Since mid-June, Kim (28, San Diego) has been hitting like a man possessed and has earned the team’s leadoff spot. He began to lead a San Diego lineup that was loaded with All-Star hitters.
His increased offensive production made him a perfect leadoff hitter. His naturally quick feet made him a threat to opposing batteries when he got on base. Add to that the fact that his on-base percentage has increased significantly since June, and he’s a perfect fit for the leadoff spot. In April, Kim’s OPS was just .278, but in May it was .374, and in June it stayed at .367.
The key was to draw as many pitches as possible without striking out. His trademark was getting on base and battling with the opposing pitcher to draw a walk. His on-base percentage in July was a whopping .449. That’s basically because he has a good batting average (.337), but also because he draws a lot of walks.
He struck out 14 times in the month of July, but he also drew 16 walks. He was a leadoff hitter with more walks than strikeouts. This makes him very annoying for pitchers. In August, he also drew 14 walks while striking out 18 times, but that ratio started to break down in mid-August. This was likely due to the fact that he was playing constantly and his stamina was diminishing.
In September, Kim is batting just .178 with a .245 on-base percentage. It’s not the kind of performance we’ve come to expect from Kim. Manager Bob Melvin was also concerned about Kim’s health after the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on September 12. “Every time he steps on the field right now, I’m worried something’s going to happen,” Melvin said bluntly. The implication was that Kim’s diligence at the plate, his diligence at the plate, and his diligence at the plate could lead to injury.
So on the 13th, Melvin gave him a day off. After a full day of rest, Kim returned to the starting leadoff spot on the 14th. However, a day’s rest was not going to make up for his recent loss of strength.
Kim started at first base against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday, but went 0-for-4 with a walk and three strikeouts. His batting average dropped from 0.270 to 0.268, breaking the double-digit barrier. His OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage) also dropped to 0.771, inching away from the 0.800 mark.
From his first at-bat, he battled Dodgers starter Ryan Peavy for nine pitches. Kim was aggressive in his at-bat, drawing six fouls, but he eventually struck out swinging. In his second at-bat of the third inning, he grounded out to the first baseman. There was no power in his at-bat.
In his third at-bat in the top of the fifth inning with a 4-0 lead, Kim faced another eight-pitch at-bat, but again, the same slider he faced in his first at-bat. Normally, this would have been a good time for Ha-sung to get out of the jam and strike out, but not on this day. The decline in his stamina also affected his performance, as he struck out swinging with the bases loaded in the seventh inning. It was a shame he couldn’t capitalize on the opportunity.
The team won 6-1, thanks to a strong start from Blake Snell and the bats coming alive early in the game. Fernando Tatis Jr. had two hits and two RBIs in the second spot in the batting order, Juan Soto had two hits and one RBI, and Luis Camposano had two hits and three RBIs in the fourth spot. Ha-Sung Kim’s struggles didn’t go unnoticed.메이저사이트
However, there is an emerging possibility that a poor September could derail his spectacular finale. Kim is batting .178 in September with a .178 on-base percentage. All eight of his hits have been singles. He has three home runs left in the 20-20 club, and it’s not filling up easily.
Kim has been San Diego’s best offense all season. It shows in his Wins Above Replacement (WAR). While Juan Soto had a better overall offense, Ha-Sung Kim continued to lead the team in WAR thanks to his better contributions on defense and the basepaths. However, his poor batting performance is threatening to overtake him.
According to FanGraphs, Kim’s WAR was 4.5 through 13 days. He had been leading Soto by some distance, but by the 13th, they were tied. The gap between him and third-place Tatis Jr. (4.3) narrowed significantly. He lost the top spot to Soto after the 14th game. Considering that unlike Soto and Tatis Jr. this is a very demanding position, proper management during August is again a concern.