asian infielder to join the 20-homer, 20-steal club. His improved batting average, coupled with his stellar defense, helped him break the major league record for most hits in a single season (131).
Kim also reached several milestones this season. He reached base at least twice in every game from July 23 to August 8, tying Ichiro Suzuki’s Asian record for consecutive games with multiple hits (15) set in 2007. He also had a 16-game hitting streak from July 25 against Pittsburgh to August 12 against Arizona, matching the record set by Shin-Soo Choo (41, now SSG) in 2013 with Cincinnati. On April 4, he became the first Korean player to reach the 30-steal plateau in a season.
As a result, Kim’s profile is rising. MLB.com mentioned Kim’s name in its list of candidates for the All-MLB team on Thursday. “San Diego’s most valuable player,” the publication said, adding, “He doesn’t hit for much power, but he makes up for it by hitting the ball in the right spots. He continues to play solid defense,” the outlet said of Kim.
In a recent survey of major league managers, scouts, and executives by Baseball America, Kim was ranked as the best defensive player among National League second basemen in the 2023 season. As a result, he could become the first Asian second baseman to win a Gold Glove.
With a player like Kim, a manager can only be good. “Everything he does, whether it’s defense, offense, or running the bases, is a sign of good things to come,” Melvin said. “I think he’s on the verge of being an All-Star, and I think he’s really going to be an All-Star in the next couple years,” he said.스포츠토토
Melvin is no stranger to coaching in the big leagues. He began coaching in the major leagues in 1999, first with Seattle in 2003, then Arizona in 2005, and then Oakland for 11 years before taking over in 2011. He has been the manager in San Diego since last year. He has been recognized as a manager of the year in both leagues. In his eyes, Kim is a near All-Star caliber player right now.