The Amazing Awesome Kim Ha Sung is in 5th place in the MVP race… and the challenge continues

Amazing. Kim “Awesome Kim” Ha-Sung (28, San Diego Padres) is starting to be talked about as a top-five player in the league. Of course, his chances of winning the award are not high, but he is also challenging for an all-time record to become the first Korean player to win the MVP.메이저사이트

On the 18th, ESPN ranked the MVP candidates through the Award Index (AXE), an index developed by ESPN. AXE was developed by ESPN columnist Bradford Doolittle, and is a statistic that synthesizes official indicators to judge players by indicators like a ranking.

Most notably, Kim ranks fifth in the National League with an AXE of 133.8. In effect, ESPN’s metrics show that Kim is among the top five players in the league for MVP consideration.

At the top of the list is Ronald Acuna Jr. (Atlanta Braves), who has put up some of the most eye-popping hitting numbers in the National League this season. With a .335 batting average, 27 home runs and 55 stolen bases, Acuna Jr. is on pace to reach the 30-homer, 50-steal club and leads the overall race with 147.1 points. In previous projections and forecasts, Acuna Jr. was the No. 1 candidate for National League MVP. With his early season stellar play cementing the hype, Acuna Jr. is the clear MVP frontrunner at this point.

However, based on AXE stats alone, the gap isn’t that wide. The Los Angeles Dodgers’ two superstars and the National League’s home run leader are next.

First up is Mookie Betts of the Dodgers, who scored 145.7 points with a .295 batting average, 31 home runs, and 81 RBIs. His AXE stats aren’t too far off from those of Akuna Jr, but he’s highly regarded for his offensive contributions, as well as for playing a key role on defense while moving between the outfield and second base. Likewise, Freddie Freeman has excellent offensive metrics, hitting .335 with 23 home runs and 83 RBIs, and leading the Dodgers’ offense with a 143.9 rating. This ranks third overall.

Fourth overall in the National League, with an AXE score of 133.9, is Matt Olson (Atlanta), who leads the National League in home runs with 43 this season. Olson also ranks first overall on a major league-wide basis, tied with Shohei Ohtani (Los Angeles Angels) for the league’s combined home run lead.

He is followed closely by Kim Ha-seong in fifth place with 133.9 points. He’s only 0.1 AXE points behind the overall home run leader in Major League Baseball. That’s a pretty good indication that Kim’s performance on the metrics isn’t even close.

The fact that Corbin Carroll (Arizona Diamondbacks), Francisco Lindor (New York Mets), Christian Walker (Arizona), and Cody Bellinger (Chicago Cubs) are among the players ranked after Kim, who have all been performing well this season, underscores the importance of Kim’s offensive performance this season.

While his recent hitting has cooled off a bit from his red-hot second half, his actual season numbers are outstanding. In 117 games, he is hitting .281 with 15 home runs, 42 RBIs, 67 runs scored, 27 doubles, and an OPS of 0.813.

He also ranks third in the league in Wins Above Replacement (WAR) at 5.7 per Baseball-Reference and first in the league in Defensive WAR at 2.0. That’s a lot of defense, which is why he’s in the MVP conversation right now.

Of course, AXE metrics are not absolute. Major League and National League MVP votes are determined by the BBWAA voters. However, in our mock voting results, we found that Kim finished in the top five. Of course, Acuna Jr. is the overwhelming favorite, but it’s good to see that Kim is slowly being considered for MVP.

As Kim’s bid to become the first Korean to win the MVP award becomes more visible, his chances of reaching the top of the all-time list are also increasing. The last time a Korean player received votes in the MVP voting was Shin-Soo Choo (Cleveland), who finished 14th in the American League MVP voting in 2010.

His previous highest finish was 12th in 2013, when he was playing for Cincinnati. Shin-Soo Choo received one sixth-place vote in both 2010 and 2013, but did not crack the top 10. Ryu Hyun-jin, the 2020 National League Cy Young Award runner-up, also finished 13th in MVP voting and 19th in the league in 2019, but didn’t crack the top 10.

What Kim has already shown us is the history of Korean players in the major leagues. And the American media seems to be recognizing that the race to the top is not a dream, but a reality.

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