“It’s hard, but…I feel like I did really well this year”
Kim Ha-seong (27), who has become a stalwart infielder for the San Diego Padres of Major League Baseball (MLB), expressed his satisfaction with the 2023 season.
“Personally, I think I had a great season,” Kim told the San Diego Union-Tribune on Aug. 15 (KST).
Last year, Kim was recognized for his defensive abilities, but this year, he is recognized as a player with a triple threat.
In 141 games this season, Kim is batting .268 (132-for-492) with 17 home runs, 58 RBIs, 80 runs scored, 35 doubles, and a .771 OPS.
He has started every game at second base (89 games), third base (28 games), and shortstop (15 games), and his defensive prowess hasn’t waned.
He also has the power and speed to become the first Korean player to hit 20 home runs and 40 doubles.
After playing in 150 games last season, more than a full KBO season (144), Kim has been working hard to get in shape for this season.
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, “Kim said it was a challenge to perform at a high level throughout the season in the MLB last year. His offseason fitness efforts haven’t changed his mind about what it takes to get through a season.”
“The season is really long,” Kim said, “and it’s really hard. But I try my best to stay energized and play at the highest level to help the team win. It’s my job to stay energized.”
In fact, Kim’s bat has cooled off this month.
After hitting .277 through August, his season average dropped to .268.
In 11 games in September, he is batting just 0.178 (8-for-45) with no long balls.
The nonstop batting leadoff has taken its toll on his stamina.
He was given the day off against the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 13, but returned to the lineup on April 14 and went 0-for-4.
“If you compare my numbers from last year to this year, I ran more, hit more, and played in more games,” he said. It’s still hard, but I did really well this year,” he said proudly.
After an extra day of rest due to the team not having a game on the 15th, Kim returns to action on the 16th against the Oakland Athletics.
With only 15 games left until the end of the regular season, he will make one last push to reach 20 home runs and 40 stolen bases. 파워볼