The Korea Herald


Kim Ha-seong ends homer drought, helps Padres snap losing streak

By Yonhap

Published : June 23, 2023 - 09:41

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Kim Ha-seong (Herald DB) Kim Ha-seong (Herald DB)

Kim Ha-seong of the San Diego Padres has homered for the first time in June.

Batting leadoff, the South Korean infielder went 1-for-3 with a home run, an RBI, two walks and two runs scored, as the Padres blanked the San Francisco Giants 10-0 at Oracle Park in San Francisco on Thursday.

Kim's previous home run came on May 24 against the Washington Nationals. He now has six home runs on the season, along with 22 RBIs, 13 steals and a .251/.342/.377 line in 71 games.

Kim drew a leadoff walk against Giants starter Alex Wood in the top of the first and scored on a three-run blast by Gary Sanchez.

Kim flied out in the top of the second, but with one out in the fourth, Kim jumped on a first-pitch sinker from reliever Jakob Junis for a solo blast.

The ball left Kim's bat at 100.7 mph and traveled 381 feet to left field.

Kim grounded out in the fifth and walked in the eighth.

Kim is batting a solid .279/.362/.377 for June, but it is on defense where Kim has been earning his keep.

He was a Gold Glove finalist at shortstop last season and is regarded as a strong candidate at second base this year.

The versatile defender was primarily a shortstop in the Korea Baseball Organization for the Kiwoom Heroes. Now in his third season in San Diego, Kim has played all over the field, having seen time at third base and second base in addition to shortstop.

Kim played mostly shortstop in 2022 because of injuries and then the suspension of incumbent Fernando Tatis Jr. During the offseason, the Padres signed All-Star shortstop Xander Bogaerts to a multiyear deal, and Tatis, upon returning from his suspension, moved to the outfield. Kim was shifted over to second base, where he flashed impressive range and a strong throwing arm.

Kim ranks second overall in the majors in Outs Above Average, which measures how many outs a player has saved for his team compared with an average fielder, with seven. Thairo Estrada of the Giants leads the way with 10.

Kim is also No. 2 among all second basemen in the big leagues with an average velocity of 85.1 mph on his throws. (Yonhap)