At Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres, 28-year-old Ha-Sung Kim’s presence is almost as crazy as Fernando Tatis Jr’s (24). His contributions to the team are overwhelming to fans. His new teammate this season, Xander Bogaerts (31), wants others to recognise the value of such a teammate.
The San Diego Union-Tribune, an American media outlet, wrote on 25 January (KST), “Kim continues to impress,” describing the mood in San Diego after the previous day’s victory on 24 January.
On the 24th, the Padres defeated the Washington Nationals 13-3, with leadoff hitter Ha-Sung Kim at the centre of the action. In his first at-bat, 토토사이트 Kim launched a home run off Washington starter Patrick Corbin, setting the record for a leadoff home run in the first inning of a major league debut. The game remained 1-0 until the fifth inning. In the fifth inning, he hit a two-run single with runners on second and third that turned out to be the big blow, allowing San Diego to secure the win. As San Diego manager Bob Melvin acknowledged in the postgame press conference, “Those two plays by Ha-Sung Kim started it all. He’s our engine,” he said.
According to the media, San Diego’s average attendance was 39,800, third behind the Los Angeles Dodgers (40,873) and St. Louis Cardinals (40,873). That’s including the special game in Mexico City, and if you only count the 38 games at Petco Park, they trail only the Dodgers with 40,861. Tonight’s attendance of 42,510 was the 29th sellout of the season.
In front of such a full house, Kim received more enthusiastic support than anyone else. The San Diego Union-Tribune wrote, “Kim is certainly the most exciting topic in San Diego these days,” and added, “On a star-studded team, he’s getting better and better, and getting more and more popular. His recent at-bats at Petco Park have drawn more cheers than any other player except Fernando Tatis Jr.”
No wonder. Kim was one of the key players in San Diego’s victory. According to the media, his 15 defensive run saves (DRS) (10 at second base, three at shortstop, and two at third base) lead all major league infielders, and his 13 stolen bases are tied for first on the team with Tatis Jr. He’s also gone from batting just .197 with a .274 on-base percentage and .329 slugging percentage through 27 April to batting .254 with a .344 on-base percentage and .390 slugging percentage. His recent hot hitting has been a reason for Melvin to bat him in the leadoff spot against right-handed pitching for the second straight day.
Bogaerts, the newest member of the keystone duo, couldn’t help but feel the presence and value of his partner, who joined San Diego as an 11-year, $280 million free agent before the season.
“Honestly, he wasn’t a player that was talked about a lot (out there), so he wasn’t a player I heard a lot about,” Bogartz said. “I think when you think of San Diego, it’s always Manny Machado, Tatis Jr. and Juan Soto,” he said. “I think he’s kind of flying under the radar a little bit. I wish people would talk more about him because he’s a really solid baseball player.”