His “eye” is so good that he is tied for fifth in strikeouts

Among the monster hitters in Major League Baseball, Ha-Sung Kim’s (29, San Diego Padres) name stands out. His “eye” is so good that he is tied for fifth in strikeouts.

Through the first day of the season, Kim has 47 strikeouts, tied for fifth in all of baseball with Mookie Betts (Los Angeles Dodgers) and Bryce Harper (Philadelphia Phillies). Only Juan Soto (New York Yankees-71), Aaron Judge (Yankees-61), Kyle Schwarber (Philadelphia-59), and Freddie Freeman (Dodgers-49) rank above him in the first through fourth positions.

Other hard-hitters are further down the list than Kim, including Gunner Henderson (Baltimore Orioles-46), Kyle Seager (Houston Astros-46), Shohei Ohtani (Dodgers-45), and Ian Happ (Chicago Cubs-45). Of the 11 players in the “top 10” in walks, Kim is the only one who doesn’t have an on-base percentage above .400 (.388).

Walks are typically the domain of big hitters and long balls.

The pressure of hitting for power makes it difficult for pitchers to get into a rhythm, and they tend to play cautiously and give up a lot of pitches out of the zone. Among the big hitters who hit a lot of home runs, it’s noteworthy that Kim picked up this many walks purely by eye.

Kim also has the ability to hit 10 home runs this year, up from 17 last year, but he’s not a typical big hitter. His ability to get on base is further highlighted by the fact that he batted in the 5-6 spot in the order this year, with 35 games and 145 at-bats, but batted lower in the 7-9 spot, with 51 games and 196 at-bats.

Basically, he’s the type of player who is relentless in harassing pitchers. His 4.1 pitches per at-bat ranks 25th out of 146 hitters in regulation, in the top 17.1%. 바카라 필승법 He also doesn’t take swings easily. His 36.9% swing rate is the third-lowest in the game, behind only Soto (36.5%) and Jonathan India (Cincinnati Reds-36.6%).

He has the lowest strike zone swing rate (54.2%), indicating his passive nature, but he doesn’t easily follow pitches out of the zone. His 21.1 percent swing rate in the out-of-zone is the third lowest behind Luis Arajuez (San Diego – 2.2 percent) and Yandy Diaz (Tampa Bay Rays – 18.4 percent), so he is very good at seeing and picking pitches.

Kim hasn’t always been this good of an eye for the ball,

As his 10.4 percent career strikeout rate in his seven years with the KBO’s Kiwoom Heroes from 2014-2020 was the 10th-highest in the league over that span, but it dropped to 7.4 percent in 2021 and 8.8 percent in 2022.

However, last year, when he started batting leadoff, his strikeout rate increased to 12.0%, and this year it’s even higher at 13.8%. Even Choo Shin-soo (SSG Landers), who has the most home runs in Major League Baseball Asia with 218, but is better known for his pioneering approach, has only posted a higher strikeout rate than Kim this year in regulation at-bats in 2013 (15.7%) and 2018 (13.83%).

In 86 games this season, Kim is batting .289 (66-for-289) with 10 home runs, 38 RBI, 45 runs scored, 47 walks, 52 strikeouts, and 15 stolen bases for a .336 on-base percentage, .388 slugging percentage, and .724 OPS. Despite his low batting average, his walk rate is more than a full percentage higher than his batting average, and his OPS is consistently over .700. This is a result of his ability to hit the ball to medium and long distances and drive in runs.

Kim’s eye for the ball is something that will be highly valued in free agency after the season.

A leadoff hitter doesn”t fall apart easily. Even if they have a slump, it”s short-lived and they”re able to maintain their production with consistent runs. This makes them even more valuable in the premium position of shortstop.

Among the top free agent shortstops, Kim and Willie Ames (Milwaukee Brewers), who is about the same age as Kim, are the two biggest names. In 84 games this season, Adames is batting .321 (73-for-319) with 13 home runs, 54 RBIs, 43 runs scored, 43 walks, 77 strikeouts, and a .321 on-base percentage, .408 slugging percentage, and .728 OPS. He has better power than Kim, but not as much on-base percentage. When it comes to shortstop defense, Adames has the edge in OAA (Outs Above Average), a measure of outs made relative to average, with 6 to Kim’s 4.



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