USA Today names Kim Ha-seong in top 'impact rookies'

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USA Today names Kim Ha-seong in top 'impact rookies'

San Diego Padres' Kim Ha-seong singles in the fourth inning of the team's spring training baseball game against the Chicago White Sox, on March 16 in Peoria, Arizona. [AP/YONHAP]

San Diego Padres' Kim Ha-seong singles in the fourth inning of the team's spring training baseball game against the Chicago White Sox, on March 16 in Peoria, Arizona. [AP/YONHAP]

 
USA Today placed Kim Ha-seong of the San Diego Padres at No. 4 on its list of the "top 15 impact rookies" on Thursday.
 
Kim, who joined the Padres on a $28-million deal from the KBO's Kiwoom Heroes in December, was highly rated for his power at bat and speed running the bases.
 
"Kim, 21, comes to San Diego after a successful run in Korea," the article said. "He broke out the power stick in 2020 with 30 homers and a .306/.397/.523 slash line in a hitter-friendly league. While the slugging percentage likely won’t translate to MLB, the hit tool and speed should. 
 
"Kim stole 23 bases last season and can be expected to steal 20-plus in San Diego."
 
The USA Today list was compiled by its Fantasy Sports department, rating the players that are expected to throw up the best overall statistics at the start of the coming season and would therefore be a good choice for fantasy baseball players analyzing who to pick for their starting squads. 
 
Fantasy baseball is a game in which people manage rosters of baseball players online, using fictional team names but real life players. Success in the game is based on the baseball players' performance in real games, so fantasy baseball players closely analyze statistics and prospects when choosing who goes in their teams.
 
Kim's inclusion on the list means the USA Today analysts expect him to be in the Padres starting lineup from the first game of the season.
 
Kim's bat has been warming up throughout spring training and he hit his first RBI for the Padres in an exhibition game against the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday.
 
The Padres will start their 2021 season on April 1 at home against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
 
BY JIM BULLEY   [jim.bulley@joongang.co.kr] 

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