“On the verge of an All-Star” Kim Hae-sung endures hair loss to reach the top of ML… Korea’s first GG history in sight

San Diego coach Bob Melvin said on the 11th (Korea Standard Time) that Kim Ha-sung (28), the team’s leadoff and the main second baseman, is emerging as the top level in the big leagues. In an interview with local reporters in the U.S., Melvin said, “Everything Kim Ha-sung is doing right now, from defense to offense to base base, is the beginning of something really good. I think I’ve come to the point where I’m about to become an All-Star. “I expect Kim Ha-sung to become an All-Star in the future,” he praised.

The process was not smooth until Kim Ha-sung received such an evaluation. In an interview with the U.S. sports media “The Athletic” on the 9th, Kim Ha-sung told the story of his big league debut season, which was difficult and under great pressure. By the time Kim Ha-sung played in 63 games in the 2021 season, he saw a round bald head inside his head that had not been noticeable. It was a coin-sized circular hair loss.

Kim Ha-sung said, “That was when I really hit the bottom mentally in my baseball career. “I thought I was an unsuitable player for the Major League, and I thought I should go back to Korea,” he confessed honestly.

It was understandable. Kim Ha-sung has been considered a promising shortstop since he graduated from Yatap High School and wore the uniform of the Nexen Heroes (currently Kiwoom) in the 29th place in the second round of the rookie draft in 2014. Since Kang Jung-ho, who was the main shortstop, left for the U.S. Major League after the 2014 season, he has been active as a main shortstop and Heroes’ flagship player until 2020. From 2018 to 2020, he won the shortstop golden glove for three consecutive seasons, and in 2020, he declared his entry into the major leagues after batting average of 0.306 (163 hits in 533 at-bats), 30 home runs, 109 RBIs, and 23 steals. He signed a four-year, $28 million (KRW 37.3 billion) contract with San Diego and lived a life that always showed an upward curve until he boarded a flight to the U.S.카지노사이트

The high barriers to entry in the big leagues were beyond imagination. The process of imprinting the existence of Kim Ha-sung before competing with prominent players such as Manny Machado, Fernando Tanis Jr. and Jake Kronenworth was not easy. When Kim Ha-sung first went to the U.S., he drew attention with “a player with .300-30 home runs and 20 steals in Korea,” and when he batted .202 (54 hits in 267 at-bats), eight home runs, 34 RBIs and OPS 0.622 in 117 games in his debut season, he was full of question marks. In particular, there has been a growing perception that he is a batter who cannot respond to fastballs of more than 150 kilometers per hour.

The secret to Kim Ha-sung’s ability to hold out on a big league roster when the question mark grew at-bat was a solid defense. Bobby Dickerson (currently Philadelphia Phillies coach), who was an infield defense coach in San Diego in 2021, recalled, “Kim Ha-sung was a passionate player and always listened,” explaining that he grew rapidly based on such a good attitude from the spring camp.

Kim Ha-sung said, “Coach Deckerson is the one who helped me play big league-level defense. “I think it was a special relationship with the coach, and he helped me grow a lot as a player,” he expressed his gratitude.

Thanks to him, Kim Ha-sung began to be well-received in the Major League for his outstanding defense in any position, including shortstop, third baseman, and second baseman. Kim Ha-sung was able to become a substitute when Tatis Jr., the main shortstop, lost the entire season due to injury and taking banned drugs last year, thanks to his excellent defense. Kim Ha-sung played a stable defense last year to become a finalist in the National League Gold Glove shortstop category, and gradually adjusted to the balls of major league pitchers in at-bat amid steady opportunities, recording 150 games, a batting average of 0.251 (130 hits in 517 at-bats), 11 home runs, 59 RBIs, and OPS of 0.708.

Kim Ha-sung, who is in his third year in the Major League this year, is now considered an indispensable player in San Diego. Kim Ha-sung gave up the main shortstop to Xander Bogartz, who the club recruited as an FA after last season, but his utility ability was further recognized as he also played an outstanding role as the main second baseman this year. The Athletic affirms that “Kim Ha-sung will be the first Korean fielder to win the Gold Glove this season.”

The blow is more ripe. In 139 games, he set a new personal record for the most hits in a season with a batting average of 0.271 (131 hits in 484 at-bats), 17 home runs and 57 RBIs.

Based on his confidence accumulated for three years, he is even taking advantage of his quick feet. This year, he achieved the most record in a season for a Korean big leaguer with 34 steals. If he hits three more home runs, he will be the first Asian infielder to join the 20-home run-20 steal club. San Diego coach Bob Melvin also expressed expectations, saying, “Kim Ha-sung has grown into a batter who can hit 20 home runs enough.”

Kim Ha-sung is ranked seventh overall in the Major League with a 6.0 bWAR (contribution to victory over substitute players) this season. It would not have been possible if he had returned to Korea without enduring the pressure of his debut season. Kim Ha-sung said, “It’s only the first season.” I wanted to challenge myself and see what happens,” he said, facing the best results.

San Diego has virtually become difficult to advance to the fall baseball league this year. With 67 wins and 77 losses, he remains seventh in the National League wild card. It is not easy to narrow down as it is eight games apart from the third-place Arizona Diamondbacks, the Maginot Line of autumn baseball. Will Kim Ha-sung be able to make up for his team’s disappointment with Gold Glove 20-20. Whatever you accomplish between the two, you write the first history of a Korean infielder.

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