Xander Bogaerts (31, San Diego) is one of the best shortstops in the league and one of the most expensive. He made his major league debut in Boston in 2013 and had a brilliant career, playing in the big leagues for 11 years until this year.
Bogaerts made a name for himself as an offensive shortstop. He recorded a career batting average of 0.291, 175 home runs, 736 RBI, and OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) of 0.812 in 1,410 big league games until the 22nd (Korean time). Considering that his defensive position was almost always shortstop, his offensive production was top-notch in the league. He was selected as an All-Star four times and finished in the top 20 in MVP voting five times. You can feel Bogaerts’ extraordinary offensive power in Silver Slugger No. 5.
Bogaerts qualified as a free agent (FA) ahead of this season and was accepted by San Diego. He hit a jackpot worth $280 million (about 373.9 billion won) over 11 years until 2033. However, Bogaerts’ recruitment also meant a change in Kim Ha-seong’s defensive position.먹튀검증
In the major leagues, salary equals power. Get priority. In fact, Bogaerts was not a very good defensive shortstop until last year. He had average grades. For this reason, it was reported that there was a plan to maximize Bo Gatz’s offensive power by moving his position. However, Bogaerts expressed his opinion that he would like to play shortstop. San Diego chose to move Kim Ha-seong (28), who showed peak performance at shortstop defense last year, to second base.
The shortstop and second baseman are called the keystone combination. They are the most important players in the infield defense, and they often have to work together with each other. Of course, Bogaerts and Kim Ha-seong will be working together for the first time this year. It can’t be 100% perfect. However, Bogaerts is becoming increasingly confident after watching Kim Ha-seong’s defense. He is full of praise, saying he is an outstanding talent in defense.
A representative example was the fantastic defense played during the away trip to Auckland on the 17th. Ha-seong Kim played perfect defense in the 9th inning with one out and one on first base, leading 5-2. He caught a batted ball in the middle and connected it with a glove toss. In fact, it was a situation where he was rushing toward the shortstop. It was difficult for him to stop and throw, and to continue running and throw, he had no choice but to pass second base. Here, Ha-seong Kim caught the first base runner at second base with a sensational glove toss.
It was an amazing defense that was perfectly timed when Bogaerts entered second base. Although hitter Allen’s feet were fast and could not result in a double play, Bogaerts also did his best by throwing until the end.
Bogaerts, who gave a stand-up interview with the local broadcaster after the game, praised Kim Ha-seong’s defense. Bogaerts, who was asked by the broadcaster about the situation at the end of the 9th inning and Kim Ha-seong’s overall defensive ability, said, “As you know, he can catch any ball. Of course, there is miscommunication between him and me in the center, but “He did more than that, and sometimes he caught balls that I thought I couldn’t catch,” he said, expressing admiration for Kim Ha-sung’s defensive ability.
“To be honest, he has good defensive skills that can make the difference. He has talent. Sometimes he makes amazing plays like this,” Bogaerts said. “I watch him from the sidelines every day and watch what he does in the middle. “He puts me in a better position regardless of whether I’m on third base or not. He’s really talented,” he said, expressing his gratitude for Kim Ha-seong, who eases his defensive burden.
Ha-seong Kim is a strong candidate for the Gold Glove Award in the second baseman category this year. From the beginning of the season, he performed well in defense. He also plays shortstop and third base in many games, so even if he is not a second baseman, he may win the award in the utility player category that was newly established last year. His offensive ability has also improved compared to last year. In terms of contribution to wins compared to replacement players (WAR), he is not behind San Diego’s ‘Big 4’ (Manny Machado, Xander Bogaerts, Juan Soto, and Fernando Tatis Jr.).
Bogaerts is also doing his best to reap the benefits of Yujong. Bogaerts was the core of San Diego’s offense during the month of April. His performance early in the season was truly outstanding. Although he slowed down a bit after the middle of the game due to a wrist injury, his last-minute performance was good. In 146 games of the season, he has already recorded a batting average of 0.283, 19 home runs, 53 RBI, and an OPS of 0.793, which is above the worst. If the two players work together again next year, we can expect the league’s strongest keystone combination to be even better than this year.