Major League Baseball’s backup infielder wins the Gold Glove. San Diego Padres infielder Ha Sung Kim, 28, impressed many by winning the Gold Glove. 

Kim was named the Gold Glove winner in the National League Utility category of the 2023 Rawlings Gold Glove Awards, announced by Major League Baseball on Nov. 6 (ET). He is the first Korean big leaguer and first Asian infielder to win the award. 

While he lost the Gold Glove to Chicago Cubs second baseman Nico Horner for the most games played at second base this season, he beat out Los Angeles Dodgers Mookie Betts and Tommy Edmon, a keystone duo in the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC), for the utility award.

Kim posted a +10 DRS at second base, +3 DRS at third base, and +3 DRS at shortstop per FanGraphs, totaling a +16 DRS in the infield alone. He was fifth in the majors with a TZR of 7 at second base and tied for 19th with a TZR of 2 at third base, per Baseball-Reference. He won the Gold Glove, which is based solely on defense.

Kim didn’t get recognized for his skills right away after entering the major leagues. He left the KBO’s Kiwoom Heroes in 2021 to sign with the San Diego Padres in the major leagues. 

However, Kim was relegated to a backup infielder, starting only 117 of 162 games in the major leagues. The hot bat he showed in his first KBO season cooled off. He batted just .202 (54-for-267) with eight home runs, 34 RBI, a .270 OPS, and a .622 slugging percentage. He also struggled with acclimatization issues.  보스토토 주소

The encouraging thing is that Kim managed to stay on the major league roster full-time, even as a backup, through his toughest first season in the majors, and he played all over the infield with solid defense.