If Kim Ha-seong signs an ‘extension’ contract, will the shortstop worth ‘387 billion won’ be pushed out? “The location may change”
“The positions of Kim Ha-sung and Bogartz may change.”
On the 19th (Korea time), mlbcom had a time to find out the position suitable for Xander Bogaerts along with the future of the San Diego Padres.
Bogorz is a player who has a very close relationship with Kim Ha-sung. The reason is that the positions overlap. While Fernando Tatis Jr. was suspended for 80 games for wrist surgery and taking banned substances, Kim Ha-sung succeeded in becoming the main player in 2022, missing the entire season. Kim Ha-sung, whose batting average in his first season since debut was only 0.202, showed remarkable growth with 130 hits, 11 homers, and 12 stolen bases batting average of 0.251 OPS 0.708 in 150 games.
Of course, it was not easy to completely fill the void left by Tatis Jr. in terms of offensive power. But Kim Ha-sung’s true value lies in his defense. Kim Ha-sung not only played shortstop but also third baseman when his team needed him, showing off his outstanding presence in defense. As a result, Kim Ha-sung did not receive an award, but he had the pleasure of being selected as a finalist for the Gold Glove Award in the National League Shortstop category. He displayed quality defense as a shortstop in the National League.
San Diego, however, continued its somewhat incomprehensible move. Despite having two shortstops, Kim Ha-sung and Tatis Jr., they signed Xander Bogaerts through an 11-year, $290 million (W387 billion) deal in the 2022-2023 offseason. Of course, Bogaerts is a San Diego plus. With 156 homers, a .292 batting average, and an OPS of 0.814 in 1,264 games over 10 seasons with the Boston Red Sox, there is no doubt about his batting ability.
San Diego, which already had two basemen, had no choice but to provide traffic control. First of all, the team decided to leave Bogaerts as its starting shortstop and move Kim Ha-sung to second base. It also sent out Tatis Jr., who finished the 80-game suspension, to the outfield and Jake Cronenworth, who previously played second base, to first base. With Bogaerts joining, there have been as many as three players who have changed their positions.
This was actually a ‘benefit’ for Kim Ha-sung. Of course, it could be the result of Kim Ha-sung’s hard work in the offseason, but Kim Ha-sung, who eased the defensive burden, had a career high season last year with 140 hits, 17 homers, 60 RBIs, 84 runs, and 38 stolen bases with a batting average of 0.260 OPS 0.749. And Kim Ha-sung, who also played as a second baseman, shortstop, and third baseman, became the first Asian infielder to win the National League Utility Award.
Although the team played the 2023 season through traffic control, San Diego is still worried about infielders. Cronenworth’s batting performance has significantly decreased since he changed his position. Since he already signed a “long-term contract,” he has no choice but to hire Cronenworth. However, it is not easy to replace Kim Ha-sung, who won the Golden Glove award after a high season in his career, as a second baseman again. “MLB.com ” also pointed out this point.
“San Diego has a roster full of shortstop,” he said, “Until further notice, Xander Bogaerts is the starting shortstop. However, it has been a year since he signed an 11-year contract with Bogaerts last winter. “Now questions are being asked about prudence given the suitability of the contract,” he said. There are many reasons, but the most representative one was the weakening of the offense.
In 155 games last year, Bogaerts had 170 hits, 18 homers, 58 RBIs, 83 runs, and a batting average of 0.285 OPS 0.790. In terms of batting average alone, it was the third lowest since Bogaerts started in earnest. The OPS also ranked fourth from the bottom. What is clear is that the highly anticipated bat, which gave him $290 million, betrayed him. What is interesting is that, on the other hand, the below-average defense returns to normal levels as the batting ability declines.