Soto to Tatis, Kim overtakes Ha Sung Kim… Talent is talent, but will SD really have a ‘big five’ next year?

This season, the San Diego Padres have consistently led the league in Wins Above Replacement (WAR), which is tracked by various statistical organizations. He’s been at the top of the list for a long time, thanks to his outstanding defensive contributions from last year, coupled with improved offensive production.

His WAR was among the best in the league, not just in San Diego, but in the entire major leagues. According to Baseball Reference, he was in the top five in the majors, and according to FanGraphs, which is a more reliable measure of fielding WAR, he was consistently in the top 20. This is a testament to the offense, defense, and defense of Kim this season.

While these numbers are a testament to his outstanding performance, they also symbolize a disappointing season for San Diego. The Padres were loaded with players who had longer major league careers, were paid more money, and were considered bigger talents than Kim. The so-called “Big Four” of Manny Machado, Juan Soto, Xander Bogaerts, and Fernando Tatis, Jr. were representative.

The fact that Kim was leading the league in WAR for so long symbolized that the “big four” that the team had invested so much money in was not functioning properly. San Diego’s lackluster offense hadn’t exploded all season. It would sporadically flare up and then go out just as quickly. Especially in one-run games and overtime, they were not the answer. They’ve scored far more goals than they’ve allowed, which is a crucial reason why they’re under a .500 winning percentage. Ultimately, this is leading to San Diego’s postseason disappointment.

Machado, Bogart, Tatis Jr. and Soto all hadn’t performed at the level of their careers by midseason. After leading the team in hitting in April and being hailed as a “great free agent signing,” Bogaerts struggled at the plate and suffered a wrist injury. Machado’s hitting was spotty throughout the season, and his elbow condition worsened. Tatis Jr. was a shell of his former self after returning from suspension, and even Soto hung his head in shame at the start of the season with uncharacteristic performances.

But talent was talent. Soto and Tatis Jr. are two of the youngest stars in the major leagues, and they’ve been struggling since the mid- to late-season. And while Kim faltered and his WAR dropped slightly, Soto and Tatis Jr. overtook him in turn.

As of the 19th, Kim’s WAR on FanGraphs is 4.4. That’s up from 3.8 last year. For a while, he was number one on the team. However, Soto, who has been on fire lately, has surpassed him with a 4.9 WAR, and Tatis Jr. has also surpassed him with a 4.7 WAR. While Kim’s offensive struggles since mid-August have hurt his WAR numbers, it’s largely because they’ve been so good.

Soto, who is batting .267 on the season, is batting .321 with a .418 OPS in his last 15 games. If you narrow it down to his last seven games, he’s batting .464 with a .515 OPS and a .929 slugging percentage.

At one point, there was a lot of talk that Soto’s performance was disappointing and that he should be traded at the end of the season, but his recent run has put that to rest. He’s still a major league player. His free-agent status after the 2024 season has also brightened. 온라인바카라

Tatis Jr, who moved to the outfield this year, is proving to be a “demonic talent. Tatis Jr. also struggled early in the season, with both his batting average and slugging percentage dropping. His new right field defense is among the best in the league, but his offense hasn’t been his strong suit.

However, in his last seven games, Tatis Jr. is hitting .345 with a .424 on-base percentage and a .621 slugging percentage, leading the team alongside Soto.

It’s unfortunate for San Diego. If they could have gotten on the same page from mid-June to early August, when Kim was hitting well, they could have had a lot more firepower. Bogaerts (4.0 WAR) has also been hitting well of late, which is even more disappointing. All of their breakouts came too late.

On the flip side, there is still hope for San Diego. Tatis Jr, Bogaerts, and Machado are in the early stages of long-term deals. They still have a lot of time left with the team. If they don’t trade Kim and Soto, who are both free agents next year, they could be in the lineup for at least another year.

San Diego has a long way to go, but fans still flocked to the stadium to see their stars. Despite the lackluster record, San Diego was a box office smash this year, with home attendance topping 3 million. The ticket power is there. If the team improves, these numbers are sure to grow, and they could become a nationally recognized team.

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