“A fun player to watch”… The lightning speed that frustrated Thor, the reason why the 148th place in OPS is also attracting attention

“He is a fun player to watch.”

It is true that Pittsburgh Pirates Bae Ji-hwan (24) has calmed down compared to his sensational appearance at the very beginning of the season. His batting average, which soared to 3.4, is currently staying in the early 2.00. He currently has a 15-for-67 batting average of 2.24. He can’t be seen as showing off decent production with a .631 OPS. Among players who filled the required at bats, the OPS ranking corresponds to 148th out of 184 players. 

However, Bae Ji-hwan is still attracting attention and its value is not declining. He showed the reason in the game on the 26th (hereinafter Korean time). He started as a center fielder in the 8th match against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the “2023 Major League Baseball” held at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, and played an active role with 2 hits, 2 steals and 2 points in 4 at-bats. 

The team suffered a reversal defeat 7-8, but Bae Ji-hwan opened the attack and turned the atmosphere around, leading the scoring process. He hit a strong ground ball with 1-2 lugan in the bottom of the 2nd inning with 1-2 behind and no runners. His exit velocity was 99 mph. Second baseman Miguel Vargas dived and threw to first base, but he stepped on first base with his quick feet. 2nd infield hit. After that, he managed to steal second base. He homered when Key Brian Hayes’ two-run double on first out and first and second base, which continued with Austin Hedges’ four balls. Pittsburgh won 3-2. Heize’s double hit also started early with third base, and the batted ball missed as the third baseman moved. 

At the end of the 4th inning, Bae Ji-hwan opened the scoring after one out. He hit a grounder on the first base line and arrived at first base before the pitcher who entered the base cover. He made a multi-hit with an infield hit and stole to second base once again. He succeeded in stealing bases when he went out, and succeeded in stealing bases 6 and 7 at once.

And Austin Hedges’ right-handed hit homered the score to make it 4-2. Pittsburgh, which raised the mood with Bae Ji-hwan’s stir, later ran away to 7-2 with Andrew McCutchen’s three-run homer. Bae Ji-hwan’s dynamic appearance shook the ground.

Dodgers starter Noah Syndergaard had a slow slide step, but Bae Ji-hwan took full advantage of it. He tried to tie up Bae Ji-hwan by throwing check balls at the risk of restraint, but it was not enough to handle Bae Ji-hwan’s speed. Syndergaard’s early steeling also had a significant stake. Syndergaard was beaten with 9 hits (1 home run) and 7 runs in 4 innings. In other words, ‘Thor’ Syndergaard could not overcome the ‘lightning-like’ speed of Bae Ji-hwan.

In the relay broadcast of ‘AT&T Sportsnet’,메이저놀이터 which was in charge of the Pittsburgh area that day, “Bae Ji-hwan is a fun player to watch,” and explained why the dynamic Bae Ji-hwan is an interesting player and constantly receives attention and opportunities in Pittsburgh. 

This year, the revised rules for strengthening speed-up, such as the pitch clock, the limit on the number of checks, and the larger base, have re-evaluated the value of fast-footed players. Bae Ji-hwan is one of the representative players who are raising his value by properly wearing the suhe of the new regulation. Even though his productivity index is low, he once again showed why Bae Ji-hwan is attracting attention.

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