Kim Ha-seong (28, San Diego Padres) has already set the record for most stolen bases in a single season by a Korean major leaguer, and now he’s going for the record for most by an Asian infielder. At his current pace, it’s not impossible.

Kim went 2-for-4 with a double, a walk, and two stolen bases while batting first and second in the Padres’ 2023 Major League Baseball (MLB) home game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Petco Park in San Diego, California, USA, on Friday. He was the second Korean big leaguer to share the starting lineup with Choi, 32, who batted seventh.

Kim got on base in the top 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. It was his 10th straight game with a hit. No. 2 Fernando Tatis Jr. flied out to center field, and No. 3 Juan Soto struck out swinging on a full count.

That’s when Kim ran to steal second base. As he slid into second base, he twisted his body slightly to avoid the tag. The Dodgers bench requested a video review, but the call was not overturned and Kim was awarded the stolen base.

It was Kim’s 23rd stolen base in 105 games this season. It broke the previous record of 22 stolen bases by a Korean major leaguer in a season set by Shin-Soo Choo (Cleveland) in 2010, a record that had stood for 13 years. Choo, Kim Ha-seong, and Bae Ji-hwan (24-Pittsburgh) became the first three Korean players to reach 20 stolen bases in the major leagues.

Kim didn’t stop there. In his second at-bat, he lined a 102.2 mph (164.4 km/h) bullet to left field. He followed it up with a 100.5 mph sinker that found the middle of the infield for a hit. It was his 20th multi-hit game of the season. He also stole second base, his 24th stolen base of the season, but was unable to score on the play.

With 24 stolen bases as of the end of the game, each additional stolen base this season will be history for the South Korean big leaguer. He is currently on pace for 35 steals, which would make him the first Korean to reach the 30-steal plateau in the big leagues.

He will also make history for Asian infielders. Until last year, the most stolen bases in a single season by an Asian infielder was Kazuo Matsui (now manager of Seibu) in 2007. Matsui, who was playing for Colorado at the time, was limited to 104 games due to a combination of injuries, but his 32 stolen bases and four errors helped the team reach the World Series.

Kim is just eight games away from reaching this milestone. If he keeps up his current pace, he could easily pass Matsui’s stolen base record. He also needs five more home runs to become the first Asian infielder to go 20-20 in the big leagues. This is also within reach if he keeps up his current pace.먹튀검증

However, the Asian single-season stolen base record will be harder to break. The “Legend” Ichiro Suzuki (50) still holds the top spot with a whopping 56 stolen bases in 2001. Ichiro went on to steal 509 bases in his big league career, including five 40-steal seasons.

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