“Anytime if you need help!”
Bae Ji-hwan, who graduated from Gyeongbuk High School, challenged the American stage by signing a contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates through an international amateur free agent in 2018. It was 2021 when Bae Ji-hwan started to blossom in his talent. He played in 84 games for the Pittsburgh Double-A Altoona Curve, recording 63 hits, 7 homers, 31 RBIs, 63 points, and 20 stolen bases with a batting average of 0.278 and 0.771 OPS.
Based on his good performance in Double-A, Bae Ji-hwan stepped on the stage of the’Arizona Fall League (AFL)’, where prospects from 30 major league clubs gather, and went up to Triple-A last year. Bae Ji-hwan played 108 games for the Indianapolis Indians, recording 121 hits, 8 homers, 53 RBIs, 81 runs, a batting average of 0.289, and an OPS of 0.792.
Although he had the misfortune of missing an entire season due to the novel coronavirus infection (Corona 19), Bae Ji-hwan, who quickly broke through the minor leagues, was called to the major leagues at the end of last season, five years after entering the United States. Among the players who went to the US through an international amateur contract, it was the shortest period of time, as was Choo Shin-soo (SSG Landers).
Of course, you can’t help but consider the team situation. This is because it is difficult for a team with many talented prospects to rise to a higher level. However, considering that it took six years for Choi Ji-man (Pittsburgh), who signed an international amateur contract in 2009, to make his big league debut after signing a call-up in 2016, and Park Hyo-joon (Atlanta), who also signed a contract with the New York Yankees in 2015, it is never slow. It was not a speed.
Bae Ji-hwan did not receive many opportunities last year, but showed impressive performance with 11 hits, 6 RBIs, 5 runs, 3 steals and a batting average of 0.333 OPS 0.830 in 10 games. And now he left for Florida, USA via Incheon International Airport on the 10th to participate in the 2023 spring camp as a ‘major leaguer’, not a ‘invited player’. 토토사이트
A lot has changed in Pittsburgh this winter. ‘Pirate Captain’ Andrew McCutchen, who played an active role as a ‘signboard hitter’ a long time ago, returned, and through a trade, Choi Ji-man was able to eat rice with Bae Ji-hwan. And in the minor leagues, I got a Korean junior. It is Shim Jun-seok, the ‘top prospect’.
During his time at Deoksu High School, Shim Joon-seok showed off his extraordinary talent by recording a top speed of 157 km/h in an official game, catching the eyes of scouts in the KBO League and Major League last year. Although it did not achieve good results due to the hunting of the first ball, the evaluation was excellent. ‘MLB.com’ ranked Shim Jun-seok in the top 10 of this year’s international prospect list and evaluated that he was “reminiscent of Park Chan-ho.”
In particular, Pittsburgh’s interest in Shim Jun-seok was very hot. A high-ranking official from the Pittsburgh club even visited Korea to directly watch Shim Jun-seok start. As a result, Pittsburgh succeeded in embracing Shim Jun-seok through an international amateur contract. Bae Ji-hwan expressed his anticipation to play alongside McCutchen and Choi Ji-man, while not forgetting to talk about Shim Jun-seok.
Bae Ji-hwan said, “It depends on the player’s personality and what he/she does, and the position is different, so I think it’s a bit far-fetched for me to talk like this.” I hope you can talk to me whenever you need it,” he smiled.
He was called up to the major leagues last year, and he made an impact, but he still can’t be relieved. We have to win the fierce competition from spring camp. Bae Ji-hwan did not know this, so he sweated in beads throughout the winter. “Now it’s up to me to do it,” he said. “I’m greedy for the opening roster. My first goal this year is to play full-time without getting hurt. I want to test myself in the big leagues throughout the year.”