“Kim Ha-Sung is better than Tatis-Bogut… SD is a signing winner” Shortstop return? $100 million to go

San Diego has seemed to be on a shortstop hunt in recent years. They had a starting shortstop, then they bought a shortstop, then they bought a shortstop.토토사이트 They even had a couple of high-upside shortstops waiting in the wings at the minor league farm.

San Diego’s “shortstop riches” began with the debut of Fernando Tatis Jr. 24, the team’s top prospect and a major league talent. Tatis Jr. made his major league debut in 2019 and played in 84 games. Despite some defensive issues, everyone was excited to see a shortstop who could deliver both 30 home runs and 30 doubles. His energetic play on the field quickly catapulted him into the superstar ranks.

San Diego showed their faith by signing Tatis Jr. to an astronomical 14-year, $340 million contract ahead of the 2021 season. Even then, Tatis Jr. was a player with just 143 career major league games under his belt, having never played a full 162-game season. But having seen Tatis Jr.’s talent from a young age, San Diego had to be confident.

But San Diego didn’t stop there. When the KBO’s best shortstop, Kim Ha-seong (28), announced his intention to play in the major leagues ahead of the 2021 season, the Padres jumped to the forefront of the posting and put him in a Geary uniform. San Diego’s plan was to use Kim at third and second base, but with Tatis Jr. already an established starter, some critics argued that investing an additional $28 million over four years was redundant.

So far, so good, but the next move was more interesting. With Tatis Jr. and Kim Ha-Sung as established shortstops, the team signed All-Star shortstop Xander Bogaerts, 31, to an 11-year, $280 million deal ahead of this season. The idea was to move Tatis Jr. to the outfield and Ha Sung Kim to second base to make room for Bogaerts, giving San Diego three former and current All-Star shortstops.

With Tatis Jr. (left) injured and suspended, Kim played full-time shortstop last year ⓒYonhap/AP

Kim is now one of San Diego’s most valuable players.

Along the way, shortstop CJ Abrams, one of the team’s top prospects, was shipped to Washington in the Juan Soto deal. They decided to run now rather than later. Tatis Jr. and Bogaerts, along with Juan Soto and Manny Machado, could be seen as a way to create one of the league’s best bats. However, while Tatis Jr. and Bogaerts have failed to live up to expectations, Kim has hit the jackpot.

On the 21st (KST), Yahoo Sports in the US listed nine players who are making a big splash this season “without even knowing it,” and Kim, who is already making a big splash, was included in the list. “Kim’s defence has been unquestionable no matter where he’s played,” said Yahoo Sports, adding that “San Diego’s third-best shortstop has developed into the team’s full-time second baseman”. It went on to praise Kim for outperforming two “more famous” shortstops.

“By Wins Above Replacement (WAR), he’s not only the most valuable player in a (shortstop) trio that includes veteran shortstop Bogaerts and outfielder Tatis Jr. but the most valuable player in all of San Diego,” Yahoo Sports said. In fact, Kim’s WAR is the highest in San Diego according to both Baseball Reference and FanGraphs.

Yahoo Sports said it was disappointing that these ratings could be emblematic of a poor San Diego season rather than Kim’s performance, but added: “Kim’s (offensive) production has continued to rise since coming to the majors from the KBO. You can’t argue with his overall improvement,” he said, adding that Kim has improved every year in his ability to handle major league pitchers’ changeups. “Signing him looks like a win for San Diego,” he concluded.

This has led to speculation that Kim could return to shortstop next year. With Tatis Jr. not being considered for a move to the infield, there are rumours that Bogaerts will change positions. Bogaerts’ defence had been improving since joining San Diego, but this year it has been on a downward spiral. As he heads into his mid-30s, he may be better served by moving to a position with less defensive demands to maximise his long-term offensive potential. Defence is definitely Kim’s strong point.

Xander Bogaerts, whose poor defence has led to rumours of a position change next year.

Heading into free agency, a move back to shortstop could help increase his salary.

San Diego manager Bob Melvin told the San Diego Union-Tribune, “Kim is a great defender and has great instincts. He’s got great hands and he’s got great quickness.” “As you know, he’s one of the best defenders in the game, and his play this year could hint at a Gold Glove. Wherever we put him, he responds,” he praised.

Kim already had experience playing full-time shortstop last year due to Tatis Jr.’s injury and PED suspension. He logged a whopping 1092 innings at shortstop last year. This year, he is the team’s “second shortstop” to fill in for Bogaerts. As of the 21st, he has played 658⅔ innings at second base, 199⅓ at third base, and 119⅓ at shortstop. If he can maintain this year’s offensive production while playing shortstop next year, he could literally average $20 million a year and total $100 million.

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