After putting together a great season at Triple-A, super utility man Ji-Hwan Bae should be in the lineup every day in September for the Pittsburgh Pirates
While September call-ups are not what they once were, they are still coming for the Pittsburgh Pirates and the rest of baseball. Teams can no longer have up to 40 players on their active rosters in September as they once could, but roster still expand to 28 players for the final month of the season.
One player the Pittsburgh Pirates need to promote in September in is super utility prospect Ji-Hwan Bae. Bae’s entered Tuesday with 384 plate appearances at Triple-A this season. In these 384 PAs Bae has hit for a .299/.368/.452 slash line with a 119 wRC+.
Bae’s strikeout rate was just 18.2% to go wit ha healthy 9.6% walk rate. He has flashed his speed stealing 22 bases while recording five triples. Bae has also done all of this while playing every position except first base and catcher.
At this point there does not appear to be much left for Bae to prove in the minors. In all honesty, had it not been for an injured list stint this summer there’s a real possibility that Bae may have already made his MLB debut by now.
When roster expand in September the Pirates need to promote Bae to the majors and play him every day. Getting Bae into the lineup on a daily basis would not be difficult with his ability to play every position except catcher and first base. Bae could also be a terrific leadoff man for the Pirates which is something the team has sorely lacked all season.
Bae is not currently on the 40-man roster. However, he is Rule 5 Draft eligible this offseason and there is zero way he would go un-drafted if left unprotected. Additionally, it’s not like it would be difficult to find a way to make room for Bae on the team’s 40-man roster.
There is nothing left for Bae to prove at Triple-A. In the month of September he should be given the opportunity to go out and prove what he can do at the major league level. Let Bae showcase what he can do in the final month of the season and give him an opportunity to enter the spring with a leg up on earning an Opening Day roster spot.