In this Getty Images file photo from last Monday, Kim Ha-seong of the San Diego Padres gets ready to swing against the Chicago Cubs during a spring training game at Peoria Stadium in Peoria, Arizona. (Yonhap)
Spring training hitting slump hasn't kept Kim Ha-seong from making an impact on defense for the San Diego Padres.
The new South Korean infielder combined for two inning-ending double plays in the Padres' 4-3 loss to the Kansas City Royals at Peoria Stadium in Peoria, Arizona, on Sunday (local time).
Kim got the start at shortstop, with Jake Cronenworth getting the nod at second base.
With the bases loaded in the third inning, Cronenworth fielded a grounder by Adalberto Mondesi and threw to Kim to start a 4-6-3 twin killing. Kim's throw to first base was slightly off line but still good enough for Eric Hosmer to stretch out and make the catch to complete the play.
In the fourth inning, with runners at first and second, Kim ranged to his right to field a chopper by Ryan McBroom and fired one to Cronenworth covering second for a 6-4-3 double play.
At the plate, though, Kim went 0-for-2 with two strikeouts. He was lifted in favor of CJ Abrams to begin the sixth inning.
Kim is now batting 2-for-13 with a walk and four strikeouts in six spring training games.
The 25-year-old signed a four-year deal with the Padres on New Year's Eve last year, following seven successful seasons with the Kiwoom Heroes in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO).
Though he has mostly been a shortstop in Korea, Kim is expected to battle Cronenworth for the regular second base job and to also make occasional appearances at shortstop and third base.
The Padres are well set at those two positions on the left side of the infield, with shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. and third baseman Manny Machado both being MVP candidates signed to long-term deals. (Yonhap)