Cincinnati Reds: Three shortstop options for the 2021 season

CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 02: Jose Garcia #38 of the Cincinnati Reds plays defense at shortstop during a game against the St Louis Cardinals at Great American Ball Park on September 2, 2020 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Reds won 4-3. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 02: Jose Garcia #38 of the Cincinnati Reds plays defense at shortstop during a game against the St Louis Cardinals at Great American Ball Park on September 2, 2020 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Reds won 4-3. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Han Myung-Gu/Getty Images) /

An international option for the Cincinnati Reds.

What if the Cincinnati Reds do decide to spend a bit of money in free agency? There are a few options available, many of whom are 30+ years old and fit the mold of a stopgap option, but what about a longer-term investment?

Even if the Reds believe in Garcia, you can never have too much talent in your organization. Hence why, putting their name in the ring for Ha-Seong Kim wouldn’t be a terrible idea.

Baseball America pegged Ha-Seong Kim as the top KBO prospect entering the 2020 season, believing he is without a doubt a Top 100 MLB prospect once he comes to the United States. ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel believes he is a Top 10 free agent target once the offseason begins.

The 25-year-old shortstop is a plus-defender who has greatly impressed with his bat over his last six full seasons in the KBO. In his last two seasons, he has 61 doubles, 37 home runs, and an OPS of .880 and .932 in 2019 and 2020.

The power numbers have been consistent throughout Ha-Seong Kim’s career, his strikeout rate has improved over the years, sitting around 10-11% this season, and if he can successfully make the switch to Major League Baseball, the Reds have their long-term option at shortstop.

What makes KBO players more exciting as they attempt to transition to baseball here in the States, American fans are a bit more familiar with these players and their playing style, thanks to ESPN picking up the KBO season this summer. Ha-Seong Kim is going to be a hot commodity this offseason and it’s unclear how much the Cincinnati Reds will spend this offseason, but a team like Cincinnati should be major suitors, once he’s available.