Kim Ha-seong (28-San Diego Padres), who is enjoying his best season in his third year in the major leagues, has been ranked among the top five players in the league.
ESPN, a U.S. sports media company, ranked the MVP candidates in the American League (AL) 온라인카지노 and the National League (NL) in the middle of the pack through its proprietary ranking program, AXE (Award Index).
In the AL, Shohei Ohtani continues his virtual dominance. With an AXE rating of 168.1, Ohtani tops the list by a wide margin over second-place Corey Seager (Texas Rangers, 139.1). Media outlets have been using the phrase “Ohtani a lock,” referring to the possibility of a unanimous MVP award.
Unlike the AL, where Ohtani is dominating, the NL is still a tight MVP race. The media has Ronald Acuña Jr. (Atlanta Braves) at the top with an AXE rating of 147.1, with second-place Mookie Betts (Los Angeles Dodgers, 145.7) as a strong challenger. Freddie Freeman (Dodgers, 143.9) was third and Matt Olson (Atlanta, 133.9) fourth.
In the middle of the pack, Ha Sung Kim was ranked fifth, behind four other strong MVP candidates. He finished fifth, just 0.1 behind Olson, who led the majors in home runs with an AXE of 133.8. When you consider that the players behind him are Corbin Carroll (Arizona Diamondbacks), Francisco Lindor (New York Mets), Christian Walker (Arizona), Cody Bellinger (Chicago Cubs), and Juan Soto (San Diego), you can see the magnitude of Kim’s season.
Kim aims to become the highest ranked Korean major leaguer in MVP voting / Photo by Getty Images Korea
Kim was also mentioned in the MVP mock poll announced by MLB.com, the official website of Major League Baseball, on the 9th of this month, although the specific scores were not disclosed. He was also mentioned as a “dark horse” along with Bellinger and Soto in the MVP predictions by American media outlet FOX Sports on the 16th.
At the beginning of the season, Kim’s performance was more focused on his defense, but after a strong first half, he continued to play well in the second half and is now recognized locally as a utility player who can play both offense and defense.
With a .281 batting average, 15 home runs, 42 RBIs, 27 doubles, and an OPS of 0.813 in 117 games through Aug. 18 (KST), Kim doesn’t seem like an overwhelming favorite to win NL MVP. However, the fact that he has been consistently mentioned in local media as a candidate since the second half of the season is significant.
The way things are going, he’ll have a shot at the record for most votes and highest ranking in a Korean major league MVP ballot. Only two other Korean major leaguers have ever received votes in the MVP voting, Shin-Soo Choo (SSG Rangers) and Ryu Hyun-jin (Toronto Blue Jays). Of those two, Shin-Soo Choo’s 12th-place finish in the NL MVP voting with 23 points (one sixth-place vote, one seventh-place vote, one eighth-place vote, four ninth-place votes, and three 10th-place votes) while with Cincinnati in 2013 is the most votes and highest finish. If Kim continues his current pace through the end of the season, he could become the first Korean major leaguer to finish in the top 10 of the MVP voting.