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Padres' Kim Ha-seong nominated for Heart & Hustle Award in MLB

By Yonhap

Published : Aug. 4, 2023 - 10:17

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Kim Ha-seong of the San Diego Padres hits a single against the Colorado Rockies during the top of the fifth inning of a Major League Baseball regular season game at Coors Field in Denver on Tuesday. (Reuters) Kim Ha-seong of the San Diego Padres hits a single against the Colorado Rockies during the top of the fifth inning of a Major League Baseball regular season game at Coors Field in Denver on Tuesday. (Reuters)

The San Diego Padres' South Korean infielder Kim Ha-seong has been nominated for a major league award recognizing passion for the game of baseball and work ethic.

The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association announced 30 nominees, one from each team, for its annual Heart & Hustle Award on Thursday. Kim was chosen as the Padres' nominee by 30 MLBPAA committees made up of alumni players.

Created by the MLBPAA in 2005, the award is given each year to "an active player who demonstrates a passion for the game of baseball and best embodies the values, spirit and traditions of the game," the association said.

The winner is voted on by retired and active major leaguers.

Kim is the second South Korean to be nominated for this award. Choo Shin-soo, currently playing for the SSG Landers in the Korea Baseball Organization, was the Cleveland Indians nominee in 2010 and the Cincinnati Reds nominee in 2013.

Kim is enjoying the best season of his three-year major league career. He has already set career highs with 15 home runs and 22 steals, in a bid to become the second South Korean player, after Choo, to put up at least 20 homer and 20 steals in a season. He is batting a team-leading .284, eighth-best in the National League, and he has an on-base plus slugging of .838, third-highest among all regular second baseman in the majors.

Kim has also excelled defensively at second base, a year after being named a finalist for Gold Glove at shortstop. He is fourth among all big league second basemen in Outs Above Average, which measures how many outs a player has saved for his team compared with an average fielder, with seven.

In wins above replacement calculated by Baseball-Reference.com, measuring how many wins a player has delivered for his team over a replacement-level player, Kim ranks third in the majors at 5.4, behind only the two MVP candidates in Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels and Ronald Acuna Jr. of the Atlanta Braves.

Kim is also No. 3 overall in defensive WAR at 1.8. (Yonhap)