Star KBO infielder, Ha-Seong Kim signs with the Padres

(Photo by JUNG YEON-JE/AFP via Getty Images)

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Credit: KBO

A.J. Preller is getting work done right now for the San Diego Padres.

After making a blockbuster trade for Blake Snell, it has been reported that Ha-Seong Kim has reached an agreement with the Padres.

Kim, at age 25, is the top prospect coming out of the Korean Baseball Organization.

In 2020 he played shortstop and third for the Kiwoom Heroes. With Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr. on the left side of the infield, Kim will be getting most of his time at second base.

With the bat he was a huge threat in the KBO. Last season he posted a .306/.397/.523 slash and a 141 wRC+ alongside a 12.1 BB% and 10.9 K%.

Obviously, MLB is a step up from the KBO and those numbers will fall a bit, but Dan Szymborski of Fangraphs still projects Kim to slash .274/.343/.477 with a 3.8 WAR in 2021.

With the Padres he should fit in at second base, it simultaneously creates questions. Last season, Jake Cronenworth seemingly became the long-term second base option for the Padres. Even with a slump near the end of the season, many projections for 2021 view him as a favorable starter. One of the things that Cronenworth did prove last year is that he is a solid defender who is capable of fielding multiple positions.

Rumors are flying around that the Padres might send an outfielder to the Cubs in a potential trade for Yu Darvish. That would possibly make Cronenworth a starting outfielder and Kim would take over second base. Even if a starter is moved, Kim could be a much-needed bench bat and potential designated hitter if the National League allows teams to employ a DH.

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