Even the LA Dodgers broadcasters have fallen in love with Ha-Sung Kim (28, San Diego Padres). Even though he plays for a rival team, they have praised his progress.
Kim batted first and second in the lineup against the Dodgers on May 5, going 2-for-4 with a double, a walk, and a stolen base. He’s now on a 10-game hitting streak, raising his season average to 2-for-8, 100 hits in 349 at-bats, and an OPS of .840.
His second-half performance has been spectacular. In 20 games, he’s exploded to hit .390 (29-for-74) with five home runs, 10 RBIs, 15 doubles, eight triples, a .500 slugging percentage, a .635 OPS and a 1.135 OPS. He ranks second in batting average, fourth in slugging percentage, and ninth in OPS in the second half of the season in both leagues.
Even the opposing Dodgers broadcasters have been impressed with Kim’s performance. Joe Davis, the Dodgers’ play-by-play broadcaster on SportsNet LA, and commentator Orel Hershiser both spoke highly of Kim.
Hershiser, a 204-win Cy Young Award-winning pitcher who led the Dodgers to the 1988 World Series title, said after Kim singled in the first inning, “Since the first week of June, he’s been a completely different player offensively. He’s feeling hot and making strong contact.” In fact, since June, Kim has been putting up league-leading offensive production, batting .326 (61-for-187) with 10 home runs, 23 RBIs, 15 doubles, and a .952 OPS in 54 games.
Then Davis “suddenly emerged as one of the most complete players in the National League. He’s hitting for power and leading San Diego in stolen bases. We’ll have to keep an eye on him.” True to form, Kim stole second base against Juan Soto in the third inning.
In his second at-bat of the third inning, the two men exchanged compliments. Davis said, “I talked about him in the first inning, but he hits for power and gets on base well. He’s also one of the best defensive second basemen in the league. Only Ronald Acuña Jr. (Atlanta Braves) is more valuable in the National League according to Baseball-Reference WAR. That’s pretty amazing.”
“This is the kind of player he was for seven years in Korea. He came to the big leagues and struggled in his first year. He was the team’s mascot and the team liked him, but he didn’t play much in the second half. Last year, he was productive, but not at this level.”
At that moment, Kim took a five-pitch, 100.5-mph (161.7-kilometer) sinker from Dodgers starter Bobby Miller and lined it into left field. Davis said, “That’s the biggest thing about Ha-Sung Kim. The biggest question mark was whether he could hit a 101-mph fastball for a hit, and he got a sharp pull and got a hit,” Davis said, praising Kim’s ability to handle the fastball.
Hershiser added, “We were talking about his reversal, and this is the KBO Kim Ha-Sung. I think his swing is proving it,” Hershiser said, acknowledging that the offensive shortstop from South Korea is showing signs of life in the major leagues.메이저사이트
In seven games against the Dodgers this year, Kim went 2-for-9 with two doubles (7-for-24), one home run, four RBIs, and an .829 OPS. Kim’s growth hasn’t gone unnoticed by the Dodgers’ dedicated broadcasters either, and even though he’s an opposing player, they were quick to explain and praise him.