5 shortstop options for Red Sox after unexpected Trevor Story surgery
1. Ha-Seong Kim
Let’s say the Red Sox want someone who could play either 2B or SS, and they want someone under contract beyond 2023. Enter Ha-Seong Kim, a free agent after the 2026 season. Kim is coming off of a breakout 5.1 rWAR season in which he showed an above average ability at every aspect of the game.
Kim took a year to adjust to major league hitting, and 2021 was a rather poor offensive display … but 2022 was much different. He slashed .251/.325/.383 with 11 home runs. Kim might never hit 20+ home runs in a season, as his batted ball data suggests. He’s able to elevate the ball more than expected, but BABIP hasn’t been on his side: .241 in 2021 and .290 in 2022. BABIP works best with a track record to compare it to, but it can still be said that he’s experiencing bad luck on that front.
Even if he’s just a light hitter with a solid ability to get on base, his defense makes up for it. He had 2 OAA at both 2B and SS in 2021, but as he got more time at shortstop in 2022, his OAA jumped to 8. That put him in the 95th percentile of all fielders. His 68th percentile arm strength holds up at SS and even let him get some time at 3B.
As things currently stand in San Diego, Kim should have a starting job at second base, but the team should have enough depth to consider moving him at the right price. The Red Sox could utilize him at SS for years as a short-term replacement or a long-term solution.