Bae Ji-hwan (Pittsburgh Pirates) played a big role beyond expectations in the first half. In 76 games, 51 hits in 214 at-bats, batting average of 0.238, 2 homers, 19 RBIs, 37 runs, 20 stolen bases, 0.301 slugging percentage, 0.308 OPS, 0.609. He only appeared in one game in July, following a batting average of 0.159 with seven RBIs in June.
He played with ankle soreness and ended up making the All-Star break on the disabled list. It seems like a good match, but who would have expected Bae Ji-hwan to play 76 games in the major leagues at the start of this season? Considering this is his first season full-time, he’s had a very good first half.
Coincidentally, this year, as the major leagues prepared many devices to encourage running baseball, such as expanding the size of the base, limiting checks, introducing a pitch clock, and limiting excessive shifts, a favorable environment was created for Bae Ji-hwan to appeal his strengths. The compatibility was also good in that Pittsburgh is a team that actively uses young players.
Although his batting pace dropped a lot in June and July, achieving 20 steals in the first half alone is a great achievement. The second half is of interest now. Since he was listed on the injured list on the 10th, Clearfield Prisoner’s report on the 14th said that he was able to return on the 13th (hereinafter Korean time) on paper.
The media emphasized the health of the players while prospecting the second half of Pittsburgh from various angles. “Second baseman Bae Ji-hwan became eligible to return from the injured list on the 13th,” he said. However, it is difficult to predict the actual return of Bae Ji-hwan at this point. It is difficult to return with the opening of the second half on the 15th. Officials predict that he will take some time and focus on treatment for the time being.메이저놀이터
In other words, health is the most important thing. If you don’t have a good ankle, you can’t hit, run, or defend properly. In order for Bae Ji-hwan to properly show his competitiveness, it is right to take care of his ankle first, even if he has a longer absence period. Maybe it’s more important than the results this season.
Still, attention is focused on how much performance he will show in the second half when he returns. If you rest properly with ankle treatment, you can save some of your stamina. On the other hand, there is also a view that he has no choice but to be clumsy in distributing the energy he needs to spend in 162 games. He can’t have good hitting balance if he doesn’t manage his stamina, and he can’t show the power of his quick feet if he can’t find hitting balance. In the end, the key to Bae Ji-hwan’s second half is batting.
It is certain that Bae Ji-hwan surpassed Choo Shin-soo (then Cleveland Guardians) in 2010 with the most 22 stolen bases in a single season by a Korean major leaguer. Furthermore, the biggest concern is whether it will be possible to steal 30 to 40 bases in a single season for the first time as a Korean major leaguer.