The San Diego Padres signed KBO star Ha-Seong Kim this off-season without a set position for him. So he’s working on his defensive versatility.
Ha-Seong Kim will join one of the most exciting teams in baseball in just a couple weeks, but he doesn’t have a set position with the San Diego Padres. Playing as a second baseman with the Kiwoom Heroes, he will be competing with Jake Cronenworth coming off a breakout campaign at the position.
So how does he guarantee himself playing time in a crowded infield? Start taking reps in the outfield.
Unfortunately, the Padres outfield isn’t exactly wide open either. And Kim has never played outfield in his career, putting him at a pretty severe disadvantage on the depth chart.
Trent Grisham and Wil Myers had career years in 2020. And despite missing much of the season with a broken hamate, Tommy Pham is still the top option in left field. With Jurickson Profar‘s return, the Padres have four proven outfielders on the depth chart above Kim.
It’s possible Kim settles into a Ben Zobrist type of roll, finding regular playing time at different positions each night. But it’s not going to be an easy situation to walk into as a rookie. And developing his positional versatility is far from enough to guarantee him at bats on a team that’s trying to win a World Series.
But nonetheless, he’s willing to do whatever it takes to help the San Diego Padres win games. And that’s music to the fanbases’ ears. Maybe he overtakes Cronenworth at second or maybe he settles into a full time bench role. But there’s zero doubt that when he gets an opportunity, he’s going to do whatever it takes to capitalize on it.