Is Bae Ji-Hwan too much to chase… ‘Legendary’ summons foreshadows the next big thing?

May 24, 2023 0 Comments

After racking up stolen bases at lightning speed early in the season, Bae Ji-hwan (24, Pittsburgh) hasn’t been able to add to his stolen base total lately. He’s been stuck at 14 stolen bases for a while now. After the 14th stolen base, there are more failures than successes.

By now, everyone knows that Bae is a good runner. Pitchers are seeing his slide step quickly. Add to that the fact that he can steal third base, and you’ve got a lot of second base checks, and catchers are getting ready faster. Bae, who emphasizes that he is confident on his feet, has hit a wall once when it comes to stealing bases. He needs to refine his strategy.

Meanwhile, Ronald Acuña Jr. (26, Atlanta), who was in first place, started to run away. He’s been stealing bases one after another, and as of Aug. 23, he leads the National League with 19 stolen bases. He’s five behind Bae Ji-Hwan.

In fact, in terms of stolen bases, Bae has a hard time keeping up with him. Acuña Jr. is a solid starter for the team. He obviously gets more playing time, more chances to get on base, and more situations to steal than Bae, who is still more of a utility player.

However, stealing bases may not be the most important aspect of Aquino Jr.’s game. In addition to his stolen base success, he leads the major league leaderboards in all of his pre-hitting metrics. To put it bluntly, he’s not competing with Bae for the stolen base lead, he’s trying to make major league history.

Through 47 games of the season as of March 23, Aquino Jr. is batting .342 with 11 home runs, 27 RBI, 19 doubles, and a 1.028 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage). His on-base percentage is 0.430 and his slugging percentage is 0.598. His power and on-base percentage are even, and he also contributes on the basepaths and in the field. The word “all-around” comes to mind.

Currently, Acuña Jr. leads the National League in both OPS and stolen bases. OPS usually favors long hitters. It’s the sum of slugging percentage and on-base percentage, and the more you hit, the more you benefit from on-base percentage, which gives you an advantage. However, many of the players who hit the long ball aren’t necessarily the fastest walkers. So it’s not easy to be number one in both categories.

Major League Baseball history illustrates the difficulty of this feat. Since 1920, only two players have led the majors in both OPS and stolen bases. Willie Mays (San Francisco) in 1957 and 1958, and Rickey Henderson (Oakland) in 1990. The most recent player to accomplish this feat was Henderson, who had 65 stolen bases and an OPS of 1.016. Acuña Jr. is the favorite to become the third player in history to do so.

In his major league debut with Atlanta in 2018, Acuña Jr. made a splash as a five-tool player. He broke out in 2018 and won Rookie of the Year honors, and in 2019, he batted .280 with 41 home runs, 101 RBIs, and an OPS of .883 in 156 games, finishing fifth in National League Most Valuable Player (MVP) voting and winning his first Silver Slugger.메이저사이트

However, a knee injury sidelined him for the 2021 season, and a drop in offensive production in 119 games in 2022 raised concerns. Because he is so athletic and relies on his athleticism for so much of his play, there was some concern that an ACL injury would be a career-ending issue. However, his breakout season this year has put those concerns to rest.

“He’s the best player I’ve ever seen,” team ace Spencer Strider told, “I don’t even know what to say about him. He’s the best player in the game right now, and I’m just happy to be on the team with him.” As Acuña Jr. looks to win his first MVP, it will be interesting to see if Bae Bae-hwan and others can stop him from winning the stolen base title.

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