Pittsburgh Pirates: Three 40-Man Roster Moves That Need Made

Indianapolis Triple-A baseball team manager Miguel Perez stands at third base talking to infielder Ji-hwan Bae (7) during the game against the Omaha Storm Chasers on Tuesday, April 5, 2022, at Victory Field in Indianapolis.Baseball 220405 Indianapolis Triple A Baseball Team Opener Omaha Storm Chasers At Indianapolis Triple A Baseball Team
Indianapolis Triple-A baseball team manager Miguel Perez stands at third base talking to infielder Ji-hwan Bae (7) during the game against the Omaha Storm Chasers on Tuesday, April 5, 2022, at Victory Field in Indianapolis.Baseball 220405 Indianapolis Triple A Baseball Team Opener Omaha Storm Chasers At Indianapolis Triple A Baseball Team /
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PITTSBURGH, PA – JUNE 20: Hoy Park #44 of the Pittsburgh Pirates hits a sacrifice fly in the second inning against the Chicago Cubs during the game at PNC Park on June 20, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – JUNE 20: Hoy Park #44 of the Pittsburgh Pirates hits a sacrifice fly in the second inning against the Chicago Cubs during the game at PNC Park on June 20, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

Remove Hoy Park

Hoy Park was acquired at last year’s deadline as one of the two prospects heading the Pittsburgh Pirates way for Clay Holmes. At the time, Park was mashing Triple-A pitching. He had a 1.042 OPS, .452 wOBA, and 180 wRC+. He was one of Triple-A’s best hitters in 2021. However, that success hasn’t translated into the Major Leagues.

He’s only had 33 plate appearances this year but has hit just .207/.219/.4345 with a .237 wOBA and a 50 wRC+. While his .160 isolated slugging percentage is solid and slightly above the league average, he’s not drawing any walks. Park has a 3.0% walk rate, which is surprising given he has a walk rate over 20% at Triple-A this season.

Had Park drawn walks at a 10-12% rate, having an on-base percentage around .330, while keeping a slugging percentage around .400, we probably wouldn’t be talking about Park like a DFA candidate. That would be a .730 OPS hitter who plays multiple positions.

Add Ji-Hwan Bae

Ji-Hwan Bae has been a great hitter at Triple-A this season. He’s batted .304/.375/.480 with a .377 wOBA, and 128 wRC+. Bae has displayed his trademark plate discipline and contact ability, having a well above average batting average, 9.9% walk rate, and 17% strikeout rate. However, he’s hitting unprecedented levels of power. Bae has six home runs in 253 plate appearances. Last year, he had seven in 365 trips to the plate. His ISO comes out to .176.

Bae has been one of the best hitters in minor league baseball, dating back to the start of May. His last 182 plate appearances have yielded a .325/.405/.513 line, .403 wOBA, and 145 wRC+. Bae’s walk rate sits at 11.8% while cutting his strikeout rate below 15%, down to 14.0%. Unlike when Park was putting up insane numbers at Triple-A, Bae has the prospect status and talent to back it up. Bae can also play multiple positions like Park, giving him another edge and reason for being on the roster.

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