In January 2021, when Kim Ha-sung and the San Diego Padres were announced, the size of the 4+1-year contract of up to $39 million was said to be smaller than local expectations.
In terms of the guarantee 스포츠토토 contract, it was four years and $28 million. And at the end of the fourth-year season, there is an $8 million mutual option in the fifth year. The contract can be extended only when both the player and the club agree. Buyout is $2 million.
Kim Ha-sung himself was the reason why the size of the contract was smaller than expected. John Heyman of MLB Network, a columnist and good at the transfer market, said at the time, “Kim Ha-sung was offered a contract for up to six years. However, Kim Ha-sung took a chance on himself. Kim Ha-sung explained, “I’m still young at the next FA.” Kim Ha-sung chose a small contract size and a short contract period and challenged the “jackpot” later. While challenging the best stage, I risked and gambled at the same time.
Even in the 2021 debut season, Kim Ha-sung’s adventure felt reckless. Gambling seemed to fail. Kim Ha-sung’s shortcoming was that he failed to adapt to the Major League’s fastball and dominated the KBO League. He showed off his defense in all infield positions, but on the contrary, he had to say that he could not fully take his place. Kim Ha-sung was a backup player. Without a fixed position, he batted .22 in 117 games (63 starts), batting .22 (54 hits in 267 at-bats), 8 home runs, 34 RBIs, and OPS.It was only 622.
Looking back on Kang’s debut season on his YouTube channel recently, Kim Ha-sung said, “It was incredibly hard in the first year. I thought a lot, “Should I give up everything and go back to Korea?” and added, “The reason I couldn’t give up at that time was because it was so broken that I thought I wouldn’t be able to play baseball like I did in Korea even if I went back to Korea. “I was so psychologically mentally broken,” he said.
However, from the following year, Kim Ha-sung was very proud of his teeth and did not miss the opportunity that came to him. When Fernando Tatis Jr. was out for the season due to injury and disciplinary action on banned substances, he took up the shortstop position and proved to be a necessary player for the team.
Now this year, Kim Ha-sung is clearly showing his presence among the team’s superstars, who are also prominent in the Major League Baseball. His defense, which has been recognized since his debut season, is now showing off his skills at the top with the league’s top-level data. If he is the main player at second base and has to fill third base and shortstop, he will move and show a tight defense. And now he is showing off his prowess in the KBO League by showing off his potential in at-bat.
He has a batting average of .288 (106 hits in 368 at-bats) of 15 home runs, 41 RBIs, 63 runs, 27 steals, and an OPS of .835. If the scope is narrowed to the second half, Kim Ha-sung is playing a big role with a batting average of .376 (30 hits in 93 at-bats), 7 home runs, 12 RBIs, 19 runs, 11 steals, and OPS 1.064.
His batting average of .376 in the second half is second overall in the Major League. Freddie Freeman of the Los Angeles Dodgers topped the list with a record of .344. Third place is Ronald Acuña Jr. (Atlanta), who is .372. Kim Ha-sung is also on par with Freeman, a former MVP, and Acuña, who is likely to be MVP this year. He is also ninth overall in the Major League in the second half of the OPS. All-Star players such as Machado Bogartz Tatis Jr. are showing off their productivity as the No. 1 player in the San Diego team, beating out natural superstars.
The local media “San Diego Union-Tribune” recently settled the Seattle away series on the 11th (Korea Standard Time), saying, “Kim Ha-sung tied for fourth in the National League with 27 steals this season, recording three, the most in a single game, on the 10th.” “It is the highest record among San Diego players in a single season since Travis Jankowski (30 games) in 2016,” he said. “It is the 10th longest record in the Major League this season, continuing its 15th consecutive hit streak, the longest personal career.” Since July 9, he has been batting .383 with an OPS of 1.057 in 25 games, and during this period, he is the best hitter in the team,” shedding light on Kim Ha-sung’s explosive performance in the second half.
Even in the region, talk of Kim Ha-sung’s extension contract is flowing out. In a Q&A session with fans, Dennis Lin, a reporter for San Diego of North American sports media “The Athletic,” said, “Kim Ha-sung is more likely to have a long-term contract than other players,” adding, “San Diego wants to have Soto, Snell, and Haider, and can make serious efforts to do so. However, he explained, “We are expected to suffer from market conditions, the total annual salary of the team, and problems with the roster combination.”
“Kim Ha-sung’s value is also soaring, so it may not be easy to sign an extension contract.” Still, Kim Ha-sung will not ask for as much money as Soto, Snell, and Heather, he said, “It is hard to imagine San Diego missing a productive player loved by fans,” positively predicting a renewal with Kim Ha-sung.
However, the value of Kim Ha-sung, who entered his third year of contract, is increasing day by day. It is safe to say that the present value is the lowest. The WAR figures compared to substitute players who evaluate their value show Kim Ha-sung’s greatness with data. bWAR (baseball reference) 5.9 ranks second overall in the field, and fWAR (fangraph) 4.4 ranks eighth overall in the field. And based on the fan graph, Kim Ha-sung’s current performance is estimated to be $35.2 million in annual salary.
The annual salary is not set according to this standard. It can be considered as an indicator that Kim Ha-sung evaluates as a valuable player. Still, it has all the conditions to hit the “jackpot” that all major league players want. Local media also evaluated Kim Ha-sung as a player who can sign a $150 million contract.
What’s important is that Kim Ha-sung proved his confidence before the end of the contract period. If he had chosen stability over adventure three years ago and accepted a five to six-year contract, he would have been less likely to discuss an extension contract despite his current performance, and the possibility of a jackpot would have been significantly reduced. At this point, Kim Ha-sung has no reason to invoke the mutual option. Kim Ha-sung proved his confidence in himself, and at the end of his adventure, the fruit of a big deal awaits.