Ha-Sung Kim (28, San Diego Padres) has been on an uncharacteristic home run pace. He has three homers in his last four games, and he’s showing off his drive instincts. At this rate, he could become the first Asian infielder in the major leagues to go 20-20 (home runs) and 20-20 (stolen bases). Current LG Twins manager Yoon Kyung-yeop, who coached Kim in South Korea, said, “Kim is the key to San Diego. He is performing above and beyond his price tag,” he said, expressing his happiness for his pupil.온라인카지노
In the Twins’ 2023 Major League Baseball (MLB) home game against the Washington Nationals at Petco Park in San Diego, California, U.S., on June 26 (KST), Kim started at first base and second base and went 1-for-3 with one home run, two walks, one strikeout, one RBI and one run scored.
Kim’s home run came in the bottom of the seventh inning with his team trailing 1-8. He struck out in the first inning and grounded out to shortstop in the second. In the fifth inning, Kim drew a walk in his third at-bat.
Then, in the bottom of the seventh inning. The Washington pitcher was Jordan Weems. On a 2-2 pitch count, Kim lined a five-pitch, 97-mph fastball to the body for a chasing solo arch over the left field fence. It was a huge home run that landed on the second level of the outfield bleachers at Petco Park. The bat speed was 104.6 mph (168.3 km/h). The distance was 380 feet (115.8 meters). The launch angle was 29 degrees. Most importantly, it was a perfectly timed, perfectly placed fastball.
It was Kim’s eighth home run of the season. It was also his third home run in his last four games. After hitting his sixth home run of the season against San Francisco on April 23, Kim hit a two-game homer streak against Washington on April 24. After taking a breather after going 0-for-4 in the previous day’s game in Washington, Kim fired up the cannon to complete his three home runs in four games.
San Diego has played 78 games this season. They have 84 games left. The math works out to 16-17 home runs this season if he keeps up his current pace. After hitting eight home runs in 2021 (117 games), his first year in the majors, Kim hit double digits for the first time last season (11 in 150 games). And now, having already tied his home run total from 2021, he’s actually on pace for a career-high in home runs. The potential is there. He’s already proven that he can drive in runs, and with a good batting average and a leadoff spot, he’s guaranteed more at-bats.
There’s another record at stake here: joining the 20-20 club. Kim had 6 stolen bases (1 loss) in the 2021 season and 12 stolen bases (2 losses) in the 2022 season. He has already surpassed his career high of 12 stolen bases set last year. He now has 13 stolen bases this season. At this rate, the math says he could reach 27 stolen bases this season.
There have been two other Asian players to join the 20-20 club. Shin-Soo Choo (41-SSG Rangers) and Shohei Oh (29-LA Angels). Shin-Soo Choo played for the Cleveland Indians (now the Cleveland Cavaliers) in 2009 and 2010, posting 20 home runs and 21 doubles in the 2009 season and 22 home runs and 22 doubles in the 2010 season, respectively. He then joined the 20-20 club for the third time in his career in 2013 with the Cincinnati Reds, finishing with 21 home runs and 20 doubles. Ohtani also joined the 20-20 club for the first time in his career in 2021, his fourth year in the majors, with 46 home runs and 26 doubles.
Shin-Soo Choo was an outfielder and Ohtani was a pitcher and designated hitter, but no Asian infielder had ever made the 20-20 Club in the major leagues. Kim is looking to break that streak.
One person who has been watching him closely is his mentor, Yoon Kyung-yeop. It’s no exaggeration to say that Yeom has been raising Kim since his days with the Nexen (now Kiwoom) Heroes. Kim made his debut with the Heroes in 2014. After playing 60 games in his rookie year, he established himself as a mainstay in 140 games the following year, with Yeom at the helm. When Kang Jeong-ho (retired) left for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2015 season, Yeom continued to give Kim a chance, and he lived up to his manager’s faith, becoming one of the best shortstops in the KBO. In an official press conference in February 2021 before his big league debut, Kim said, “Coach Yoon gave me a chance, and I took it and made it to this point. I’m very grateful to him for instilling a sense of purpose in a young player. I think he is the best teacher for me,” he said, expressing his gratitude.
When asked about Kim Ha-seong ahead of the Jamsil Lotte match on April 24, Yeom smiled and said, “He calls me more when he’s in a slump than when he’s doing well.” He continued, “I think Kim Ha-seong is the centerpiece and core of the current San Diego Padres. He’s an atmosphere maker.” “In San Diego, the high-priced players are not doing their job. On the other hand, (Kim) is performing above and beyond his price tag,” he said.