“Speed Star” Bae Ji-hwan (24-Pittsburgh Pirates) added a stolen base for the first time in 69 days, reviving his chances of becoming the first Korean outfielder to steal 30 bases in a season.
Bae went 1-for-3 with one run, one RBI, one walk, one strikeout and one stolen base in the ninth and center field spots in the Pirates’ 2023 Major League Baseball (ML) home game against the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, on Friday (July 25). The multi-hit game raised his season batting average from .239 to .240 and his on-base percentage from .311 to .314.
In his first at-bat, Bae registered a hit. With Pittsburgh trailing 3-0 in the bottom of the second inning and runners on first and second, he lined a five-pitch slider from Justin Steele over the second baseman’s head and stole second base while opposing catcher Yan Gomes hesitated. It was his 21st stolen base of the season, tied for 14th in the National League (NL) in that category.
After striking out swinging in the fourth and being retired on a fly ball to center field in the seventh, Bae drew a walk off Daniel Palencia in the ninth for his 22nd multi-RBI game of the season. Pittsburgh lost 4-5 in extra innings, scoring two runs on a Connor Cho error in the top of the 10th, but it was a special game for Bae.
It was his first stolen base since June 17 against the Milwaukee Brewers. With 20 stolen bases in the first half of the year, including nine in April alone, Bae reached the 20-steal mark for a Korean major leaguer in a single season, a feat only accomplished by Choo Shin-soo (41-SSG Rangers). His speed, coupled with his low batting average and on-base percentage, made him a strong candidate to become the first South Korean to steal 30 bases in a season, breaking Shin-Soo Choo’s record of 22 in 2010.
But an unexpected injury derailed everything. He injured his ankle against Milwaukee on March 2 and was placed on the disabled list, and had to spend more time rehabbing than expected before returning on March 19.
In the meantime, the honor of the most stolen bases by a Korean in a season went to senior Ha-Sung Kim (28, San Diego Padres). He’s also been mentioned as an MVP candidate by several outlets, including MLB.com, and his second-half surge of 28 steals puts him in line to become the first Korean to steal 30 bases in a season.
However, Bae isn’t the only one with a shot at 30 steals. American baseball statistics site FanGraphs, through its statistical program Steamer, predicts that Bae will add five more steals to his total for the rest of the season. If he does, he will finish the season with 26 steals, passing Choo Shin-Soo for second place behind Kim Ha-Sung.카지노사이트
In addition, Bae is the starting second baseman in Pittsburgh, where traffic has been cleared, so he could reach 30 steals depending on his efforts in the remaining 34 games. If he does, he will become the third Asian major league outfielder to reach 30 stolen bases in a season after Ichiro Suzuki (retired) and Norichika Aoki (Yakult), and the first Korean outfielder.