A Korean major leaguer like never before… Bae Ji-hwan armed with super speed

Even with an average batting average of 25%,
it is evaluated that it is possible to become the ‘King of Stolen’ if only the on-base rate increases by running second overall in stolen bases… Ankle injury suffered on the 6th is key

In April, 메이저사이트a rebellion broke out in the major leagues. Among a total of 30 teams in the American and National Leagues, Tampa Bay, Baltimore, and Pittsburgh, which are the lowest ranked teams in the 27th to 29th in terms of total annual salary, are ranked 1st to 3rd in odds side by side. Tampa Bay, which has been showing good results for five years while spending less money, and Baltimore, which succeeded in rebuilding their team by gathering promising players, were expected to some extent. But nobody knew about the Pittsburgh Rebellion.

A decade ago, Pittsburgh sparked a groundball revolution. He injected pitchers with a sinker that is good for ground ball induction, and swept ground ball outs with shift defense. Starting with Pittsburgh, as the sinker craze blew, hitters responded with scooped up swings. Pitchers started throwing high, fast pitches that they couldn’t hit with their upper swing, but Pittsburgh held on to the outdated sinker.

After 10 years, Pittsburgh came out with a new hit. It was made to throw an extremely large number of breaking balls with a low probability of getting hits. First of all, April was a great success. However, opinions are divided as to whether pitching focused on breaking pitches, which increase pitcher fatigue, will be maintained. The sensational team Pittsburgh was aiming for another niche market. It is the recruitment of players with Asian descent.

Running 100m in 10 seconds 6… Corresponding to Major League ‘Speed ​​Baseball’

The number of Asian players registered on the major league opening roster this year is only 1.4% of the total, with 8 Japanese players, 4 Korean players (Ryu Hyun-jin, Choi Ji-man, Kim Ha-seong, Bae Ji-hwan) and Taiwan 1. . There are Asian Americans like Rob Lefsnyder and Keyston Hiura, but the percentage of Asian players in the US college league is only 1.1%. However, Pittsburgh has three Korean players, Choi Ji-hwan, Bae Ji-hwan, and Shim Jun-seok, as well as a large number of Asian players, including Taiwanese Jeong Jeong-je and Chinese-American Connor Joe.

Shim Jun-seok (19) from Deoksu High School, who was mentioned as the overall first pick in last year’s KBO League Draft, but chose to go directly to the major leagues, is expected to continue the life of a large orthodox right-hander that was cut off after Gerrit Cole.

Pittsburgh started liking Asian players back in 2015. At the time, Pittsburgh made a surprise choice to recruit a shortstop from the KBO League. It was Kang Jung-ho of Nexen Heroes. After the 2016 season, Kang Jung-ho’s performance ended in two years due to the drunk driving scandal that occurred in Korea. However, Kang Jung-ho, whose performance in those two years was truly remarkable, is a good memory of him, leading to a challenge against Asian players who receive less attention.

Bae Ji-hwan, who graduated from Gyeongbuk High School and can run 100m in 10.6 seconds, signed a contract with Major League Atlanta in September 2017 instead of waiting for the Samsung Lions’ first nomination. The announced contract amount is $300,000. It was too small an amount for a prospect like Bae Ji-hwan.

Sure enough, there was darkness. Atlanta general manager John Coppoella announced that international prospects would be reduced in contract fees to avoid a penalty. Coporella was kicked out of the baseball world, and the players whose contracts were canceled suddenly became lost. Bae Ji-hwan also wanders psychologically at this time. After spending a winter with an uncertain future, Bae Ji-hwan was able to sign a contract with Pittsburgh. His down payment was $1.25 million.

Compared to Atlanta, Pittsburgh was a team with a dark future. However, not going to Atlanta, where competition is fierce, was a blessing in disguise for Bae Ji-hwan. Sensing the changes pursued by the Major League Secretariat, Pittsburgh was preparing for ‘speed baseball’. The possibility of using Bae Ji-hwan was high.

At the end of April, Bae Ji-hwan’s current batting average is around 0.250, which is not very high. His combined on-base percentage and slugging average OPS of 0.652 falls short of his major league average of 0.724. However, Bae Ji-hwan has a weapon that is not reflected in the OPS. it’s speed

Bae Ji-hwan’s sprint speed, which is the distance per second he can go when he runs with all his might, is 29.3 feet (8.93 m), which is in the top 3% of the major leagues. He is the fastest Korean major league player ever and the fastest Asian player since Japan’s Ichiro Suzuki. Bae Ji-hwan has an excellent running sense.

On April 5, Bae Ji-hwan, who played center fielder to save the team at Fenway Park in Boston and hit his first career home run over the Green Monster, hit his second home run against Ryan Presley (Houston) on the 12th, who set the winning count in the World Series last year. Lee Ja hit his first walk-off home run in his debut. However, the game where he showed his true value was against the Dodgers on the 26th.

A storm that turns an ordinary infield hit into a virtual ‘double’

Bae Ji-hwan, who hit two infield hits that day, stole second base against Dodgers starter Noah Syndergaard. Syndergaard was concerned about Bae Ji-hwan, who went over to third base, and allowed the ball to hit the body, and then hit the batter with a double and conceded two runs.

In the 4th inning, Bae Ji-hwan again hit an infield hit after one run. And he managed to steal second base. Syndergaard, who lost his composure, allowed four more points afterward. Bae Ji-hwan, who turned two infield hits into two doubles through stolen bases, stepped home both times while Syndergaard gave up 6 runs and collapsed. The next day, Bae Ji-hwan hit 3 hits and succeeded in stealing 3 bases, violating the Dodgers home. And Pittsburgh won a landslide.

Starting this year, the major leagues banned pitchers from ‘infinite control’. He throws the third check ball and if it is not caught, a balk is declared. The stress on stealing has grown enormously. Therefore, a player who can stress the stealing base to the opposing pitcher is needed. It is a position that Bae Ji-hwan can perfectly digest.

Ricky Henderson, the best No. 1 hitter of all time, thoroughly harassed Johnson with 4 runs, 4 walks, 4 walks and 5 steals against Randy Johnson in 1989. Henderson, who also stole 130 bases in one year, retired with 1,406 stolen bases, more than 400 more than second place.

In 2013, when Billy Hamilton appeared and won a series of victories against Yadier Molina, the catcher with the best shoulder, analysis came out that Hamilton’s stealing ability surpassed Henderson’s. But Hamilton only stole 324 bases in 10 years and is playing in the minor leagues this year.

The biggest difference between Henderson and Hamilton was on base. While Henderson, who had the best pitching strategy and accurate hitting, had many chances to steal bases, Hamilton, who had poor accuracy and leading strategy, had few chances to steal bases because it was difficult to get on base. There is an old saying in baseball, “You can’t steal first base.”

At the end of April, Ronald Acuna Jr. (Atlanta), the only player to steal more bases than Bae Ji-hwan, went on base 52 times and succeeded in stealing 13 times. Bae Ji-hwan went on base 26 times and succeeded in stealing 11 times. If he can get on base as much as Acuña, Bae Ji-hwan could become the king of base steals every year. This is why the key to Bae Ji-hwan is getting on base.

The number 1 or 2 slots previously reserved for fast players are now occupied by players with great power. However, Major League Baseball is dreaming of a comeback. Because I think old baseball was more fun. Will Bae Ji-hwan be able to grow into the No. 1 hitter boasting lightning feet? It depended on Bae Ji-hwan’s eyes.

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