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Kim Ha-sung’s potential ‘airborne general’ could be the spearhead of a late-season counterattack

‘Kim has developed into a second baseman who contributes to the team both offensively and defensively. He has added depth to the San Diego lineup by taking over the leadoff spot’

That’s what The Athletic has to say about the San Diego Padres in its first half of the 2023 Major League Baseball season.

The Padres defeated the New York Mets 6-2 in the final game of the first half at Petco Park in San Diego on Tuesday.토토사이트

Manny Machado went 2-for-5 with two home runs off Mets ace Max Scherzer, while Ha-Sung Kim, the team’s No. 1 hitter and second baseman, had two hits and a run scored in the win.

With the win, San Diego finished the first half with a record of 43-47. Major League Baseball is off this week for the All-Star break.

With a superstar army of Fernando Tatis Jr. Manny Machado, Juan Soto, and Xander Bogaerts, San Diego’s total team payroll this season ranks third overall out of 30 clubs, behind the New York Mets and New York Yankees.

However, the team has been disappointing. It currently sits in fourth place in the National League West. They’re 8.5 games behind the division-leading Los Angeles Dodgers (51-38). At this point, they’re not even guaranteed to make the postseason via the wild card.

Still, it wasn’t a bad first half finish. San Diego has picked up six wins in their last eight games, improving their winning percentage significantly. The starting rotation has been solid of late, and the offense has been led by Machado, who has six home runs in July.

If there’s one bright spot in the first half of the season for San Diego, and one to look forward to in the second half, it’s the development of Ha-Sung Kim.

Now in his third year in the majors, Kim has shifted his primary position to second base with the addition of Bogart. Despite the change in position, he has continued to contribute to the team with his steady defense, often making highlight-reel plays.

His hitting has also improved recently. He has improved his fastball command, something he struggled with in the past two seasons, and his swing rate has decreased slightly.

As a result, he has been hitting well in his last 18 games.

In that span, he’s batted .313 with a .397 on-base percentage and .567 slugging percentage, primarily as San Diego’s leadoff hitter. He added five home runs, 15 runs scored, 12 RBIs, and five stolen bases, making him a solid leadoff hitter.

Kim finished the first half with a .258 batting average, 10 home runs, 44 runs scored, 31 RBIs, and 16 stolen bases. After totaling 11 home runs last year, Kim reached double-digit home runs before the end of the first half and took advantage of the stolen base craze that has recently swept the major leagues.

Through the first half of the 2023 season, Kim has evolved into a better player. Adding run production to his already stellar defense helped stabilize the team’s power. San Diego is poised for a second-half comeback. If Kim can anchor the infield with steady offensive contributions, San Diego will be in good hands.

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