“Two years ago, I was a bench player, and now I’m the most valuable player on the team.”
It’s Kim’s third year in the major leagues, and he’s taking everyone by surprise. He’s become an integral part of the team. He’s putting up numbers that no one can deny. And his current growth is something that even he didn”t expect.
“To be honest, I didn’t expect to be where I am now,” he said in an interview with the San Diego Union-Tribune, a local media outlet in San Diego, on the 20th (KST), “because in my first season, every day I was just focused on that day, and tomorrow was the next day. There were so many things to adjust to. I was busy trying to get through each day. It was a learning process and it was really hard,” he said, reflecting on the past two years of adjustment.
He showed promise as an infield utility player in his major league debut in 2021, but was limited to a .622 OPS with eight home runs, 34 RBIs and six doubles in 117 games (298-for-54). Last year, an injury to Fernando Tatis Jr. and a PED suspension made him the starting shortstop. In 150 games, he batted .251 (130-for-517) with 11 home runs, 59 RBIs and a .708 OPS, and was a finalist for the National League Gold Glove at shortstop.
And this year, he’s come full circle. He’s moved to second base and taken over the starting job, batting .303 (80-for-303) with 11 home runs, 33 RBIs, 17 doubles and a .768 OPS. He has become one of the best second basemen in the National League and a contributing member of a team that rivals the likes of Manny Machado, Xander Bogaerts, Juan Soto and Fernando Tatis Jr.
‘A bench player who barely hit .200 two years ago has become San Diego’s most valuable player this year,’ the outlet said, ‘His wRC+, a measure of run production, is third on the team behind Juan Soto (147) and Fernando Tatis Jr. (136). Thanks to perhaps the best defence in the majors, Kim’s fWAR (per FanGraphs) of 3.1 is third behind Tatis Jr. (3.6) and Soto (3.3).
He also explained the bombardment from mid-June. ‘In 26 games since 15 June, Kim has led the team with a team-leading 3-for-3 batting average and is second in slugging percentage (.400) and on-base percentage (.557). His OPS of .957 was the best on the team during that stretch.
It also explained that Kim has put his lacklustre rookie season two years ago behind him, saying, ‘He has now returned to the form that was expected of him when he signed a four-year, $28 million contract, when he hit .622 with a 2-for-2 OPS in 298 at-bats.’
The outlet noted that Kim’s current growth has been “built on patience and poise,” and that “as one of San Diego’s smartest and most disciplined hitters, facing the best pitchers in the world has boosted his confidence and allowed him to be much more aggressive with his pitch selection.카지노사이트
He now faces the most pitches per at-bat in the major leagues (4.41), but his rate of chasing pitches outside the strike zone is low (18.1 per cent), and his percentage of swings after two strikes has dropped from 39 per cent to 33 per cent over the past two years. And six of his 11 home runs have come after two strikes.
“I try to stay aggressive until the second strike. After that, I try to hit more decisively. This is my third year, so the previous two years of experience helped me with my approach at the plate after the second strike.” “When I became a professional player, I always wanted to be a hitter who doesn’t strike out and gets more walks, and that was my goal. With my experience in Korea, I became that kind of hitter, and I’m trying to do the same in the major leagues.”
Kim’s progress has certainly taken everyone by surprise. While his current achievements are remarkable, he has worked hard to get to where he is today, and now everyone is noticing and recognising his efforts.