Bae Ji-hwan and Ichiro on 20th base in “10 years since Choo Shin-soo” challenge to record 亞 only twice

Bae Ji-hwan (24), who occupied the 20th stolen base in 10 years since Choo Shin-soo (41, SSG Landers) in 2013, will challenge the record of Ichiro Suzuki (50), one of the major leaguers from Asia, only twice.

Bae Ji-hwan played as the eighth and second baseman in the 2023 Major League away game against the Milwaukee Brewers at the 메이저사이트 American Family Field in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on the 17th (Korea Standard Time), recording two walks, one run and one steal in two at-bats without a hit.

Bae Ji-hwan, who was the leadoff hitter in the top of the sixth inning when Pittsburgh was trailing 1-4, stole second base against Julio Tehran-William Contreras Battery. It was the first time for an individual and the second time for a Korean major leaguer to steal 20 bases in a season. In the past, Choo Shin-soo succeeded in stealing 21 bases in 2009, 22 steals in 2010, 21 steals in 2012, and 20 steals in 2013 when he was with the Cincinnati Reds, and spent a total of four 20 steals seasons.

Choo Shin-soo’s 22 stolen bases in 2010, the highest record in the Korean Major Leaguer, were achieved by his high on-base percentage (0.401) in 162 games. On the other hand, Bae Ji-hwan achieved 20 steals despite his low on-base percentage (0.330) in 68 games, boasting an overwhelming speed in terms of speed. Based on statcast, Bae Ji-hwan’s sprint speed is the top 3%, and the speed from home to first base is 4.05 seconds, the fastest in Major League Baseball. For that reason, if there is no injury, Choo Shin-soo is likely to break the record of 22 stolen bases in 2010, the most stolen bases in a Korean season.

Beyond Choo, the next thing to aim for is the Asian record. With Korean and Japanese players mainly entering the Major League, there were quite a few Asian major leaguers who recorded more than 20 steals in a season. Including Choo Shin-soo and Bae Ji-hwan,here are a total of six players, including Ichiro Suzuki (2001-2012, 2013), Norichika Aoki (30 steals in 2012, 20 steals in 2013), Kazuo Matsui (32 steals in 2007, 20 steals in 2008), and Shohei Otani (26 steals in 2021).

However, Ichiro (56 steals in 2001 and 45 steals in 2006) was the only one who recorded more than 45 steals. Currently, Bae Ji-hwan has 20 steals in 68 games, arithmetically capable of up to 47. If he keeps his pace now, he will be the first Asian player besides Ichiro to step on the 45th base.

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