“I want to see the movement of the Bogatz”… If you call up a ‘special top prospect’, will Kim Ha-seong return as shortstop?


 “I want to see Bogatz move to first and second

base in the 2024 season. 메이저사이트” After participating in 891 games for 7 seasons in the league, with 940 hits, 133 homers, 575 RBIs, 606 points, 134 stolen bases, a batting average of 0.294 OPS and 0.866, he challenged the major leagues through the ‘posting system’. And he succeeded in signing a contract with the San Diego Padres for up to 39 million dollars (approximately 52.2 billion won) for 4+1 years.

In fact, Ha-seong Kim’s performance in the first season of his big league debut was a little disappointing. Kim Ha-seong played a total of 117 games, but as the season went on, the frequency of playing in the game as a large defense and large runner rather than the starting lineup increased, recording 54 hits, 8 homers, 34 RBIs, 27 points, 6 steals, a batting average of 0.202 OPS and 0.622. But it didn’t take long for him to get his starting spot.

Prior to the 2022 season, starting shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. went on the operating table with a wrist injury and missed the entire season due to taking a banned substance, and San Diego began to look forward to Ha-sung Kim. In particular, even CJ Abrams, a “top prospect” selected in the 6th overall round of the 2019 Major League Baseball Draft, was traded to the Washington Nationals, providing a place for Kim Ha-seong to run amok.

Although he could not completely fill Tatis Jr.’s offense, Ha-seong Kim lived up to San Diego’s expectations. Kim Ha-sung played in 150 games, recording 130 hits, 11 home runs, 59 RBIs, 58 points, and 12 stolen bases, with a batting average of 0.251 OPS of 0.708, showing growth on the offensive side compared to the first season. As he continued to show, his position became thicker.

However, many stories were pouring out in the local media ahead of this season. This is why San Diego, which already has two starting shortstops, including Kim Ha-sung and Tatis Jr., signed an 11-year, $280 million contract with Xander Bogarts. This put Kim Ha-seong at the center of the trade rumor, followed by the prospect that his position as a starting player could be shaken.

However, the joining of Bogatz did not have a big impact on Kim Ha-seong. San Diego moved Tatis Jr. to the outfield instead of giving Bogarts the shortstop spot. And Jake Cronenworth, who was playing as the starting second baseman, was sent to first base and Kim Ha-seong was given the second baseman position. San Diego’s ‘traffic control’ was rather a part that confirmed how much Kim Ha-seong was needed by the team.

As a result, as of the end of the game on the 18th (hereafter Korean time), Kim Ha-seong has played in 117 games, recording 112 hits, 15 home runs, 42 RBIs, 67 points, 27 steals, and a batting average of 0.281 OPS of 0.813. Compared to his season-high batting average of 0.290 against the Arizona Diamondbacks on the 12th, his performance has dropped slightly, but his offense is showing the best form since advancing to the major leagues. His defense is still there. He is sweeping the top ranks in various indicators in the National League second baseman category.

While Kim Ha-seong is showing a good figure every day, the possibility of moving the position to shortstop again in the 2024 season has been raised. This is why San Diego is considering a call-up for Jackson Merrill, a “top prospect” in the first round of the 2021 draft. In order to give Merrill a chance, Ha-seong Kim will return to shortstop in the process of another traffic control.

Merrill has played in 28 games at Double-A this year, posting 36 hits, 3 homers, 5 steals, a batting average of 0.313, and an OPS of 0.863. He is still in Double-A, but he is considering a call-up in September when the roster expands as he is showing good form with 221 hits, 19 homers, 31 stolen bases and an OPS of 0.817 in 182 minor games.

‘The Athletic’ said, “It is unclear whether Merrill will play in San Diego in September or next season. San Diego signed a contract with Bogatz, pushing Tatis Jr. to right field and Kim Ha-seong to second base. “One possible scenario is Merrill starting in a utility role. She’s been practicing first base, second base, and corner outfield lately.”

In this process, ‘The Athletic’ mentioned the possibility that Kim Ha-seong could return to shortstop next season. The media predicted, “San Diego club officials want to see Bogatz move to first or second base in the 2024 season.”

San Diego had a position change in mind from the time it recruited Bogarts. However, as Bogarts expressed great desire to play as a shortstop, several players’ positions were inevitably changed. However, Bogatz is a player who needs to change his position someday. It remains to be seen whether that time will be next year as predicted by ‘The Athletic’.


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