Bae Ji-hwan’s goal is more than Jun-jok. “I’ll look at it for a long time and become a mid- to long-range hitter

“If you look at the long term, five, seven, 10 years, I should be a medium to long distance hitter. That’s my end goal.”

Bae Ji-hwan (24-Pittsburgh Pirates) proved himself in his rookie season, but he has one more thing to prove.

This year, Bae played his first full season in Major League Baseball (MLB). As expected, Junjok, who has been rated 70 out of 80 (very good – top 2.2%) since he was a prospect, did not disappoint. A season-long left ankle injury limited his playing time, but he made his presence felt with his quick feet, stealing 20 bases by June (he ended up with 24). He was also involved in the stolen base race, trailing Ronald Acuña Jr. (Atlanta Braves) by one stolen base through early May.헤라카지노

According to Baseball Servant, the official MLB statistics website, Bae is in the top seven per cent of the league in Run Value this year. He was also among the best in the league (top 3%) in terms of pure speed.

However, he has struggled at the plate. He failed to capitalise on the long ball potential he showed in the minors. In 2022, he played in Triple-A, where he had a .289 batting average and a .430 on-base percentage for the season. In the month of May alone, he hit .556 with an on-base percentage that flashed potential.

The ‘2023 Joa Pharmaceutical Baseball Award’ ceremony, co-presented by Joa Pharmaceutical and Daily Sports, was held on the morning of the 4th at the Imperial Hall of Elena Hotel in Gangnam-gu, Seoul. Pittsburgh’s Bae Ji-hwan talks about his feelings after receiving a special award. The ‘Zoa Pharmaceutical Baseball Awards’, the only baseball award ceremony sponsored by a pharmaceutical company in Korea, is the most prestigious festival in professional baseball, which started in 2009 and is now in its 15th year. The winner of the grand prize, the highest honour, receives a cash prize of 10 million won and a trophy. Reporter Chung Si-jong capa@edaily.co.kr

Bae Ji-hwan told this newspaper at the time, “Even in high school, I had the ability to hit long balls, but I was taught to hit for contact because my feet were fast. When I came to the U.S., I wasn’t conscious of hitting long balls, but I made the swings I wanted to make. If I get a pitch I’m confident in, I try to hit it for two strikes. I want to be a hitter who hits a lot of home runs and doesn’t strike out.”

Bae’s bat worked in the minors, but the big leagues were a different story. He ended the season with a .231 batting average and a .331 on-base percentage. Unlike his on-base percentage, his run-scoring value was only in the bottom 13%. His average bat speed was just 88.1 mph, and his barrel batted ball percentage (balls with the angle and speed to go for extra bases) was just 2% (bottom 25%).

Despite the barriers to the big leagues, Bae hasn’t changed his goals. “The club’s order is always the same. Even if I become a single hitter, I hope to make use of my speed.” Pittsburgh’s top prospects, including O’Neill Cruz and Kee Brian Hayes, have excellent long balls. If Bae can develop his contact and get on base, he can be productive. Ichiro Suzuki (retired), who gave up his long ball power in Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) for a long run as a single hitter in the big leagues, is also a good role model.

But Bae hasn’t given up on his dreams just yet. “It’s still my personal ambition,” he says, “but I think it’s too short-term to just be a bat. If you look at the long term – five, seven, 10 years – you have to become a medium to long distance hitter. That’s my final goal.”

The ‘2023 Joa Pharmaceutical Baseball Award’, co-presented by Joa Pharmaceutical and Daily Sports, was held on the morning of the 4th at the Imperial Hall of Elena Hotel in Gangnam-gu, Seoul. San Diego’s Kim Ha-seong and Pittsburgh’s Bae Ji-hwan received special awards. As the only baseball award ceremony sponsored by a pharmaceutical company in Korea, the ‘ZOAH Pharma Baseball Awards’ is the most prestigious festival in baseball, which started in 2009 and is now in its 15th year. The winner of the grand prize, the highest honour, receives a cash prize of 10 million won and a trophy. Reporter Sijong Jung capa@edaily.co.kr

The ‘2023 Joa Pharmaceutical Baseball Awards’, co-presented by Joa Pharmaceutical and Daily Sports, was held on the 4th at the Imperial Hall of Eliana Hotel in Gangnam-gu, Seoul. Bae Ji-hwan and Kim Hye-sung greet each other before the ceremony. By Kim Min-gyu

The ‘2023 Joa Pharmaceutical Baseball Awards’, co-presented by Joa Pharmaceutical and Daily Sports, was held at the Imperial Hall of Eliana Hotel in Gangnam-gu, Seoul on the morning of the 4th. Samsung’s Won Tae-in is tying Bae Ji-hwan’s clothes. The ‘ZOAH Pharma Baseball Awards’, the only baseball award ceremony sponsored by a pharmaceutical company in Korea, is the most prestigious festival in baseball, which began in 2009 and is now in its 15th year. The winner of the grand prize, the highest honour, receives a cash prize of 10 million won and a trophy. By Sijong Jung capa@edaily.co.kr

For now, the focus is on preparing for next season with perfection. The fact that I only played 113 games this year was due to injuries. The 162-game season schedule, which is hard to imagine in the minor leagues or the KBO, was also not easy. “Right now, I’m focusing on rehabilitation in Busan,” Bae said. “When I was in the minor leagues, I had a day off every Monday like the KBO. But the big leagues don’t have regular days off and are irregular. I had a hard time figuring out how to regain my strength. At the end of the season, I was definitely not as strong as I was in April or May,” he recalled.

“You can’t change what’s happened. I’ll take a long look at next year’s season. I’m going to prepare for the 2024 season while also thinking about how to consolidate my fitness.”

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