“If you told me in spring training that Ha Sung Kim would have a higher WAR than Manny Machado or Xander Bogaerts this year, would I have believed you?”
Despite his struggles in September and a recent four-game absence due to abdominal pain, it’s clear that Kim has outperformed expectations for the season as a whole. The Athletic recognized the 20 players with breakout seasons on Sept. 22, and Kim was one of them.
In 143 games this season, Kim hit .265 with 17 home runs, 58 RBI, 81 runs scored, 36 stolen bases, a .356 on-base percentage, a .407 slugging percentage, and a .763 OPS. His overall season slipped a bit in September, as he slumped to 9-for-54 (.167) with six homers, five RBIs and seven stolen bases in 13 games.
Still, The Athletic wrote, “If you told me in spring training that Kim would have a higher WAR than Machado or Bogaerts this year, would I have believed you. Well, he did. Kim has had a solid 2022 season, but his on-base percentage is up about three points this year (.356 vs. .325 last year) and his 17 home runs and 36 stolen bases are career highs. He’s also played elite defense at second base.”
In reality, Kim is third on the team with a WAR of 4.4 per FanGraphs, behind Juan Soto at 5.0 and Fernando Tatis Jr. at 4.5. ahead of Bogaerts at 4.3 and Machado at 3.1. 18th in the National League and 34th in the majors overall. Even per Baseball-Reference, his 5.7 is second on the team behind Blake Snell (5.7), sixth in the National League and 11th in the majors.
In short, Kim has been a delightful rebellion. This season, he’s become one of the best offensive and defensive center fielders in the majors. He will be eligible for free agency in 2024 when he finishes the fourth year of a 4+1 year, $39 million contract. If he performs as well next year as he did this season, he will be a free agent.메이저사이트
For Kim, the most important thing is to get over his abdominal pain and get healthy. Once he’s back, he’ll need to be a part of San Diego’s fearsome late-game comeback. It would be a shame for the Dodgers to end the season with an upset postseason run, even for the Gold Glove race.