San Diego Padres Kim Ha-seong (28) was named as a finalist for the Gold Glove Award, given to the best defenseman in the Major League, for the second consecutive year. This is the second challenge for Kim Ha-seong, who was a finalist in the shortstop category last year but failed to win the award. This time, it seems likely that he will win the award. While he’s at it, it’s worth aiming to become the first major league player to win two awards.
On the 19th (Korean time), Major League Baseball’s official website ‘MLB.com’ revealed the final candidates for the 2023 season Gold Glove, three for each position. The Gold Glove Award, which selects one player from each league position with the best defensive ability, created a new utility category last year and selects 10 players from each of the two major leagues, for a total of 20 players.
Ha-Seong Kim was a finalist for shortstop in the National League (NL) last year, but the winner was Dansby Swanson (Chicago Cubs). He is aiming to win awards in two categories this year: second base and utility. Kim Ha-seong, who entered the country on the 11th, said about winning the Gold Glove award, “It would be a lie if I said I wasn’t greedy. “I’m looking forward to it even though I don’t know what the results will be,” he said.
The final winner will be announced on the 6th of next month.
Among the second baseman candidates, the indicators are the lowest… Best on-site evaluation
In the NL second baseman category, Ha-Seong Kim, Nico Horner (Chicago Cubs), and Bryson Stutt (Philadelphia Phillies) were finalists. What all three players have in common is that they were all originally shortstops, but moved to second base this year. With the arrival of special free agent shortstops last winter, a position change was inevitable. Ha-Sung Kim gave up his starting shortstop position to Xander Bogaerts, Horner gave up his starting shortstop position to Dansby Swanson, and Stutt gave up his starting shortstop position to Trey Turner. However, as expected of a former shortstop, he quickly settled into second base.
OAA (Outs Above Average), an indicator of outcount processing compared to the average, is in that order: Stutt (+16), Horner (+15), and Ha-seong Kim (+10). Kim Ha-seong, who was also used as a third baseman and shortstop, has an OAA index of +7 when considering only second baseman. DRS (Defensive Runs Saved), an indicator of preventing runs through defense, is in the order of Horner (+12), Kim Ha-seong (+10), and Stutt (+6) based on Fielding Bible. If you look at the indicators alone, Horner, ranked 1st in OAA and 2nd in DRS, is the best among the candidates.
It is true that Kim Ha-seong’s indicators are inferior compared to his competitors, ranking 3rd in OAA and 2nd in DRS. However, defense is difficult to accurately measure through records. The Gold Glove is also not an award given based on records. The SABR Defensive Index (SDI), a defensive statistical index developed by the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR), is reflected for 25%, but the remaining 75% is made up of votes from the managers of the 30 major league teams and up to six coaches per team. This is a condition for voting excluding players from your own team.
The weight of subjective evaluation is much greater than that of objective indicators. Given that Kim Ha-seong’s on-site evaluation is high, he can be expected to win an award. On the 7th of last month, ‘Baseball America (BA)’ released the results of a vote on the best tools in each field of the Major League in 2023, and Ha-seong Kim was selected as the NL’s best defensive second baseman. Horner was 2nd, Aji Albis (Atlanta Braves) was 3rd, and Stutt was not ranked.
The voting targets were current major league managers, scouts, and senior executives. Evaluations were mainly made by directors who had the right to vote for the Gold Glove. This part shows how highly Kim Ha-seong’s defensive skills are evaluated on the field. The fact that he has produced numerous defensive highlight films this year, his batting has improved a notch, and his overall popularity has increased are also factors that raise expectations for Kim Ha-seong to win the award.
Utility candidates along with Betts and Edman… best according to the index
Since last year, the Major League has also established a new Gold Glove Award for utility players who are not limited to one position. In cooperation with SABR, we applied a special formula that was different from the existing candidate selection, and as a result, Ha-seong Kim was also named as a final candidate in the NL utility category. This year, Ha-seong Kim played 856⅔ innings in 106 games (98 starts), the most as a second baseman, but played 253⅓ innings in 32 games (29 starts) as a third baseman, and 153⅓ innings in 20 games (16 starts) as a shortstop. He also showed utility ability as an all-around infielder, covering over 150 innings at all three positions.
Former MVP Mookie Betts (LA Dodgers) and Korean-born Tommy Edman (St. Louis Cardinals) are the final candidates in the NL utility category along with Ha-seong Kim. Betts boasts a league-leading outfield defense, having won the Gold Glove six times as of last year, following five consecutive years from 2016 to 2020. Edman won the Golden Glove Award for second baseman in 2021.
Betts played 107 games in right field, but moved between the inside and outfield, playing 70 games at second base and 16 games at shortstop. Edmon also had similar appearances as a shortstop (48 games) and center fielder (32 games). Both players recorded the same figure as Kim Ha-seong with OAA +10. In DRS, Ha-seong Kim (+16), Betts (+9), and Edman (+3) are in that order, with Ha-seong Kim being numerically ahead.메이저놀이터
Expectations are high for him to win awards in two categories, not only for second base but also for utility. Among the winners of the utility category, which was newly established last year, there is no player who swept two categories including the main position. This year, there are only three players nominated in two categories: Ha-seong Kim, Betts, and American League (AL) second baseman Mauricio Dubon (Houston Astros).