One of the most anticipated teams out of the 30 major league teams ahead of this season is San Diego. Fans who witnessed the energetic performance in last year’s postseason believed that this more powerful team could end the Los Angeles Dodgers’ history of supremacy in the National League West.
Juan Soto, Fernando Tatis Jr., Manny Machado and Xander Bogatz, this lineup that smells like money just by hearing it, was voted the best batting order 1-4, at least in the major leagues. The prospect that opposing batters would break into a cold sweat from the first inning was by no means exaggerated. Batters 1 through 4 were armed with a batting average of .300 or close to it and a long hitting power that could hit a home run at any time.
No one doubted that this exciting line-up would be the key to San Diego’s supremacy in the Western Division, and beyond, to win the World Series. But the disappointment is as great as expected. None of the four players met their expectations, making it the most disappointing quartet in the league. It is a result that would be embarrassing for the club.
Manny Machado, who is a ‘captain’ and renewed an 11-year, $350 million contract with San Diego ahead of this season, is still leaving disappointing results after his batting pace was low from the beginning. He had a batting average of 0.248, 23 homers, 72 RBIs, and an OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) of 0.770 in 109 games until the 20th (Korean time). Machado’s OPS is just 12% above league average. All indicators, except for home runs, dropped significantly compared to last year.
The good times for All-Star shortstop Zander Bogaerts, who signed an 11-year, $280 million contract ahead of this season, ended in April. He remains with a batting average of .265, 13 homers, 42 RBIs and an OPS+105 in 119 games. That means he’s only 5% better than league average OPS. Tatis Jr., who disappointed fans with drug use, also has an OPS+ of 118. It’s better than expected in defense, but it’s definitely below expectations in attack.
The local media, who couldn’t stand it, also exploded. On the 19th, the San Diego Union-Tribune, the largest media outlet in the San Diego area, took a direct hit on the ‘trio’ who couldn’t pay for the ransom. ‘San Diego Union-Tribune’ said, ‘San Diego is one of the most disappointing teams in the league this season. Unlike the New York Mets, they decided to capture the superstars ahead of the trade deadline, keeping hopes for the second half alive, but even after the deadline, the win rate is less than 50% and that is not happening,’ he did not hide his disappointment.
Then, he directly hit the performances of Machado, Bogatz, and Tatis Jr., saying, “Each of the Padres’ biggest stars failed to live up to expectations.” ‘San Diego Union-Tribune’ pointed out that ‘Bogarts is showing the worst offensive production since 2017, and Tatis Jr., who returned from drug suspension, is also having the worst offensive season of his career.’ It is pointed out that the overall picture of San Diego was distorted as key hitters performed sluggishly, contrary to the mound’s good performance.
The ‘San Diego Union-Tribune’ did pick Juan Soto as the best hitter on the team. Soto has a batting average of 0.261, an on-base percentage of 0.404, 24 home runs, 75 RBIs and an OPS of 0.895 in 125 games for the season. That’s about 49% higher than league average OPS. However, the ‘San Diego Union-Tribune’ is ‘the best player in the group, but has not been nominated for MVP for two consecutive years. It’s disappointing considering the huge group of prospects San Diego sent to Washington for two and a half seasons.”
Instead, the ‘San Diego Union-Tribune’ only sent a favorable gaze to Kim Ha-seong (28). Kim Ha-seong has been reborn as the team’s leadoff this year and is fighting hard with a batting average of 0.278, 16 homers, 45 RBIs, 27 stolen bases and an OPS+ of 125 in 120 games. ‘San Diego Union-Tribune’ compared it to superstars who are not playing their part, saying ‘It is a fact that San Diego’s second best hitter after Soto is the unexpected Kim Ha-seong’.
Kim Ha-sung’s annual salary is much lower than that of them, at an average of $7 million per year. Thanks to this price/performance ratio, Kim Ha-seong’s value shines brighter this year. Besides, he’s the best second base defender in the league, and he does his share even if you put him at shortstop or third base. He is also first on the team in steals. He plays hard, picks the ball tenaciously. This is why I can’t hate Kim Ha-seong.스포츠토토
There are also many views on choosing Kim Ha-seong as the San Diego Beast MVP this year. According to the analysis of the ‘San Diego Union-Tribune’, Soto is the best when it comes to ‘batters’. He ranks first on the team in both OPS and adjusted scoring production (wRC+). According to the tally of the statistics website ‘Fangraph’, Soto’s attack contribution this year is 28.2. He is higher than Kim Ha-seong (19.7), who is second on the team.
But Soto hasn’t been playing very well on defense this year. And Kim Ha-seong is a central infielder (second baseman/shortstop) with a higher defensive weight than Soto. For this reason, Ha-seong Kim (4.3) is higher than Soto (3.8) or Tatis Jr. (3.8) in the win contribution (WAR) compared to substitute players compiled by ‘Fan Graph’. There is still a season left, so this ranking may change, but at least the gap with Machado (2.8) or Bogatz (2.8) is widened so that overtaking is unlikely.
Machado and Tatis Jr. are already $300 million-plus players, and Bogaerts is close to that. Soto, who will qualify as a free agent at the end of the 2024 season, is estimated to be worth at least $400 million. It is Soto who immediately rejected the 13-year, 425 million dollar (approximately 570.7 billion won) contract offered by Washington. He is rumored to be asking for more than 500 million dollars (671.5 billion won).
The fact that Ha-seong Kim’s value this year is higher than that of Soto is also a benefit to Ha-seong Kim’s contract front, which obtains FA qualification at the end of the 2024 season. Of course, it’s not that Kim Ha-seong can get as much money as Soto,