Bae Ji-hwan (24, Pittsburgh), who debuted in the major leagues last year and showed clear potential, is approaching the season of his second year in the major leagues. Whether you get a place this year can be a decisive factor in determining your future career.
The atmosphere is very positive. Citing the potential and usability shown in the major leagues last year, most media outlets predict that Bae Ji-hwan will be included in the opening roster very easily. There are not a few opinions that Bae Ji-hwan, who can play both the infield and the outfield, and who has the sure weapon of quick feet, can grow into a starter.
Keith Law, a columnist for The Athletic, a North American sports media outlet that is one of the top experts in prospect evaluation, announced Pittsburgh’s 2023 prospect rankings on the 9th (Korean time). Bae Ji-hwan, who has already debuted in the major leagues but is still tied to the classification of prospects due to his career and age, ranked 12th in the team. He ranks fifth among fielders outside of pitcher and catcher.
Ro left a positive report on Bae Ji-hwan. “Last year in Triple-A, O’Neill Crews (the current major league team’s starting shortstop) showed good form, so Bae Ji-hwan moved to second base and occasionally played center field. Among them, the latter (outfielder) made sense considering Bae Ji-hwan, an 80-point runner (highest score on the 20-80 scale),’ he looked back on last year 안전놀이터. As Bae Ji-hwan’s main force is evaluated as the highest in the league, he positively viewed the dual job as center fielder, which requires a wide range of defense.
Next, Ro said, “Bae Ji-hwan can also play an active role as a shortstop, and has excellent bat speed. He lacks power, but he has a sharp stroke. He commented on his performance by saying, “He has a lot of grounders and not a good exit velocity.”
He also added positive reviews from scouts. “I know a lot of scouts who really like him,” said Ro, reminding him that there are many officials who highly value Bae Ji-hwan, and “they evaluate him as a starter or super sub who can play as a shortstop, second baseman, or center fielder.” did. It is a story that there are many officials who acknowledge Bae Ji-hwan’s versatility.
In fact, Bae Ji-hwan is attracting attention as an expected player who will contribute to the team in various ways, going back and forth from second base and outfield this year. Since he has not yet established himself on the team, he needs to lay the foundation for a long run with a solid nutritional value this season. Bae Ji-hwan will leave Korea on the 10th and join the team’s spring training facility to prepare for fierce competition.