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2022 Padres Player Review: Ha-Seong Kim

Pretty good year for someone filling in for Fernando Tatis Jr.

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Championship Series - San Diego Padres v Philadelphia Phillies - Game Three Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

2022 Regular Season Statistics

3.7 fWAR, 150 G, .251 AVG, .325 OBP, .383 SLG, 107 OPS+, 58 R, 59 RBI, 11 HR

Positives From This Season

Ha-Seong Kim had some pressure on him to start the season because he had to do his best to fill in for Fernando Tatis Jr. at shortstop. Then after the trade deadline, more pressure was put on him because we all learned Kim would be the starting shortstop the rest of the year.

I’d say he dealt with that pressure pretty darn well, as the fan base (and the team) isn’t just handing the shortstop position back to Tatis. There is actual debate about if Tatis should play the outfield so that Kim, a Gold Glove finalist, can play shortstop in 2023.

While Jurickson Profar led off most of the time, Kim still led off in 17 regular season games because of how good he was performing at the plate. The 27-year-old hit .314 in July and finished the regular season with a .729 OPS in the last two months of the season heading into the postseason.

Kim came up huge in Game 4 of the NLDS, as he doubled in a run down the third base line to help finish off the Dodgers.

Looking back on the 2022 regular season, it’s impossible to say it wasn’t a success. Kim’s average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS and OPS+ all improved compared to his rookie season. His strikeout percentage decreased and walk rate increased as well.

Kim will get a chance to prove he should be the starting shortstop at the beginning of next season, as Tatis still has 20 more games to serve on his suspension.

Negatives From This Season

It’s difficult to point out any negatives for Kim this season. As I mentioned, he improved in essentially every area. He was tremendous defensively and was so good that he might be the starting shortstop when Tatis returns.

If I’m being picky, his barrel rate was at the 14th percentile and his hard hit percentage was at the 12th percentile but everything else was solid.

If you wish to listen or watch me talk more about Kim’s season on the Talking Friars Podcast/YouTube show, click here!