San Diego Padres outfielder Ha-Sung Kim’s stock is rising as he continues to dominate the offense.
He’s a favorite to win the Gold Glove this season, and he’s also expected to receive votes in the MVP voting. He is at the top of the NL in WAR, a uniform measure of a player’s value.
On June 6 (ET), Kim started in the No. 8 spot in the lineup against the Chicago Cubs at Petco Park and went 2-for-3 with a home run, a walk, and an RBI in a 5-0 sweep.
Two days after going 2-for-2 against the Cubs on April 4, Kim recorded his 10th multi-hit game of the season, raising his average to .251 (44-for-175) with five home runs, 19 RBIs, 23 runs scored, 11 doubles, and a .742 OPS.
With the bats coming together, San Diego remained in fourth place in the NL West with a 28-32 record. Their lead over the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks has shrunk to seven games, and they are still four games back of the third wild-card spot, the Milwaukee Brewers.
San Diego jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second inning on Gary Sanchez’s two-run homer and Ha-Sung Kim’s two-run double to left field with runners on first and second. On a 3B1S count, Kim pulled a five-pitch, 88.9-mph body sinker from Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks and lined it past third baseman Patrick Wisdom for a two-run double down the left-field line, driving in pinch-hitter Matt Carpenter.
San Diego, which made it 4-0 on Jake Cronenwirth’s RBI single in the third, added a run in the bottom of the eighth on Carpenter’s sacrifice fly to center field.
Kim struck out swinging in his second at-bat of the game in the fourth, and in the seventh, he led off with an infield single that bounced off the pitcher’s foot and moved to third on a single by Brandon Dixon and a grounder by Luged O’Dowd, but Fernando Tatis Jr. was thrown out at second base.
In the eighth inning, they had runners on first and third with one out, but again failed to score.
After proving his worth again with a multi-hit game and an RBI, Kim ranks seventh in both leagues in Baseball-Reference WAR at 2.8.
He is behind Tampa Bay shortstop Wander Franco (3.7), Texas second baseman Marcus Simien (3.4), Atlanta outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. (3.3), Toronto shortstop Bo Bichette (3.1), Cubs starter Marcus Stroman (3.1), and Los Angeles Angels slugger Shohei Ohtani (3.0).
In the NL, he’s third behind Acuna Jr. and Stroman. Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman, the 2020 NL MPV and NL Player of the Month in May, is seventh with 2.6, and teammate outfielder Juan Soto is ninth with 2.3. Last year’s NL MVP, St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, is outside the top 10 at 2.3. In other words, Kim’s performance is objectively higher than the big MVP hitters.
If we were voting for an MVP right now, Kim would get a lot of votes.
Of course, his 1.7 defensive WAR leads the league. That’s 0.3 higher than the next best player, Toronto outfielder Kevin Kiermaier (1.4). Overwhelming.
Kim’s defense has already proven to be one of the best in the majors. “When I first came to the major leagues, I didn’t think about the Gold Glove,” he said in an interview with The Athletic. “Now that I’m in my third year, I’m thinking, ‘I can win the Gold Glove. If I work hard and do my part, I can be rewarded,” he said, expressing his desire to win the award. 메이저사이트
According to The Athletic, “Kim leads the majors with a Defensive Run Save (DRS) of +13 while playing three positions.
Fellow third baseman Manny Machado said, “He doesn’t play any position. He’s the kind of player you want to be your best defender wherever you play. This is definitely going to be his year,” said fellow third baseman Manny Machado, predicting a Gold Glove win.