“The player training team really believed in Bae Ji-hwan. That’s really important.”
Pittsburgh Pirates manager Derek Shelton said: Pittsburgh first met Bae Ji-hwan (24) when he signed a minor league contract in 2018. Bae Ji-hwan is an infielder whose main positions are shortstop and second baseman, but after watching Bae Ji-hwan’s athletic ability, Pittsburgh saw the possibility that he could work as a center fielder in the major leagues. Thanks to this, Bae Ji-hwan was honored to be named on the opening roster for the first time in his career this year with his utility ability.
Bae Ji-hwan drew attention with a fantastic jump catch in a match against the Boston Red Sox held at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts on the 5th. He started at second base and then moved to center field in the eighth inning. Bae Ji-hwan jumped high enough to climb the left wall of Rafael Devers’ batted ball and treated it as a floating ball. It was the result of combining various athletic abilities, such as Bae Ji-hwan’s quick feet and instant hitting judgment.메이저사이트
Devers, who at least expected the double hit to hit the fence, looked at the delighted Bae Ji-hwan for a while as he lifted his glove and put on an expression of disbelief. Devers’ exit velocity was 107.1 mph, which was a line drive.
The Pittsburgh local media ‘Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’ said, ‘Bae Ji-hwan showed why Pittsburgh moved from second baseman to center fielder. Pittsburgh made that decision to take full advantage of Bae Ji-hwan’s tremendous speed and athleticism,’ he explained.
“We talked about how well he moves in center field,” Shelton said. “Our people on the player development team have talked about Bae Ji-hwan playing in center field. They really have a lot of faith in Bae Ji-hwan. That’s really important.” He said, “The club’s eyes were right,” and turned the ball around.
Bae Ji-hwan has played in 5 of Pittsburgh’s 6 games this season and has consistently left a strong impression. His defensive stability needs no further explanation. At the plate, he had a batting average of 0.222 (4 hits in 18 at-bats), an OPS of 0.707, one home run and two RBIs. He’ll need to improve his batting average and on-base percentage a bit more to make it into the starting lineup, but he’s still showing the play the team needs. He was successful in stealing bases twice.
Coach Shelton said with a satisfied smile, “Bae Ji-hwan performed well in all areas when attacking, defending, and on base. In particular, Bae Ji-hwan’s jump catch was really good.”
It is important for Bae Ji-hwan to appeal for his utility ability now, but it is important to secure a place as a shortstop, second baseman, or center fielder in order to grow into a major league starter in the long term. Right now, he stood out the most as a center fielder, and Pittsburgh has also consistently tested the possibility of center fielder Bae Ji-hwan. It raises curiosity about which position Bae Ji-hwan will put more weight on in the future and show off his value.