“I learned to slide in the U.S…” brings back memories of Shin-Soo Choo, thumbs up to Kim Ha-Sung for breaking the Korean stolen base record, and thumbs down for “only better things to come”

“I learned to slide in the U.S…” brings back memories of Shin-Soo Choo, thumbs up to Kim Ha-Sung for breaking the Korean stolen base record, and thumbs down for “only better things to come”

On the same day that Kim Ha-seong (28-San Diego Padres) broke his own record in Major League Baseball (MLB), Choo Shin-soo (41-SSG Rangers) set the record for most career hits in South Korea. It was a special day for the junior.메이저사이트

“I saw (Kim’s stolen base record) in an article,” Shin-soo Choo said after the Lotte Giants’ 9-6 win over the Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League 2023 at Sajik Baseball Stadium in Busan on Friday, “and I think he’s only going to get better, and it was great to see.” He praised the younger Kim’s performance.

On May 5 (KST), Kim batted first and second in the lineup for the 2023 Major League Baseball home game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Petco Park in San Diego, California, USA, going 2-for-4 with a double, a walk and two stolen bases.

Kim struck first in his first at-bat in the bottom of the first inning. He took advantage of a low four-pitch changeup from Dodgers starter Bobby Miller and lined it just over the second baseman’s head for a single. He then stole second base off Juan Soto in the third inning for his 23rd stolen base of the season. In doing so, Kim broke the record for most stolen bases by a Korean major leaguer in a single season (22), set by Shin-Soo Choo (Cleveland) in 2010, a record that had stood for 13 years.

Kim Ha-seong, right, steals second base during the first inning of a home game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday. /AFPBBNews=News1
As if that wasn’t bad enough, Kim came through with a bullet in his second at-bat, stealing second base for his 24th stolen base of the season. From then on, each stolen base he accumulated this season would become a new piece of Korean League history.

The senior couldn’t help but be overjoyed. “Records are always there for someone to break,” said Choo. “In the case of Kim Ha-sung, I’m sure he’ll steal more bases because he was so fast and good in Korea,” he said.

In fact, it wasn’t until he arrived in the U.S. that Choo learned about stealing bases. Initially, he joined the Seattle Mariners as a pitcher, “but then I switched to hitting. I also learned to slide in the U.S. I couldn’t slide before that,” he confessed. On the other hand, Kim Hae-sung, who grew into a professional infielder, stole 22 bases in his second year in the KBO (2015) and stole 134 bases in his career before moving to the United States.

On the flip side, Choo Shin-soo’s success in the big leagues has been nothing short of spectacular. After arriving in the United States in 2001, Shin-Soo Choo stole 12 bases in the Rookie League in his first year and 37 in Single-A the following year. He then stole a whopping 40 bases in Double-A in 2004, when he was close to a major league call-up.

Shin-Soo Choo (center) attempts to steal second base during his major league career. /AFPBBNews=News1
After breaking into the big leagues in 2005, Shin-Soo Choo began stealing bases in earnest in 2009. He joined the 20-20 club that year with 20 home runs and 21 stolen bases, and went on to steal 20 or more bases in four of the next five seasons through 2013. Going 20-20 three times was a bonus. After joining Texas in 2014, his stolen base attempts declined, but his success rate wasn’t too bad. In 2019, he stole 15 bases in 16 attempts.

Following in Shin-Soo Choo’s footsteps is Kim Ha-seong. A two-time member of the 20-20 club in Korea (2016, 2020), he has seen his home runs and stolen bases increase each year since coming to the United States. After hitting 8 homers and 6 steals in 2021, he hit 11 homers and 12 steals last year, and is on pace for 15 homers and 24 steals through five games this year. At this rate, he could become the first Asian infielder to reach 20-20.

On top of that, Kim has been one of the best in the league at defense, an area where Choo Shin-Soo was a bit of a weak link. It’s hard not to be happy for the youngster who is following in his footsteps.

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