Kim Ha-seong, Choo Shin-soo, Ryu Hyun-jin’s right to go “Kim Ha-seong is SD’s best player, MVP dark horse”
Perhaps Kim Ha-sung (28, San Diego) is not the best player in the National League this season. However, it seems clear that he is one of the most underrated players in the league. Apart from his outstanding performance, he feels that he is less popular than other superstars.
Kim Ha-sung is a player loved by Saber Matrix. This is because he is showing excellent performance in both offense and defense. As of the 15th, Kim Ha-sung has played 116 games of the season with a batting average of 0.283, 15 home runs, 42 RBIs, 65 points, and an OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage). Considering that his position is mainly a central infielder (second baseman shortstop), it is a very excellent offensive performance.
In particular, it is highly evaluated in terms of on-base percentage, which is an important factor in the saber matrix. Kim Ha-sung’s on-base percentage in the season is 0.377, ranking 14th overall in the Major League and 11th in the National League. Looking at the positions of the 10 players in front of Kim Ha-sung in the National League, there are five outfielders, one catcher, and three first baseman. The only central infielder who has a better on-base percentage than Kim Ha-sung is Luis Araes (Miami 0.410), who once took on a “dream challenge of 40 percent.”
In the second half alone, he recorded a 0.446 on-base percentage, ranking sixth in the National League. On top of that, he has already succeeded in stealing 27 bases, ranking fifth in the National League in this category. There is nothing more to explain about defense. He has already recorded +15 in DRS (an indicator of how many runs he has prevented with defense), leading the league’s second baseman category and competing for first place in the entire infielder.
It is also achieving the highest performance in the recent record of winning contribution (WAR) compared to substitute players. In the WAR compiled by “Baseball Reference,” it is 5.7 and ranked fourth in the league. Only Ohtani Shohei (LA Angels 9.1), Ronald Acuña Jr. (Atlanta 6.3), and Mookie Betts (LA Dodgers 5.7) are in front of Kim Ha-sung. In the National League, they are fiercely competing for first place.
Kim Ha-sung is ranked 12th overall in the Major League and 6th in the National League with 4.4 in the tally of “Fangraph,” which is considered a little more reliable in the fielder’s WAR. Acuña Jr. (6.1), Freddie Freeman (LA Dodgers 6.0), Betts (5.8), Matt Olson (Atlanta 4.8), and Francisco Lindor (New York Mets 4.5) are the only players with higher WARs than Kim Ha-sung in the National League. This shows Kim Ha-sung’s tremendous performance this season.
Now, some predict that Kim Ha-sung will be able to get quite a lot of votes in the MVP vote. Although the first to third-place votes may be somewhat difficult, it is expected that voters who recognize Kim Ha-sung’s all-roundness will be able to think about fourth to fifth place. Some expect to enter “TOP 10.” Choo Shin-soo was the highest-ranked player in the MVP voting in the history of Korean players in 2013. At that time, Choo Shin-soo was ranked 12th in the MVP vote. There has never been a “TOP 10” in Korean history.
Last Word On Sports, a major league media outlet, selected Acuña Jr. and Freeman as the strongest candidates for this year’s National League MVP on the 16th. It is expected that the two players will compete for the top. Acuña Jr. is batting .337 with 26 home runs, 71 RBIs and 55 steals in 118 games this year. He is the most likely candidate at this point. Freeman is chasing Acuña Jr. with a balanced batting average of 0.339 with 23 home runs and 83 RBIs in 117 games.
In the meantime, “Last Word On Sports” selected a dark horse other than the two players, and there was also Kim Ha-sung’s name. Kim Ha-sung joined the list along with Luis Arares, Matt Olsen and Mookie Betts. Of course, it is not that he is a strong candidate for MVP, but it is great that Kim Ha-sung is on this list.
Last Word On Sports said, “In 2023, San Diego is having a season that is not exciting at all. However, Kim Ha-sung did not hesitate to pick Kim Ha-sung as their best player of the year, and praised his balanced performance this season, saying, “In 113 games against the Padres (until the 14th), Kim Ha-sung recorded a batting average of 0.286, an on-base percentage of 0.381, a slugging percentage of 0.449, and 27 steals.”
He then said, “Kim Ha-sung is currently leading the National League in contribution to victory and defensive WAR compared to substitute players,” adding, “Defensively, he is a great defender in both second, third, and shortstop.” Considering that he was not an All-Star in the first half of the season, Kim Ha-sung could be a dark horse pick,’ he predicted.
The last spurt is important. MVP voting affects not only skills but also the overall image. This is because it is not a machine, but a person’s vote by a machine. If Kim Ha-sung continues his performance in the second half to the end and leads San Diego to advance to the postseason, he could be mentioned as a candidate for the MVP vote, leaving more than his performance this year.
On the contrary, if the team collapses, Kim Ha-sung’s contribution is also likely to fade. The fact that a large number of Atlanta and Dodgers players are nominated for MVP is partly because the players are good, but there is also a factor that attracts more attention because they are in the top teams. This is why the last month and a half of Kim Ha-sung and San Diego are drawing attention. 스포츠토토티비