Can the San Diego Padres’ Ha Sung Kim, 28, become the first Asian player to hit 20 homers and 40 doubles?
Entering his third year in the majors, Kim is putting together his best season yet. In 110 games, he is batting .288 (106-for-368) with 15 home runs, 41 RBIs, 63 runs scored, 27 doubles, and an OPS of .835. The second half of the season has been especially hot, with a 25-for-35 (93 RBI), five home runs, 10 doubles, 19 RBI, 11 stolen bases, and a 1.052 OPS.
His home run and stolen base pace is particularly impressive. Kim is already on pace to break his own single-season home run record, surpassing the 11 he hit last season, and his stolen bases are on pace to break the record for most stolen bases by a Korean player in a single season, surpassing the 22 set by Choo Shin-soo in 2010.
Kim is on pace to reach 20 home runs and 20 steals, and if he keeps up his current pace, he will finish the season with 21 home runs and 38 steals. Only Shin-Soo Choo (2009, 2010, 2013) and Shohei Oh (Angels, 2021) are the only Asian major leaguers to reach 20 home runs and 20 doubles. This is a first for an Asian infielder.
Kim, who has been getting better and better in the second half of the season, stole three bases in a game for the first time in his major league debut on Tuesday against Seattle. If he can keep up his stealing pace, he could become the first Asian major leaguer to hit 20 home runs and 40 steals. Even Japan’s greatest player, Ichiro Suzuki, who has 3089 career hits in the major leagues, hasn’t accomplished the feat, as he has stolen 40 bases five times (2001, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011) but hasn’t hit 20 home runs.온라인바카
Kim is also on pace to set a new franchise record for stolen bases. He is currently fifth in the National League in stolen bases and has stolen the most bases for San Diego since Travis Jankowski (30) in 2016. If he reaches 40 steals, he will become the 10th San Diego player to do so since Cameron Maybin (40) in 2011.
Already having the best season of his career, it’s important for Kim to maintain his current pace for the rest of the season. After a completely different second half, it will be interesting to see if he can maintain his hot bat for the rest of the season.