Even in the second half, the official website of the major leagues, MLB.com, finally began to mention Ha-seong Kim (28, San Diego Padres) as an MVP candidate.
On the 9th (Korean time), MLB.com, the official website of the Major League Baseball, said, “In a poll conducted as soon as the second half 메이저놀이터 began, the MVP candidates of the two major leagues were unanimous. However, now there is only one player who has a unanimous opinion.” has revealed
Starting in the second half, MLB.com reporters unanimously voted MVP candidates Ohtani Shohei (29, LA Angels) for the American League and Ronald Acuña Jr. (26, Atlanta Braves) for the National League. It was because Ohtani was leading the major league in home runs while both pitching and hitting, and Acuña Jr. was running towards a new history in the major leagues with 20 homers and 40 stolen bases.
However, unlike the American League, which is still dominated by Ohtani alone, in the National League, outstanding candidates, including Freddie Freeman (34, LA Dodgers), began to stand out in the second half. For that reason, Ohtani swept 48 votes in the MVP vote conducted on the day, while in the National League, Acuña Jr. 45 votes and Freeman 3 votes.
What stands out is the whereabouts of the votes other than the 1st place vote. Mookie Betts (31, LA Dodgers), Matt Olson (29, Atlanta), and Juan Soto (25, San Diego) followed suit, and Kim Ha-seong, Nolan Arena, and Cody Bellinger were mentioned as other candidates. This season, Kim Ha-seong has a career high season after advancing to the major leagues in 2021, recording a batting average of 0.288, 15 homers, 41 RBIs, 62 points, 24 stolen bases, an on-base percentage of 0.384, a slugging percentage of 0.454, and an OPS of 0.838 in 108 games.
Last year, in addition to the defense that made it to the final three candidates for the National League shortstop Gold Glove, his batting performance is also supported, and he is proudly recognized in terms of his contribution to the team. According to the Baseball Reference standard WAR (contribution to victory against substitute players), a baseball statistics site in the United States, Ha-seong Kim is tied for first place in the National League with Acuna Junior with a bWAR of 5.6. Even in the major leagues, there is only Ohtani with an 8.6 average above Kim Ha-seong.
There were people who sent MVP chants to Kim Ha-seong with fan spirit both online and offline in the US for such an amazing performance. However, this is the first time that it has been mentioned in credible media such as MLB.com. In fact, it is significant that the voters participating in the MVP selection voted for Kim Ha-seong.
Unfortunately, on the same day, the MLB Network drew attention by analyzing Kim Ha-seong in detail. According to MLB Network’s analysis, Ha-seong Kim this year shows a flexible response to off-speed balls, maximizing his on-base rate. The MLB Network introduced that Ha-seong Kim, among all hitters in the major leagues who have played at least 130 at-bats since June 16th, has wRC+ (adjusted scoring production) of 185, tying with Freeman for third place and boasting the same productivity. In addition, among hitters who played more than 250 at-bats, the number of pitches per at-bat was 4.36, and Kim Ha-seong was the fourth hitter who annoyed pitchers in the major leagues.
As a result of overlapping detailed indicators, the on-base percentage in the second half was 4th overall in the major leagues. Ha-seong Kim ranked 4th with 0.490 in the on-base percentage leader category in the second half, which was released by MLB Network through official SNS. A figure beating Acuna Jr. of 0.474. In fact, in terms of performance in the second half, Kim Ha-seong is ahead of Acuna Junior in most hitting indicators and has a high OPS.
In the second half, Ha-seong Kim had a batting average of 0.384 in 23 games, 5 home runs, 10 RBIs, 18 points, 8 stolen bases, an on-base rate of 0.490, a slugging rate of 0.593 OPS, 1.083, and Acuña Junior had a batting average of 0.370 in 21 games, 4 home runs, 12 RBIs, 20 points, 12 stolen bases, on-base rate 0.474, slugging rate 0.580 OPS Second half side by side with 1.054 It is ranked 8th and 11th in ML in the OPS category.
So far, there have been four times when Korean major leaguers have received MVP votes. It started when Choo Shin-soo (41, SSG Landers) ranked 14th with the Cleveland Indians in 2010 and 12th with the Cincinnati in 2013. After that, Ryu Hyun-jin (36, Toronto Blue Jays) ranked 19th in the MVP while finishing second in the National League Cy Young Award in 2019 while with the LA Dodgers, and ranked 3rd in the American League Cy Young Award in Toronto in 2020, and was ranked 13th in the MVP.
Ha-seong Kim is unlikely to actually become an MVP. However, unlike his seniors, Kim Ha-seong is likely to receive the most MVP votes in the history of Korean big leaguers, standing side by side with actual MVP candidates such as Acuna Junior and Freeman.