Is This KBO Superstar a Fit for the BoSox?

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Chaim Bloom is about to start attacking the 2020 offseason and I think he should address the infield.  For the last couple of years it seems like the Boston Red Sox could use an infusion of athleticism around the diamond.  One way the Sox could address this issue is signing a player most fans have probably never heard of.  The KBO’s young superstar infielder Kim Ha-Seong.


                                              Photo courtesy of vivaelbirdos.com


I have watched a bunch of the KBO games this year and, more specifically, I have really enjoyed watching the Kiwoom Heroes.  So yes, this take will have a whiff of bias to it, but that is fine.  Kim Ha-seong is a 25-year-old super athletic infielder for the Kiwoom Heroes.  Kim is one of the best players on the team and in the entire KBO.  Matter of fact, before the season started ESPN’s David Schoenfield mentioned that Kim was a player that American viewers needed to watch.  


Baseball America listed Kim HS as their Number 1 potential MLB prospect in the KBO.  Currently he sits in the top 10 for 2020 MLB free agents according the MLBTradeRumors.  The KBO posting period will begin on November 10 and end on December 14 this year, and I hope that the Red Sox are a suitor for the exciting young player.

 

The 2019 season was great for Kim, one of his best as a professional baseball player.  He batted .307, hit 19 home runs, and drove in over 100 runs.  He has been a top of the order bat for the Heroes ever since he reached the KBO, which is over 5 years now.  The righty has a nice and smooth swing that will translate great to major league ballparks, especially Fenway Park.  Not only is he dangerous inside the batter’s box but he is fast too.  Kim stole 33 bases last year and was only caught 4 times.  A weapon in more than one aspect.

 

Guess what?  Kim did not fall off in 2020, he certainly produced.  Matter of fact, he was even more productive than he was in 2019.  Kim Ha-seong batted .306, just another season above .300, no big deal.  He crushed 30 home runs and I saw a whole lot of them this year.  Kim can send it a long way.  Just like 2019, Kim drove in over 100 runs, totaling 109 to be exact.  He did not steal as many bases as 2019, but Kim still swiped 23 and was only caught twice.  


His incredible base stealing percentage speaks to his high baserunning IQ.  He knows when to steal and when he takes off, he is almost certain to steal that bag.  When looking at his stats from the 2020 campaign one thing stands out in a big way.  Kim Ha-seong walked more times than he struck out.  He took 75 walks and struck out only 68 times.  All skills do not transfer when players come from other professional leagues, but having a good eye cannot be taught and should really help Kim if he comes to the MLB.

 

Kim HS can be a real threat in the batter’s box as well as on the base baths, but that is not it.  Kim is also a very good defender.  He has smooth feet, quick hands, and has a cannon.  Throughout the entire season he made plays in the field.  Not only is he talented enough to stay at shortstop, he is also more than capable handling the second and third base positions.  When the Kiwoom Heroes signed Addison Russel he moved over to second full time, but also spelled at third if called upon.  That type of versatility would be very valuable for the Red Sox.    

 

The price tag to bring Kim over to Boston is a bit unknown.  When you look at past position players that have come over from KBO a few come to mind.  Jung Ho Kang received a 4 year, $11.5MM, Byung Ho Park got a 4 year, $12MM deal and Eric Thames garnished a 3 year, $16MM deal.  Kim projects to make more than any of these deals, but I cannot see him getting a contract that would bring on too much risk for the BoSox.  For anyone who is not familiar with how it works (I did not until 12 mins ago).  This is how the posting system works when a player comes over from the KBO:

  • 20% of the contract’s first $25M
  • 17.5% of the contract’s next $25M
  • 15% of anything beyond $50M

It is time for the Boston Red Sox to get a little more athletic throughout their infield.  Signing a guy like Kim would help in that department and he would give Alex Cora flexibility when filling out the lineup card.  Will the Sox bring in the Korean dynamo?  As the biggest Kiwoom Heroes fan in New England…I sure hope so!

 

Oh yeah one last thing…..GO HEROES GO!!!!

 


Follow Matt on Twitter @MattyD_rose

 

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Agree with us?  Disagree?  Please post your comments below. 

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Boston Sports Syndicate: Is This KBO Superstar a Fit for the BoSox?
Is This KBO Superstar a Fit for the BoSox?
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