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2023 Padres Season Review: Ha-Seong Kim

Looking back on Ha-Seong Kim’s 2023 season!

St. Louis Cardinals v San Diego Padres Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

2023 Regular Season Statistics

4.4 fWAR, 152 G, .260 AVG, .351 OBP, .398 SLG, 112 wRC+, 84 R, 60 RBI, 17 HR

Positives From This Season

For all of the negative things that happened to the San Diego Padres this season, Ha-Seong Kim was not one of those. He was certainly a bright spot, as he reached career-bests in runs scored, hits, home runs, walks, batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and OPS.

I think a lot of people started noticing how good Kim has gotten when he started leading off consistently. In 73 games kicking off games for Bob Melvin, the 27-year-old earned a .783 OPS and got on base over 36% of the time.

Of course Kim continued to be superb defensively, tying for sixth in MLB among all second basemen in outs above average (7). Kim finished with 17 defensive runs saved.

“At times it feels like we’re down but it never does in the way he plays. It’s a key ingredient for us at all times. He never takes a pitch off, never doesn’t run a ball out,” Melvin told AJ Cassavell in August. “There’s just a lot of energy that comes with him.”

Kim is a free agent following the 2024 season so it’ll be interesting to see if the Padres try to extend him before he reaches free agency. An extension might not make sense though since Xander Bogaerts, Jake Cronenworth and Manny Machado are already locked up long term in the infield and Jackson Merrill is coming up soon.

Negatives From This Season

Kim didn’t have a great start or end to the season at the plate, as he owned a .625 OPS in March/April (27 games) and .471 OPS in September (11 games). It’s only fair to note that Kim was dealing with a stomach issue near the end of the season.

Kim thanked Padres fans for their support in an Instagram post in early October: