“We are collecting 5-star catches”
The American’s ‘The Athletic’ updated the power rankings of 30 major league teams on the 18th (Korean time). Here, Bae Ji-hwan, who is showing great success every day for the Pittsburgh Pirates, praised the appearance.
Bae Ji-hwan 메이저놀이터was called to the Pittsburgh Big League at the end of the regular season last year and became the 26th Korean big leaguer ever. There were not many games left, but Bae Ji-hwan’s impact was enormous. Bae Ji-hwan played in 10 games and recorded a ‘snow stamp’ with 11 hits, 6 RBIs, 5 runs, 3 steals, a batting average of 0.333 OPS and 0.830.
Bae Ji-hwan, who prepared for the season at the big league spring camp, had an unfortunate start at the beginning of this year’s exhibition game, suffering from severe batting sluggishness. However, as he played game after game, he started to find his feelings and tasted the joy of being included in the opening game roster. And as of the end of the game on the 18th, he has played in 15 games and is recording 11 hits, 2 homers, 8 RBIs, 10 runs, and a batting average of 0.220.
His batting performance is disappointing, but his defense is helping the team tremendously. Bae Ji-hwan, who was equipped with an outfielder option in the minor leagues, caught Raphael Devers’ long hitting ball with an admirable super catch against the Boston Red Sox, and hit the ball against the fence on the 14th against the St. Louis Cardinals. After catching it, he even showed off a diving catch.
Pittsburgh is doing very well unexpectedly (?) at the beginning of this season. Pittsburgh is ranked third in the Central Division of the National League with a 10-7 record of 0.588 in 17 games played. It doesn’t mean much at this point, but it’s running 3rd in the wild card. At the center, Bae Ji-hwan’s performance is clearly melted.
‘The Athletic’ put Pittsburgh’s power ranking at 24th and said, “When writing the Tampa Bay Rays (1st place) ranking, I wrote that Tampa Bay will face teams with a current win rate of less than 50%, including the Houston Astros, in the future. But then Pittsburgh was included “Pittsburgh not only has a .500 win rate, but is also ranked third in the National League wild card alone,” he said.
This is where Bae Ji-hwan was evaluated. ‘The Athletic’ said, “The pirates of the playoffs are back. Andrew McCutchen’s role in 2013 is joined by McCutchen and Brian Reynolds in the 2023 season. And Bae Ji-hwan is collecting a walk-off home run and five-star catches in center field. “He raised his thumb.
According to baseball statistics sites ‘Baseball Savant’ and ‘Fan Graph’, Bae Ji-hwan’s center field defense is at the major league average level ‘in terms of indicators’. However, it seems that Bae Ji-hwan had a huge impact while playing 15 games.
The Athletic said, “There are a lot of things that Pittsburgh doesn’t have, but they’ve got a .500 winning percentage. The current World Series champions can’t deny that’s not the case. Congratulations.”
Meanwhile, in the power ranking of ‘The Athletic’, Tampa Bay took first place. And the Atlanta Braves in 2nd place, the New York Yankees in 3rd place, the Milwaukee Brewers in 4th place, the New York Yankees in 5th place, the Toronto Blue Jays and the Minnesota Twins in 6th place, and the San Diego Padres belonging to Ha-seong Kim were selected in 8th place.