Kim best season yet…will he soar even higher at shortstop next year?
Ryu Hyun-jin, whose team made the postseason, still has fall baseball to play, while Kim Ha-seong, Choi Ji-won, and Bae Ji-hwan are done for the season.
Of the four, Kim had the second-most successful season of any Korean slugger, behind only Choo Shin-soo (41-SSG Rangers).
Despite a late-season dip in form, Kim batted .260 (140-for-538) with 17 home runs, 60 RBI, 84 runs scored, 38 stolen bases, and a .749 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage).
His defense was still among the best in the league, and he showed flashes of brilliance at the plate, giving us plenty to look forward to next season.
At his current pace, Kim is the third favorite to win the National League Most Valuable Player (MVP) award.
While he won’t actually win the award, he will be the first Korean to receive votes since Shin-Soo Choo, who finished 14th and 12th in 2010 and 2013, respectively, and Ryu Hyun-jin, who finished 19th in 2019.
He also has a shot at winning the Gold Glove for second baseman or utility player, which is awarded to the best defender.
Kim, who began his big league career with San Diego in 2021, will be under contract for four years next year.
If he maintains his hitting production and defense next year, he could be in line for a big contract.
In the U.S., it is expected that San Diego will pursue an extension with Kim in earnest next season.
In this atmosphere, there is talk that Kim’s price tag could be even higher.
Xander Bogaerts, who played shortstop for the Dodgers this season, told the San Diego Tribune on Feb. 2, “I don’t think I’m going to stick with shortstop next year,” he said.
With Boharz’s preferred position being second base, it’s likely that Kim will return to shortstop.
According to Sports Illustrated, “Kim has established himself as a key cog in the team’s offense this year. If Bocharz does move, it shouldn’t be a problem because of his versatility.”
After narrowly missing out on joining the 20-20 club this year with 17 homers and 38 RBIs, Kim’s price tag will skyrocket if he puts up numbers at shortstop next year. 카지노사이트킴
Bae Ji-hwan, who split time between center field and second base for Pittsburgh, has been a “half success” this season.
In 111 games, he batted .231 (77-for-334) with two home runs, 32 RBIs, 54 runs scored, 24 doubles, and a .608 OPS.
While his batting stats leave something to be desired, he has also made a name for himself with his stellar base running and spectacular defense.
As the team’s leading stealer this season, Pittsburgh expects Bae to develop into the next big thing at first base as he gains experience and produces more quality at-bats.
The oldest of the three Korean big leaguers, Choi Ji-Man, had the most difficult season.
He started the new season in Pittsburgh, but only played 23 games due to injuries, and even when he moved to San Diego in the second half of the season, he was plagued by injuries and poor performance.
This season, he batted .163 (17-for-104) with six home runs, 13 RBI, 12 runs scored, and a .624 OPS in 39 games.
It’s the fewest games and numbers he’s played since 2018, when he made the jump from the big leagues to the minors.
Choi, who is eligible for free agency after this season, will have to worry about survival in the big leagues next year.