(MHN Sports Reporter Park Yeon-jun) “In San Diego, ‘defense’ means Kim Ha-sung”

The praise for Kim Ha-seong continues. He has already emerged as an early favorite to win the Golden Glove and is showing his true colors in the major leagues.

On June 6 (KST), Kim started at shortstop in the eighth spot in the lineup for the 2023 Major League Baseball home game against the Chicago Cubs at Petco Park in San Diego, California, and went 2-for-3 with a double, an RBI, and a walk.

This raised his batting average to .251 (44-for-175). Add to that five home runs, 19 RBIs, 23 runs scored, 11 doubles, and a .742 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage), and he’s cruising through the season.

His wins above replacement (WAR/bwar) of 2.8 ranks seventh overall, according to Baseball-Reference, a major league statistics site.

First in that category is Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Wander Franco (3.7).

In sixth place is Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels (3.0). Kim is closely followed by Ohtani, who has been doing a great job with his two-hitter. This shows that he has a lot of promise.

He also shines on defense. His defensive WAR of 1.7 leads the league, ahead of Toronto outfielder Kevin Kiermaier (1.4), who is second in the category.

On the same day, the San Diego Union-Tribune, a local media outlet, wrote, “Out of all the teams in the majors, the Padres have the best defense in baseball,” explaining that “new shortstop Xander Bogaerts has played a big role this season, but it’s Kim who has been the biggest factor.”

“He has a great defense that allows him to play second base, third base, and shortstop. The fans in San Diego have come to call him ‘defense’ and he is doing a great job.”

It’s no exaggeration to say that Kim’s defense is as “awesome” as his nickname suggests. He was one of three finalists for the National 안전놀이터 League Golden Glove last year (Dansby Swanson of the Atlanta Braves, Miguel Rojas of the Miami Marlins, and Kim).

While he lost the Golden Glove to Swanson, he was recognized for being one of the best defensive players in the majors.

This season, he will try to win the Golden Glove at second base. Only outfielder Ichiro Suzuki has ever won an MLB Golden Glove.

If Kim wins a Golden Glove this season, he could become the first Asian infielder to do so.

He’s hustling for the golden glove, and he’s not slowing down at the plate, either.

Meanwhile, San Diego will face Seattle on July 7 at Petco Park. Joe Musgrove will take the mound for San Diego and Logan Gilbert for Seattle.

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