SD recruited ‘Drug Home Run King’, but “Kim Ha-seong is the main second baseman” prospect
The San Diego Padres of Major League Baseball (MLB) have recruited veteran infielders and even veteran giants. Still, there was a prospect that Kim Ha-seong (28)’s starting position is highly likely to be guaranteed.
ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez of the United States announced on the 12th (Korean time) that “San Diego has agreed to a one-year contract with Nelson Cruz (43), a right-handed hitter,” predicting San Diego’s 2023 season lineup. . 먹튀검증
Cruz, who turns 43 this year, is a slugger who has hit 459 homers in 18 seasons in the big leagues. Although he has a history of taking prohibited drugs, he became the league’s leading player by winning the home run king (2014, 40 home runs) and the RBI king (2017, 119 RBIs) once each.
Although he only hit 10 home runs in 124 games last year, he is a player who showed off his long-time record by hitting 32 home runs just two years ago. Except for Manny Machado (31) and Juan Soto (25), it can be said that it is a perfect recruit for the team in San Diego, which has no big guns.
Cruz wasn’t the only veteran signing in San Diego. On the 21st of last month, he signed a contract with infielder Matt Carpenter (38) for up to 12 million dollars (about 15 billion won) for 1+1 years. With a career OPS of 0.825, he put behind a batting average of 10% for two consecutive years and announced a revival with a batting average of 0.305, 15 homers, 42 RBIs, and an OPS of 1.138 in 47 games last year.
Recruiting players with punchy power can be said to be a fatal blow to Kim Ha-seong. The Athletic predicted, “If San Diego acquires a first baseman or second baseman with some power, Ha-seong Kim can sit on the bench against a right pitcher.”
Kim Ha-seong is already in danger of being pushed out of the starting position as the shortstop after Fernando Tatis Jr. (24) returned from banned substance punishment and Xander Bogatz (31) was recruited. Here, the recruitment of Carpenter and Cruz could have been another stumbling block.
Gonzalez, however, expected Carpenter and Cruz to platoon as designated hitters. There was also a basis. Cruz set a career low last year with an OPS of 0.651. However, it rose to 0.727 against left-handed pitchers. In addition, from 2014 to 2021, the OPS against left pitchers was 1.015, ranking 4th in the entire league.
Carpenter also had a batting average of 0.249 and an OPS of 0.768 against left-handers, but his OPS rose to 0.847 against right-handers. In order to make use of each other’s strengths, it was predicted that two players would emerge depending on the left and right pitchers.
At the same time, Gonzalez predicted that Ha-seong Kim would take the starting position at second base. Existing second baseman Jake Cronenworth (29) was expected to move to first base, Bogarts to settle down at shortstop, and Tatis to play in right field.
Although he never played as a second baseman last year, Ha-seong Kim showed off his utility ability in 2021, the first season of his debut. At that time, he started 20 games at second base and did not record an error in 148 innings. He hit double-digit home runs (11) last year, and considering the batting ability that he has adapted to, he can play as a second baseman.