Since 2014, the Major League Network has been regularly announcing the ‘Top 10 best players by position at the moment’ and ‘Top 100 best players at the moment’ in January and February every year. We try to be as objective as possible through our own projection, Shredder.
The ‘Shredder’ system calculates the ranking by adding the scores of the last two years as a standard and adding the weight of its own projection to this. As computer calculation takes precedence, it is evaluated as more reliable than other media rankings where human subjectivity takes precedence. However, this ranking is still unfamiliar to Korean players. It’s because there aren’t that many cases.
In particular, there has been no such case since Choo Shin-soo (41‧SSG) on the field side. The difficulty level is too high. The player who might have come closest was Jung-ho Kang (36), but Jung-ho Kang also did not make it into this TOP 10 ranking.
Kang Jung-ho successfully settled in the major leagues in 2015, recording a batting average of 0.287, 15 homers, and 58 RBIs in 126 games. In 2016, he only played 103 games due to injury, but he had the best season by hitting more home runs (21). As important as the sum of his two years of performance was, he deserved to be included in the third base division in the January 2017 rankings, but Shredder disregarded Jung-ho Kang coldly.
If so, can Ha-seong Kim break that wall? There are some positive points. Ha-seong Kim spent his first season in 2021 as a time to adapt, and in 2022 he perfectly proved that he could play full-time shortstop even in the major leagues. He appeared in 150 games, and he had a batting average of .251, 11 homers, 59 RBIs, and an OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) of .708.
His OPS has risen above the league average, and he has been recognized as a special player on defense. In the Gold Glove category, where surveys of teammates and managers who play together in the major leagues account for a large portion, he has risen to the final list. It means that he became ‘TOP 3’ in defense in the National League shortstop category.
As it is a combined two years, it was difficult to get into the top 10 in the shortstop category this year, but there is a possibility in January next year. This is because if Ha-seong Kim continues his good performance this year and moves to second base, his hurdles tend to be slightly lower. 메이저놀이터
As of 2023, the best second baseman ranked ninth was Colton Wong. Wong has a .262 batting average, 29 homers, 97 RBIs, 29 stolen bases and an adjusted OPS (OPS+) of 114 in 250 games over the past two years. Although the batting average is higher than Ha-seong Kim, the adjusted OPS is not much different from Ha-seong Kim (107) in 2022, and Ha-seong Kim received a better evaluation in defense.
There is a possibility that Ha-seong Kim’s batting performance will improve as he can relieve a little of the burden of defense by moving to second base. One interesting point to look at in 2023 is whether Ha-seong Kim will be able to stand on the stage, which was a’four walls’ for Korean players.