‘4th in contribution ML’ Kim Ha-seong’s GG-level defense, Ohtani also intuited… A grounder turned into an ordinary fly ball.

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Ha-Sung Kim (28-San Diego Padres) showed why he is the favorite to win the National League (NL) Gold Glove at second base this year in front of Shohei Ohtani (29-LA Angels).

Kim started at first base and second base for the Angels in their 2023 Major League Baseball home opener at Petco Park in San Diego, California, USA, on Thursday (April 4) and went 1-for-5 with a home run and three strikeouts in the team’s 10-3 win.

At the plate, he led off the game with a single to left field. Manny Machado followed with a single up the middle and Xander Bogaerts followed with a triple to left.

But it was the Gold Glove-worthy defense that stood out a bit more on this day. San Diego induced 10 ground balls from the Angels, including three double plays, and Kim was directly involved in five of them.

The highlight came in the top of the seventh inning with two outs and Taylor Ward at first base. Earlier in the inning, the Angels trailed 6-1 before Luis Lengipo singled and Mike Moustakas doubled up the middle against reliever Tim Hill. San Diego brought up Nick Martinez to try and put out the fire, and the first batter he faced with two outs was Ward.

With a favorable 2B1S pitch count, Ward hit a four-pitch curveball over the middle of the plate, sending an 87.2-mile-per-hour fastball over the second base line, but Kim made a backhanded catch from the left side of the plate to center field and quickly turned it into a routine grounder to first base. It’s no wonder the Petco Park crowd went wild for this defense. “If Kim doesn’t win the Gold Glove this year, I’m going to go crazy,” and “Kim Ha-Sung was Kim Ha-Sung” were some of the reactions on social media.

Ohtani, who was batting next to Mike Trout in the pinch-hitting spot, saw it firsthand and became a victim himself in the bottom of the seventh. He hit Martinez’s four-pitch changeup low and outside for a ground ball, but Kim made a quick catch and threw to first for the out. Ohtani, who had been thrown out at second base earlier in the at-bat on a Rendon double, was unable to record a hit, finishing his first trip to Petco Park in two years with three at-bats, two walks and one strikeout.먹튀검증

Kim also struck out three times in his next at-bat, but his defense from start to finish helped his team win the game. In the top of the first inning, he teamed up with Machado at third base and Jake Cronenwirth at first base to rob Anthony Rendon of a hit, and in the top of the ninth inning, he teamed up with pitcher Josh Hader and Cronenwirth to rob Eduardo Escobar of a hit.

In doing so, he is expected to improve his DRS (Defensive Runs Saved, a defensive metric that indicates how many runs a player saves), which is a key factor in winning a Gold Glove and Fielding Bible Award. According to the official website of the Fielding Bible Award, Kim’s DRS through three games is +17, which leads all of baseball. Second overall is Tatis Jr. (San Diego) at +15 and second among infielders is Wander Franco (Tampa Bay) at +13.

Kim’s Gold Glove-caliber defense is having a positive impact on other metrics as well. In Wins Above Replacement (WAR), as tracked by Baseball-Reference, Kim is tied for fourth in the majors this year with Luis Robert Jr. (Chicago White Sox) with 4.0 bWAR after three days of play. This ranking includes both pitchers and hitters.

The top spot goes to Ohtani, who is having an MVP season with his 6.7 bWAR, but on this day, Ha-Sung Kim won the game.

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