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.
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.
The Padres have reached an agreement with Ha-seong Kim, a source tells The Athletic.
— Dennis Lin (@dennistlin) December 28, 2020
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.