Bae Ji-hwan (Pittsburgh Pirates) completed his second season as a big leaguer last year after only getting a “taste” of the major leagues. Although he had a long break due to injury, ‘Val’ proved that he can be competitive in the major leagues.
Bae started in center field and batted eighth in the lineup for the 2023 Major League Baseball team’s home opener against the Miami Marlins at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA) on April 2, going 0-for-2 with a walk and a strikeout.
After a hot year in 2021, when he hit .278 with seven home runs, 31 RBIs, 63 runs scored, 20 doubles and a .772 OPS in 83 games for Pittsburgh’s Double-A Altoona Curve, Bae was promoted to the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians last year, where he showed even more improvement, hitting .289 with eight home runs, 30 doubles and a .792 OPS in 108 games, before receiving a season-ending call-up to the majors.
Obviously, Bae wasn’t given many opportunities. However, the impact he made in that short time was significant. After being called up to the big leagues at the end of the season, Bae hit .333 with 11 hits, six RBIs, five runs scored, three doubles, and a .829 OPS in 10 games. As a result, he went through big league spring training this year as a full-time player, rather than an “invitee,” and spent close to full-time time with the team, including a spot on the Opening Day roster.
Bae hit his first major league home run on April 5 against the Boston Red Sox, a game-winning two-run shot, and his second home run of the season on April 12 against the Houston Astros, and he really caught the eye of the fans and coaching staff as he stole nine bases in the month. The good form continued into May.
Bae didn’t hit another home run in May, but he still managed to hit .304 with a .751 OPS for the month, including becoming the first Korean major leaguer to reach 10 stolen bases. Considering that Ha-Sung Kim (San Diego Padres) didn’t reach double-digit stolen bases until June, it’s a testament to his early season impact.
Injuries derailed Bae’s smooth transition to the big leagues. In June, Bae was in the midst of a severe slump with a .159 batting average when he tore a ligament in his ankle while batting. Surgery was avoided, but the condition of his ankle meant he was sidelined for over a month, and he didn’t return to the big leagues until mid-August.
Bae continued to play to his strengths with his quick feet, but he didn’t have the same “impact” as he had earlier in the season. As a result, he ended the season with two consecutive hitless games. Still, considering it was his debut season in the major leagues, Bae’s performance was enough to make us excited for the future.
No hits in the final game of the season In his first at-bat in the top of the third inning with the score tied at 0-0, Bae drew a full-count 3B-2S with Miami starter Ryan Weathers on six pitches. However, he was unable to follow up with a hit and was unable to score. As the pitching duel continued, Bae didn’t get many at-bats.
Only in the bottom of the fifth inning, with the score tied 0-0, did Bae come to bat for the second time with the bases loaded, and this time, on an unfavorable 1B-2S count, he struck out swinging on a four-pitch slider outside the strike zone from Weathers. Then, with runners on first and third in scoring position in the bottom of the seventh, he struck out on a three-pitch at-bat to reliever Juasca Brajovan.카지노
The game remained tied until the top of the eighth, when Pittsburgh scored three runs in the bottom of the inning to take the lead for good, but the offense ended in front of Bae’s face and he was no longer given a chance to step up to the plate. Bae finished the game without a hit and finished the season with 104 hits, two home runs, 32 RBIs, 54 runs scored, 24 doubles, and a .231 batting average in 111 games.