Bae Ji-hwan (24) will become the first Korean-born major leaguer to reach the 20-steal plateau in more than a decade after Choo Shin-soo (41-SSG Rangers) did so in 2013, a feat only accomplished twice by Ichiro Suzuki (50).

Bae went 1-for-2 with two walks, one run scored and one stolen base while batting eighth and second against the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday (July 17) at American Family Field in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA.

Bae led off the sixth inning with Pittsburgh trailing 4-1 and stole second base against the Julio Teheran-William Contreras battery. It was his first career 20-steal season and the second by a Korean major leaguer. Previously, Choo had four 20-steal seasons with the Texas Rangers: 21 in 2009, 22 in 2010, 21 in 2012, and 20 in 2013 with the Cincinnati Reds.

Choo Shin-soo’s 22 stolen bases in 2010, the most by a Korean major leaguer, came in 162 games with a high on-base percentage (.401) as the league’s top leadoff hitter at the time. In contrast, Bae’s 20 steals came in just 68 games with a low on-base percentage (.330), so he has the speed to match. According to Statcast, Bae’s sprint speed is in the top 3%, and his home-to-first base time of 4.05 seconds is the fastest in the majors. Because of this, barring injury, he has a good chance of breaking Shin-Soo Choo’s South Korean single-season stolen base record of 22 set in 2010.

Once he surpasses Shin-Soo Choo, his next target will be the Asian record. With players primarily from Korea and Japan making it to the major leagues, there have been quite a few Asian major leaguers who have stolen 20 or more bases in a season. Including Shin-Soo Choo and Bae, there are six: Ichiro Suzuki (2001-2012, 2013), Norichika Aoki (30 stolen bases in 2012 and 20 in 2013), Kazuo Matsui (32 stolen bases in 2007 and 20 in 2008), and Shohei Ohtani (26 in 2021).메이저놀이터

However, only Ichiro (56 in 2001 and 45 in 2006) has ever stolen more than 45 bases. Currently, Bae has 20 stolen bases in 68 games, so 47 is arithmetically possible. If he maintains his current pace, he will become the first Asian player other than Ichiro to reach the 45-steal plateau.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *