There’s only one ‘GG Barometer’ defensive award, and it’s for Kim Ha-Sung… “Best second baseman in the entire ML”

Kim Ha-Sung (28, San Diego) is a stellar defender, and the statistics back it up. It’s now been predicted that he could win the Fielding Bible Award, one of the major league (ML) defensive awards.

John Dwan, president of Sports Info Solutions (SIS), a U.S. statistical company, posted on social media on Tuesday (July 2), “A look ahead at the Fielding Bible Award winners by position,” and predicted the winners by position.

The Fielding Bible Award, which began in 2006, recognizes the statistically best defensive player in Major League Baseball. Unlike the Gold Glove, which is awarded to one player per position in each league, the award is given to only one player who is the best defender at that position. SIS is the presenting organization for the Fielding Bible Award, which is announced before the Gold Glove and serves as a barometer for who will win the Gold Glove that year. Because it prioritizes statistical metrics in the selection process, it’s considered a bit more objective than the Gold Glove, which is based on 30 percent on-field input from players and coaches.
According to Dwan, Kim was the No. 1 second baseman in all of Major League Baseball, followed by Marcus Semien (Texas), Andres Jimenez 안전놀이터 (Cleveland), Mauricio Dubon (Houston), and Tyro Estrada (San Francisco). In terms of Defensive Runs Saved (DRS), a metric provided by Fielding Bible’s official website, Kim was first among second basemen at +7.

Not only that, but no matter where he played, he was an above-average defender in the major leagues. With a +2 DRS at third base and a +1 DRS at shortstop, his combined DRS at all positions was +10, tied for second in the majors with Ramon Loriano (Oakland). The leader was Kevin Kiermaier (Toronto) at +12. That makes him one of the top three defenders in the majors based on DRS alone.

In another metric, OAA (Outs Above Average), he was a top-five second baseman. After two days of play, Kim’s OAA at second base was +4, tied for third in the majors and tied for second in the National League with Nico Horner.

As a result of his stellar defense, Kim is hitting around league average with a .241 batting average, five home runs, 18 RBIs, and 10 doubles in 52 games with a .717 OPS, but his 2.3 wins above replacement (bWAR) per Baseball-Reference leads San Diego in that category. He contributes more to the team than Xander Bogaerts (11 years, $280 million) and Manny Machado (11 years, $350 million).
The attention on several defensive metrics is also a positive for his race to become the first Korean to win a Major League Baseball Gold Glove. The Gold Glove is awarded based on 25% of the SABR defensive metric SDI, with the remaining 75% of the votes coming from managers, coaches, and other players outside of their respective teams. Before voting, players and coaches are provided with various defensive metrics for reference.

In addition, players from different leagues and districts can have their name recognition swayed when voting, so the title of “San Diego’s Best Defensive Player” can be a huge advantage for future Gold Glove winners.

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