It was predicted that San Diego Padres shortstop Kim Ha-seong of the American Professional Baseball Major League (MLB) would play an active role as the team’s leadoff in the 2023 season.
On the 28th (Korean time), ESPN, an 스포츠토토 American sports media outlet, evaluated and announced the team batting order of 30 MLB clubs in the 2023 season. San Diego, where Kim Ha-seong belongs, ranked first among 30 clubs. San Diego is included in the △LA Dodgers △San Francisco Giants △Arizona Diamondbacks △Colorado Rockies and the National League West Division.
ESPN analyzed, “If Tatis Jr., who was caught with a banned drug, returns on April 21, San Diego will place four MVP-level players with outstanding talent in the batting line.”
ESPN rated Ha-seong Kim as the No. 1 hitter, citing San Diego’s expected batting line. The San Diego batting line is expected to consist of Ha-seong Kim, Juan Soto, Manny Machado, Xander Bogatz, Jake Cronenworth, Nelson Crews (designated hitter), Matt Carpenter, Austin Nola, and Trent Grisham.
Ha-seong Kim played 150 games in the 2022 season and recorded a batting average of 0.251, 11 homers, 59 RBIs and 12 stolen bases with an OPS of 0.708. Kim Ha-seong showed off his dazzling defensive skills and was also named as one of the three finalists in the Gold Glove shortstop category. In the postseason last season, Kim Ha-seong went back and forth between 1st and 7th batting order depending on the type of opposing pitcher.
Meanwhile, ESPN predicted that the team would rank second to fifth in the order of △St. Louis Cardinals △Atlanta Braves △Houston Astros △Toronto Blue Jays following San Diego. The Pittsburgh Pirates, with Choi Ji-man as the fourth hitter and first baseman, came in 17th.