Bae Ji-hwan
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The signal shot by Bae Ji-hwan…Why Pittsburgh is Paying..

The signal shot by Bae Ji-hwan…Why Pittsburgh is Paying Attention to ‘Asian Prospects’

It is a signal shot by Bae Ji-hwan (24, Pittsburgh Pirates). Pittsburgh is starting to pay a lot of attention to Asian prospects.

Pittsburgh’s local media ‘Pittsburgh Prospect’ reported on the 17th that “Pittsburgh has recently signed a big contract in Asia.”

Bae Ji-hwan

Pittsburgh is focusing on recruiting international prospects in the off-season. A representative example is the contract with Shim Joon-seok (19) from Deoksu High School on the 16th. Shim Joon-seok drew a lot of attention by throwing a powerful fastball in the mid to late 150 kilometers per hour. It ranked 10th in the international amateur draft rankings (in October last year) on the Major League’s official website “MLB.com” and is expected to be compared to “Korean Express” Park Chan-ho (50).

The media said, “Shim Joon-seok is a pitcher with a good physique and has four pitches. He explained that he will be worth watching as an interesting prospect this season.

Pittsburgh’s interest in Asian international prospects began with Bae Ji-hwan. Pittsburgh did not miss Bae Ji-hwan from Gyeongbuk High School, who showed excellent batting skills, base running, and defense potential. He praised his talent enough to give him $1.25 million in down payment, the highest amount in the past five years.

The media said, “Pittsburgh has recently signed a big contract in Asia. It all started with the recruitment of Bae Ji-hwan in 2018. Since then, the club has been busy on the Asian continent,” he wrote.

Starting with the Rookie League in 2018, Bae Ji-hwan gradually showed off his presence. Including the period when the minor leagues were closed due to COVID-19 in 2020, it took only four years to advance to the major leagues. It showed a frightening rise above expectations.

In particular, he was selected as the Player of the Month in the minor league Triple-A Indianapolis under the club in June last year. At the end of the season, he made his big league debut and proved his potential with a batting average of 0.333 (11 hits in 33 at-bats) and six RBIs in 10 games with 0.829 OPS.

Pittsburgh received a good impression on promising Asian players as Bae Ji-hwan, and wants to continue the trend by recruiting Shim Joon-seok.

Bae Ji-hwan made his major league debut and proved his chances of success. Much attention is being paid to whether Pittsburgh will write another success story of Asian prospects as Shim Joon-seok.

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