‘Speed Star’ Bae Ji-hwan (24, Pittsburgh Pirates) added a stolen base in 69 days, reviving the possibility of stealing 30 bases in a season for the first time as a Korean outfielder.
On the 25th (Korean time), in the 2023 Major League (ML) home game against the Chicago Cubs held at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, Bae Ji-hwan started as number 9 and center fielder, going 3 at-bats, 1 hit, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 1 strikeout and 1 steal. recorded His multiple on-base success increased his batting average from 0.239 to 0.240 and his on-base percentage from 0.311 to 0.314 for the season.
From the first at-bat, Bae Ji-hwan reported a hit. In the bottom of the second inning, where Pittsburgh was behind 0-3, with two outs on first and second base, Justin Steel hit the slider on the fifth pitch and hit a timely hit with an RBI that brushed the side of the second baseman. Shortly thereafter, while opposing catcher Yan Gomes hesitated, he stole second base. With his 21st steal of the season, he tied for 14th in the National League (NL) category.온라인바카라
Bae Ji-hwan, who had struck out on a swing in the 4th inning and left the center field in the 7th inning, walked in the 9th inning against Daniel Palencia and succeeded in making his 22nd multiple on-base of the season. Pittsburgh lost 4-5, giving up 2 runs due to an error by Connor Joe in the top of the 10th inning, but it was a meaningful game for Bae Ji-hwan.
It is the first stolen base since the Milwaukee Brewers expedition on June 17th. Bae Ji-hwan succeeded in stealing 20 bases in a single season for a Korean major leaguer, a record only recorded by Shin-soo Choo (41, SSG Landers) with 20 steals in the first half, including 9 steals in April alone. Showing overwhelming speed despite his low batting average and on-base percentage, he was also considered a strong candidate to record his first 30 stolen bases, breaking Choo Shin-soo’s 2010 record for the most stolen bases in a single season for Koreans.
But an unexpected injury turned everything upside down. On the 2nd of last month, he injured his ankle in the game against Milwaukee and was listed on the injured list.
In the meantime, the honor of stealing the most bases in a Korean season was taken by senior Kim Ha-seong (28, San Diego Padres). In addition, Kim Ha-seong recorded 28 stolen bases in the second half with a strong hit enough to be mentioned as an MVP candidate by various media including MLB.com, increasing the possibility of becoming the first Korean to take the honor of stealing 30 bases in one season.
However, Bae Ji-hwan is not without the possibility of stealing 30 bases. American baseball statistics site Fan Graph predicted through the statistical program Steamer that Bae Ji-hwan would add 5 stolen bases in the remaining season. If that happens, he will finish the season with 26 steals, passing Shin-soo Choo for second behind Ha-sung Kim.
In addition, Bae Ji-hwan is starting second base in Pittsburgh after traffic control, so he can reach 30 stolen bases depending on his efforts in his remaining 34 games. If that happens, he will become the third Asian major league outfielder after Ichiro Suzuki (retired) and Norichika Aoki (Yakult), and the first Korean outfielder to succeed in stealing 30 bases in one season.