“It’s early to start talking about Gold Glove candidates, but Ha Sung Kim (28, San Diego Padres) honestly deserves a mention right now.”

As of Tuesday, MLB.com listed Kim as the favorite to win the Gold Glove in San Diego. Kim was a Gold Glove finalist at shortstop in the National League last year, losing out to Dansby Swanson (29, Atlanta Braves).

Kim’s defensive steadiness continued this year, when he switched to the starting second base position. He has a +9 OAA (outs above average), a defensive metric provided by Statcast. That’s the highest among all major league outfielders.

Manny Machado, the leader of the San Diego infield and starting third baseman, has a +6 OAA. Machado, who signed an 11-year, $350 million extension with the Padres before this season, is the most valuable infielder in the big leagues. It’s fair to say that Kim has been a much more reliable defender than Machado. Xander Bogaerts, the starting shortstop who pushed Kim to second base this year, has a +3 OAA.

Kim has a +7 OAA, which ranks second overall among big league second basemen. His DRS, a measure of runs saved by his defense, is +9, which leads the league.

As MLB.com notes, “Kim’s numbers aren’t surprising; he was so good at shortstop last year that he posted a +8 OAA.

If Kim wins the Gold Glove in his first year at second base, he will join a select few in Major League Baseball history. Since the Gold Glove’s inception in 1957, only four players, excluding rookies, have won the award in their first year at a new position. They are second baseman Ryne Sandberg in 1983, second baseman Pokey Reese in 1999, second baseman Marcus Semien in 2021, and third baseman Ramo Urias in 2022.바카라사이트

As MLB.com explained, “If Kim becomes a Gold Glove winner in his first year at second base from shortstop, it’s not unusual or unheard of.

In June, Kim has not only excelled defensively, but also at the plate. He is batting .291 (25-for-86) with four home runs and 12 RBIs in the month of June. While the team’s recent five-game losing streak has dimmed his shine, he’s slowly cementing his place as one of the best second basemen in the majors.

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