Written by: Jake Tillinghast
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SS Kim Ha-seong has recently announced he will be posted this offseason and be making his way to the MLB when he signs a big league contract.
***These scouting reports are built off of the 20-80 grading scale at MAJOR LEAGUE LEVEL. These grades DO NOT reflect the players ability against their respective leagues players, in this case, the KBO. The grades are built to reflect how this player would perform at the MLB level if he were to step in an MLB lineup today.***
**Watch closely at the video below to see the whole setup, hands, feet, leg kick, and you might see some resemblance of one of the best players the MLB has to offer..
Video below for comparison of both the players
Player comp: STL SS Paul Dejong
Swing comp: ATL OF Ronald Acuna Jr
Kim Ha-seong has been by far the best all around SS I have seen in the KBO. And in my opinion, one of the better all around players on both sides of the ball. He has a quick 1st step defensively, gets into position, strong arm, although it can be erratic at times when he rushes his throws not getting his feet underneath him, and dropping his arm angle just slightly on quicker runners down the line.
At the plate, as shown above, Ha-seong’s stance is similar to Ronald Acuna Jr of the Braves, check out the video below slowed down and you can see the similarities from standing up tall, the high hanging leg kick, bat long in the zone, incredible bat speed to go with it, tons of body torque putting virtually all their strength into each swing. The only real difference is the slight change in the finish/follow through.
Expected to be posted at the end of the 2020 season and make his to the US and sign with an MLB team, I fully expect a high number of teams to be all over him due to his age and position flexibility (2B/3B/SS) and a strong enough athlete, speed , instincts and arm to be able to make a move to LF if the need arises. Although, he will be most useful to the organization as a starting SS or 2B if the team has a highly capable SS already on their roster. Profiling as an offensive 2B with PWR and SPD, with above average defense and a ++ arm for the 2nd base position. Think of an Ozzie Albies type 2B that can hit 20+ HR and swipe 10-15 bags a year, while providing good defense.
When signed, Kim Ha-seong easily has a Top 100 prospect pedigree. All the tools match up, and he has the experience against fairly decent competition. He is old for a top prospect (will be 25 by the time 2021’s season rolls around) But still has more than enough youth and talent to rank inside the top 30 prospects for me. Ability to step in and start day 1 with a MLB team. Eventually working his way into the 2 slot of a lineup, or settling in around the 5-6 hole. A player who wants to make his way to the big leagues will get his shot, whichever team takes the chance on him will be getting one a great young ball player.