The gust of the Pittsburgh Pirates at the beginning of the 2023 major league season is fierce.
The Pittsburgh 메이저놀이터Pirates won 8-1 in the home game against the Los Angeles Dodgers held at PNC Park in Pittsburgh on the 27th (Korean time), recording a season record of 17 wins and 8 losses. This is the first place in the Central Division of the National League and tied for first place in the National League.
Pittsburgh is the team that Choi Ji-man and Bae Ji-hwan belong to. Choi Ji-man, who transferred from the Tampa Bay Rays, is currently on the injured list, while Bae Ji-hwan, who debuted in the major leagues in a Pittsburgh uniform last year, is enjoying his first season as a full-time big leaguer.
Bae Ji-hwan’s position in the team is gradually increasing. He appeared in 23 of a total of 25 games. As a utility resource that can play second baseman, shortstop, and center fielder, he is creating dynamic scenes every day based on his excellent speed.
Bae Ji-hwan led the team’s victory by recording 3 hits, 2 runs, 1 RBI and 3 steals in the home game against the Dodgers that day as the 8th hitter and 2nd baseman.
This is the first time Bae Ji-hwan recorded 3 stolen bases in one game. He quickly jumped to 10 stolen bases for the season, tied for second in the major leagues. The first place in this category is Ronald Acuna Jr. (13) of the Atlanta Braves.
Bae Ji-hwan is tied for second place with the league’s top speedsters, such as Corbin Carroll of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Nico Horner of the Chicago Cubs, and Cedric Mullins of the Baltimore Orioles.
The Major League Secretariat has attempted various changes this year to add dynamism to the flow of major league games in recent years, which have been compressed into ‘home runs or strikeouts’. Representative changes include increasing the size of the base from 15 inches to 18 inches and limiting the number of checks by the pitcher.
As a result, major league stolen base attempts this year have increased noticeably compared to previous years. This became an advantage for Bae Ji-hwan, who was quick on his feet.
According to baseball statistics site ‘Baseball Savant’, Bae Ji-hwan’s sprint speed this season is 29.4 feet per second, which is 10th in the major leagues.
Bae Ji-hwan raised his season batting average to 0.254 with his performance that day and scored 15 points for the season. OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) is 0.678, which is not high. But he’s off to a bad start considering it’s his first season full-time. He at least has a solid major appeal.
On the other hand, a 13-year minor league hitter from Pittsburgh debuted in the major leagues for the first time that day and received warm applause from baseball fans.
The main character is Drew Magee, who signed with Pittsburgh in 2010 and took 13 years to make his big league debut.
The 33-year-old Maggie was put in as a pinch hitter in the bottom of the 8th inning on that day. This is the moment when a hitter who played 1,154 games in the minor leagues and completed 4,494 plate appearances entered the plate for the first time in the major leagues.
Maggie struck out, but the fans cheered him on with roaring applause.
After the game, Maggie said on the official Major League homepage, “When the fans started calling my name, I didn’t know whether to take off my hat or say hello or what to do.” “Thoughts ran through my mind. It’s a moment I’ve always imagined and it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me.”