“I’ll take one off”… Bae Ji-hwan’s ‘Smile’ with Pirate Captain + Choi Ji-man

 “The captain is back.” Bae Ji-hwan of the

Pittsburgh Pirates boarded a flight to Florida, USA via Incheon International Airport on the 10th. In Pittsburgh, the pitcher and catcher will begin their spring camp schedule on the 16th, and the fielders will join on the 21st to accelerate preparations for the 2023 season.

Bae Ji-hwan first stepped on the major league stage last year. After digesting all of the minor league schedule, he was called to the big league at the end of the season and played an ‘impact’ performance with 11 hits, 6 RBIs, 5 runs, 3 steals, a batting average of 0.333 OPS of 0.830 in 10 games. As a result, this year, for the first time since advancing to the U.S., he held spring camp as a ‘big leaguer’.

A lot has changed in Pittsburgh this winter. After the 2022 season ended, Pittsburgh sent Park Hyo-joon (Atlanta Braves), who was eating rice with Bae Ji-hwan, but recruited Choi Ji-man through a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays. And it succeeded in strengthening its power by recruiting first base resource Carlos Santana and ‘Pirate Captain’ Andrew McCutchen.

Bae Ji-hwan put a lot of effort into preparing for the 2023 season as well as good deeds this winter. He even did Pilates, which he had never done before. Bae Ji-hwan said, “I wanted to try something I hadn’t done before, such as Pilates. I thought it had nothing to do with baseball, but it helped me a lot.” It seems like he was trying to tear it up. I did Pilates to not get hurt.”

Choi Ji-man and Bae Ji-hwan had no contact in the US as well as during their amateur days. However, after heading to the United States under the name of ‘Korean Big Leaguer’, they kept in touch and built friendships. Bae Ji-hwan, who played with Choi Ji-man this year, said, “I can’t say cheesy words because I’m too close.” 온라인바카라

Bae Ji-hwan expressed his joy at the return of ‘Captain’ McCutchen as well as Choi Ji-man’s joining. McCutchen started his professional career after being drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates with the 11th overall pick in the first round of the 2005 draft. McCutchen played 9 seasons in Pittsburgh alone and played in 1346 games, posting 1463 hits, 203 home runs, and 171 stolen bases with a batting average of 0.291 and an OPS of 0.866.

McCutchen was selected as an All-Star five times (2011-2015) during his time with Pittsburgh. He won the Gold Glove Award once (2012), Silver Slugger four times (2012-2015), and in 2013, he recorded 185 hits, 21 home runs, 84 RBIs, 97 runs, 27 stolen bases, and a batting average of 0.317 OPS of 0.912 in 157 games, and was selected as the National League MVP. McCutchen, who was Pittsburgh’s ‘signboard’, was called the ‘Captain of the Pirates’.

McCutchen transferred to the San Francisco Giants during the 2018 season, and returned to Pittsburgh again in the 2023 season after passing through the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies. McCutchen has 1,948 hits, 287 home runs, 205 stolen bases, and a batting average of 0.277 OPS of 0.838 in 1895 appearances over his 14 career major league seasons.

Bae Ji-hwan said, “The captain is back.” “I am a rookie who just debuted. There are more veteran players than I thought I would do this year, so I want to skip one by one and learn. I was hot when I did well, and cooled down when I was bad, but I think the seniors will take care of that,” he said with a smile.

Bae Ji-hwan will compete for the starting position in earnest through the spring camp. He is fine with any position. He said, “I’m not bragging. I’m very comfortable in any position (second base, shortstop, outfielder). The thing I’m most greedy for is being in the lineup.” I want to test myself throughout the year,” he said with great strength.

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