Fernando Tatis Jr. can only hit leadoff if Kim has a day off.”
The No. 1 hitter (lead-off) position of the San Diego Padres belonged to Kim Ha-seong (29), who even Fernando Tatis Jr. (24), who signed a 14-year, 340 million dollar (approximately 433 billion won) contract, did not dare to surpass. Influential media in the San Diego area also acknowledged this.온라인바카라
The San Diego Union-Tribune, an American media, said on the 26th (Korean time), “Ha-seong Kim is enough to be the leadoff for this team with Juan Soto, Manny Machado, Tatis Jr., and Zander Bogatz. He raised Kim Ha-seong’s batting average to 0.289 on-base percentage, 0.398 slugging percentage, and 0.558.”
Even in the second half of the season, Kim Ha-seong is showing an explosive sense of hitting with a batting average of 0.354 in 12 games, 4 homers, 6 RBIs, 17 points and 3 stolen bases, and an OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) of 1.092. Maybe that’s why Ha-seong Kim has played as a leadoff in 23 out of 26 games since the San Francisco Giants expedition on June 22. He was only used as a pinch hitter in 2 of the 3 games he failed to play as a leadoff, and he is actually playing as a leadoff in 23 out of 24 games.
Looking at the record, it is inevitable that Kim Ha-seong takes the lead-off. Among them, Kim Ha-seong shows the highest productivity with wRC+ (adjusted scoring productivity) of 162 as of the end of the game on the 25th. When it was a leadoff, Kim Ha-seong’s on-base percentage and slugging percentage were 0.393 and 0.558, respectively, and 0.356 and 0.529, even second place Tatis Jr. could not catch up. In terms of the number of stolen bases, Tatis Jr. is behind with 10 and Ha-seong Kim with 7, but considering the number of at-bats received, Ha-seong Kim is rather efficient.
At the beginning of the season, Tatis Jr. was given a chance as a leadoff (209 at-bats in 45 games), but gradually gave it to Ha-seong Kim (104 at-bats in 26 games). The San Diego Union-Tribune said, “Ha-sung Kim is one of the leadoffs of the six players San Diego has used this season (Ha-seong Kim, Tatis Jr., Trent Grisham, Bogarts, Rudned O’Door, and Jake Cronenworth). Until the game on the 26th, Ha-sung Kim As a leadoff, his 27th start is not close to Tatis Jr. (45 games), but now Tatis Jr. only becomes a leadoff when Kim Ha-seong is resting.”
On this day, Ha-seong Kim also showed his true value as a lead-off. He started as the first batter and second baseman in the 2023 Major League home game against Pittsburgh at Petco Park in San Diego, California, USA, recording two hits and one steal in four at-bats.
In the first two at-bats against Rich Hill (43), the oldest pitcher in the major leagues, he withdrew with a fly ball, but in the third at-bat at the end of the 5th inning, he managed to get a hit. Despite the unfavorable ball count of 0B2S, he focused on hitting the curveball that fell low on the third pitch with one hand and connected it with a hit that fell in front of the center fielder. His quick feet, one of the virtues of the leadoff, also shone. Kim Ha-seong, who reached second base when Tatis Jr. hit left-handed, attempted a double steal when Machado was at bat and reached third base. Season 19 stolen base.
Even in the bottom of the 7th inning, he appeared as the leading batter and showed a technical blow. Against Yeri de Los Santos, Kim Ha-seong played a multi-hit game by attacking the 5th pitch slider that fell outward. 22nd multi-hit this season. However, this time, the steal of second base failed due to the sensuous touch of opponent rookie shortstop Alica Williams, so the steal of 20 bases was postponed to the next opportunity. If this steal was also successful, he could have become the third Korean major leaguer to steal 20 bases in one season, following Shin-soo Choo (SSG Landers) and Bae Ji-hwan (Pittsburgh).
Meanwhile, San Diego won 5-1 against Pittsburgh thanks to the performance of leadoff Kim Ha-sung. As a ‘leadoff’ until today’s game, Kim Ha-sung’s performance in 27 games was a batting average of 0.294 (32 hits in 109 at bats), 8 home runs, 14 RBIs, 24 runs, 8 stolen bases, an on-base percentage of 0398, a slugging percentage of 0.550, and an OPS of 0.948.