‘Omniscient’ Kim Hae-sung, the 1500-win manager, is in the mix… and the first big thing in the club’s history is in sight
San Diego manager Bob Melvin is one of the most veteran managers in Major League Baseball today. He began his major league managerial career in 2003 with Seattle, then Arizona (2005-2009), Oakland (2011-2021), and now San Diego.
In 2919 career major league games, he has over 1500 wins (1419 losses). He’s been in the dugout for nearly 3,000 games and has seen many superstars and other elite talents. But Melvin has recently fallen in love with Ha-Sung Kim (28, San Diego). He hits well, catches well, and runs well. He knows how to make the right play in the right spot and situation. He’s also smart. It’s hard not to fall in love with him.
When Kim’s batting improved after mid-June, Melvin boldly moved him up to leadoff to maximize his talent. Since moving to the leadoff spot, Kim has shown more tenacity, a higher on-base percentage, and more aggressive baserunning, completely shedding the stigma of being a “bottom of the order” hitter. Melvin praised Kim as a player who can do anything.
In an interview to celebrate the club’s 1500th win on May 5 (KST), Melvin was asked about the current players on the team and continued to praise them. Naturally, Kim was on the list. Melvin, who has consistently praised Kim in media interviews, expressed his confidence in the player, calling it “a season where he did everything.”
“He solidified the leadoff spot after being moved up,” Melvin said. “He’s playing a lot of different positions, he’s playing above average, he’s playing above average defense,” Melvin said. “If we had a left-handed pitcher on the mound today, we could put him at third, and if we had a right-handed pitcher on the mound, we could put him at second,” he said, emphasizing that Kim is a versatile talent, both defensively and offensively.온라인바카라
“Stolen bases, key hits, leadoff home runs, regular home runs…” he said, listing what Kim has been doing lately, “It’s been a fantastic year, and he still has a month left. There are more things to accomplish for him. And at this point, 31 stolen bases is a very nice number,” he said, highlighting Kim’s all-around performance.
Kim isn’t a one-trick pony. He’s not a typical home run hitter. He doesn’t have a very high batting average. He’s not the best stealer in the league, as evidenced by his stolen base ranking. He’s one of the best defenders, but he has competition. It’s hard to say he’s the best.
But the beauty of Kim is that he’s a jack-of-all-trades. His defense is S-grade, and his offense and baserunning have moved him up to A-grade in center field this year. He’s also a hard worker and injury-free. His work ethic is also S-rated. Managers and fans can’t help but love him.
Kim’s all-around game is reflected in his record. San Diego has never had a player with such versatility in its history. As of Friday, he has 128 hits, 17 home runs, and 31 doubles in 134 games. He already has 30 stolen bases, and at his current pace, he’s on pace to surpass his single-season high of 130 from last year and reach 140 or more. If he does well, 20 home runs is possible.
It doesn’t have to be 20 homers. No player in San Diego’s franchise history has ever had 140+ hits, 15+ home runs, and 30+ stolen bases in a single season. While this isn’t always the case, home runs and stolen bases tend to be a bit of a trade-off. That’s because it’s not that common for a player who hits for distance to also run well. However, Kim Ha-seong has both the bat and the balls.
Kim’s offensive prowess has completely shed the stigma of being a bottom of the order hitter.
The last player to come close to this was Will Myers in 2016. In 157 games, Myers hit 155 doubles and 28 home runs. However, he did not reach 30 stolen bases. In 2006, Mike Cameron had 148 hits and 22 home runs in 141 games. He also failed to reach 30 steals. Basically, no player in San Diego’s franchise history has ever had 140 hits, 20 home runs, and 30 stolen bases. Kim will be the first to try.
If you look at the entire Major League Baseball stat sheet this year, Kim’s performance is not easily duplicated. Through five days, only five players in the majors have more than 125 hits, 17 home runs, and 30 stolen bases. The others are Ronald Acuña Jr. (Atlanta), Bobby Wiet (Kansas City), Julio Rodriguez (Seattle), and Corbin Carroll (Arizona). All of them are iconic symbols of the league’s Hotazuns.
This year, with the introduction of the pitch clock, steal limits, and larger physical bases, the number of stolen bases has increased. Still, it proves to be an elusive record. It’s amazing that Kim is even on this list. Furthermore, the other three outfielders are relatively light on defense. You can see how valuable he is. He’s not worth $100 million for nothing.