Kim Ha-seong is threatening the MVP lead
“Kim Ha-seong is threatening the MVP lead” Is ‘Awesome Kim’, the first in Korea to achieve a record of ‘Unanswered’ in Korea’s first top 10?
Kim Ha-sung (28, San Diego Padres), who is active in the second half of the year. Now, although it is little by little in the U.S., he is listed as a candidate for MVP. Attention is also being paid to whether Koreans will break the highest ranking ever.
Pangraph, a Major League Baseball statistics site, introduced the status of the National League MVP race on the 16th, saying, “Some players besides Ronald Acuña Jr. (Atlanta), Freddie Freeman, and Mookie Betts (LA Dodgers) are showing great performances.”
As of the 15th, Kim Ha-sung played in 114 games this season with a batting average of 0.283 with 15 home runs, 42 RBIs, 65 runs, and 27 steals. At one point, he was ranked first in the field in the bWAR (contribution to victory over substitute players in the baseball reference), and recently recorded 5.7 and is ranked third behind Acuña (6.3) and Betts (5.7).
In the first half, Kim Ha-sung was a player who did not stand out. Although he received good reviews for his excellent defense over the past two years, he had a batting average of 0.258 and an OPS of 0.760 before the All-Star break, showing a slightly better batting performance than last year (0.251 batting average, 0.708). It was noticeable that the home run, which hit 11 in 150 games in the 2022 season, has accelerated its pace with 10 home runs in 85 games in the first half of this year.
However, Kim Ha-sung became a completely different batter in the second half. Having played in 29 games until the 15th, he has a batting average of 0.346, five home runs, 11 RBIs, and 11 stolen bases with an OPS of 0.974. Based on his advanced vision, he is properly playing the role of a table setter by drawing an excellent on-base percentage (0.446). 스포츠토토
In particular, from the 23rd of last month to the 8th of last month, he steadily succeeded in getting on base more than twice in every game, tying the Asian player’s consecutive multi-base record (15 games) set in 2007. He also hit 16 consecutive games from the match against Pittsburgh on the 25th of last month to the match against Arizona on the 12th of this month, tying Choo Shin-soo (41, current SSG)’s record in 2013 when he was in Cincinnati. During this period, Kim Ha-sung showed a good batting sense with 24 hits in 58 at-bats and a batting average of 0.414.
At the same time, Kim Ha-sung is mentioned as a candidate for the National League MVP in the U.S. MLB, the official website of Major League Baseball, held a mock vote for the MVP of the two major leagues on the 9th and named Kim Ha-sung. Although Acuña swept 45 out of 48 votes, Kim Ha-sung was also included in the rankings and was selected. Fangraph also said, “Kim Ha-sung is at the top of the league in bWAR, and he is also sixth in the National League (4.4) in fWAR (Fangraph’s WAR).”
However, the media also pointed out Kim Ha-sung’s weaknesses. He earned the WAR from defense. In fact, Kim Ha-sung recorded a defensive WAR of 1.9 in the baseball reference, ranking second in the National League. The offensive WAR also tied for seventh with 4.2 but not as good as defense. In the fan graph, the defense (11th) and offense (10th) WAR rankings were similar. The media pointed out, “Kim Ha-sung’s case is based on his phenomenal defense, and in fact, it is not easy to win the MVP with defense alone.”
At the same time, he also mentioned the hopeful part. The media said Kim Ha-sung is recording 170 wRC+ (adjusted score productivity, 100 is the league average) in the last 51 games, claiming, “If he continues to play in batting at a hot pace, he can threaten the lead.”
If he can maintain this pace, Kim Ha-sung is likely to win the highest ranking in MVP voting in Korean history. Earlier, Choo Shin-soo received the first vote as he ranked 14th in the American League MVP in 2010 when he was in Cleveland, and in 2013, he ranked 12th in the National League in Cincinnati, ranking the highest among Korean players. Since then, Ryu Hyun-jin (36, Toronto) has accepted his performance of 19th in the National League in 2019 and 13th in the American League in 2020. No one made it to the top 10.
At that time, Choo Shin-soo received one sixth-place vote on both occasions. Kim Ha-sung, who is currently recording the league’s top player value, is likely to receive at least one vote above Choo Shin-soo. This part is also drawing attention.