With such a stellar performance and a salary of less than 10 million won, it’s no wonder that the local media in the United States has taken notice.
Kim Ha-seong, 28, a Korean major leaguer for the San Diego Padres, is having the best season of his career, batting .270 with a .361 on-base percentage, .416 slugging percentage, and .777 OPS, along with 17 home runs, 58 RBI, and 35 stolen bases in 140 games this year.
Kim’s true value can be seen in his Wins Above Replacement (WAR) numbers. With a WAR of 5.7 according to Baseball Reference, Kim is ranked 8th among all Major League Baseball players. This year, Kim’s salary is $7 million (approximately $9.3 billion). That’s more than enough to pay for his services.
On the 13th (Korean time), ‘Fox Sports’ in the United States selected 20 players whose performance exceeded their salary in the Major League Baseball this year and ranked them 안전놀이터.
Not surprisingly, the list included Kim’s name. Fox Sports ranked him sixth on the list.
“Unexpectedly, Kim has the highest WAR in a lineup that includes Juan Soto, Fernando Tatis Jr. Manny Machado, and Xander Bogaerts,” Fox Sports wrote, “His versatility in the infield makes him an invaluable ‘Swiss Army Knife’ for San Diego.” The “Swiss army knife” they’re referring to is a MacGyver knife. That means he’s a player with a lot of uses.
Kim signed a 4+1 year, $39 million deal with San Diego after the 2020 season. He is obligated to remain in San Diego through at least next year, with a mutual option for 2025.
According to Fox Sports, “Kim has shown improvement at the plate every year and now has 17 home runs and 35 doubles. The deal couldn’t be better for San Diego,” and called the signing a “huge success” for the Padres.
Fox Sports, meanwhile, chose Chicago Cubs left-hander Justin Steele as its No. 1 pick. Steele is making just $740,000 this year, but he’s putting up a stellar 4.4 WAR. He’s tied for the National League lead in wins with 16, and his 2.49 ERA also leads the league.
In second place is Texas Rangers outfielder Adolis Garcia. He earns $747,600 per year and has a stellar 3.6 WAR. In third place is Seattle Mariners right-hander Logan Gilbert, who has a WAR of 2.9 and makes just $773,000. In fourth place is Chicago Cubs infielder Nico Horner. Horner has exceeded expectations with a 4.7 WAR on a $2.5 million salary. In fifth place is Randy Arozarenas of the Tampa Bay Rays, who makes $4.15 million and has a WAR of 3.5.
Behind him, Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Zach Gallon is seventh, Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Will Smith is eighth, Miami Marlins second baseman Luis Araez is ninth, Tampa Bay first baseman Yandy Diaz is 10th, Arizona first baseman Christian Walker is 11th, Chicago White Sox outfielder Louis Robert Jr. is 12th, Atlanta Braves second baseman A.J. Albies is 13th, Seattle shortstop J. P. Crawford at No. 14, Atlanta outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. at No. 15, Minnesota Twins right-hander Sonny Gray at No. 16, Los Angeles Angels right-hander and designated hitter Shohei Ohtani at No. 17, San Diego left-hander Blake Snell at No. 18, Cubs outfielder Cody Bellinger at No. 19, and New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso at No. 20.
Fox Sports’ list also features several superstars, including Ohtani, Acuña Jr. and Bellinger. It can be said that Kim is better than the superstars in terms of ‘value for money’.