“It seems to be flying to second base.” While
O’Neill Cruz, considered the ‘top prospect’ of the Pittsburgh Pirates, left due to injury, Bae Ji-hwan is by far the biggest ‘hit product’ so far. Bae Ji-hwan, who was called to the big leagues before the end of the regular season last year, played in 10 games and recorded 11 hits and 3 steals with a batting average of 0.333 and 0.830 OPS.
In the first year of his debut, Bae Ji-hwan, who showed short but impressive performances, completed the major league spring camp this year, was proudly named on the major league opening game roster, and spent a month close to full-time. In April, he recorded 20 hits, 2 homers, 9 RBIs, 11 stolen bases, 0.250 OPS and 0.652 batting average in 27 games.
Of course, it is true that his performance has declined compared to his first season. However, Bae Ji-hwan’s impact during April was enormous. Bae Ji-hwan fired the first home run over ‘Green Monster’ at Fenway Park, Boston’s home stadium, and his second home run in the 9th game was the finishing home run that led the team to victory.
The defense was nothing to speak of. As an infielder, his main position, the defense was solid, and he also showed good defense several times in the outfield, which was an ‘option’ added in the minor leagues. Among them, there was a separate passage that imprinted the name ‘Bae Ji-hwan’ on the American media and fans. That’s ‘quick feet’.
Bae Ji-hwan’s pace in accumulating the number of stolen bases is tremendous. On the 26th of last month (hereafter Korean time), Bae Ji-hwan, who got on base after hitting two hits in a confrontation with the Los Angeles Dodgers, pulled out two stolen bases. And the next day, when he went 3 on base with 3 hits, 3 stolen bases followed. He is stealing second base as well as third base with ease.
There is pace in batting, but there is no ups and downs in speed. Bae Ji-hwan’s biggest advantage is that he can create a scoring position at any time if he goes on base with a ground ball, even if the runner is out, hit or walk. One of Pittsburgh’s scoring formulas is to call in runners from scoring opportunities through stolen bases after Bae Ji-hwan’s on-base.
Bae Ji-hwan is the player who best fits the baseball view that Pittsburgh is currently pursuing. Pittsburgh was the first to win 20 games in the National League at the end of the game on the 1st. The April record is 20-9, with an odds ratio of 0.690, running for first place in the central district, and the background of the blast at the beginning of the season is ‘baseball’. He has 41 team stolen bases, the most of all 30 major league clubs.
Prior to meeting the Dodgers last month, Bae Ji-hwan had a batting average of only 0.206. He clearly fell short of expectations. However, it is clear why Pittsburgh could not easily exclude Bae Ji-hwan from the starting lineup even when the batting average for the season was approaching 10%. This is because if Bae Ji-hwan steps on first base in any way, he can lead to a run. ㅋㅋㅋ벳
The local media in the US is pouring out praise for Bae Ji-hwan’s good performance every day. On the 1st, the American’The Athletic’ said about the driving force behind Pittsburgh’s early rise, “Jack Swinsky, who achieved the first grand slam, is recording 6 homers, as many as Aaron Judge (Yankees) and Jordan Alvarez (Houston). Pittsburgh’s most ever, 18 innings There is also starter Vince Velázquez, who had consecutive scoreless runs,” he said, paying attention to Bae Ji-hwan.
Continuing, ‘The Athletic’ gave a thumbs up saying, “Utilityman Bae Ji-hwan seems to be flying from 1st base to 2nd base” and “Under the guidance of 1st base running coach Tarik Brock, he is recording 11 stolen bases, which is the best in the team.” Bae Ji-hwan’s sprint speed (speed per second) is very fast, with the top 4% in the major leagues.
Bae Ji-hwan is currently tied for second in the National League with 11 stolen bases. The gap with Ronald Acuna Jr. (Atlanta) in first place is only two points. Wouldn’t watching Bae Ji-hwan’s stealing competition be an interesting factor in watching the major league this season?