Pittsburgh Pirates: Team Promoting Infielder Ji-Hwan Bae

Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports /

The Pittsburgh Pirates are continuing forward and adding promising prospects to the Big League team.  Another is reportedly joining the squad.

The Pittsburgh Pirates may have found their second baseman of the future in Rodolfo Castro.  Castro has put on an impressive display over the last month, showing off major power at the plate.  However, there is another prospect who has earned himself at-bats in the infield at the Big League level.

Ji-Hwan Bae has had a breakout season at Triple-A Indianapolis.  He is traditionally a second baseman but has the ability to move around the field.  Also, he is a switch hitter with good speed, making him an interesting presence in any lineup.

Bae has played 108 games at the Triple-A level in 2023.  On the year he is batting a solid .289 with an even more impressive .362 on-base percentage.  Bae, who is just 6’1” and 185 pounds does not provide a ton of pop with his bat but has slugged .430 which is not too bad considering the style of player he is.  On the flip side, Bae has swiped 30 bags on the season, an element that is always useful if lacking pop in the bat.

So many have questioned why he has not received an opportunity despite performing at a high level.  Well, for starters Bae needs to be added to the 40-man roster, which means someone else will need to be cut.  Also, there is also the question of being able to provide meaningful playing time to prospects rather than potentially stall their development.

Regardless, it appears Bae is now reportedly getting the call to the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Ryan Palencer of Pirates Prospects tweeted the news late last night.  Palencer tweeted:

This is obviously good news for Bae and the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Bae will have a chance to show what he can do.  This also could act as an early tryout for him and other prospects before entering Spring Training 2023.  Hopefully, Bae will see consistent at-bats.

Bae was originally signed by the Atlanta Braves.  However, the Braves Organization was disciplined for having inappropriate negotiations with International prospects.  The result was Bae and other prospects being put back onto the free agent market and the Braves Front Office being disciplined, including then General Manager John Coppolella receiving a ban from Major League Baseball.

Bae also was suspended in 2019 due to a domestic violence case.  According to reports, Bae committed these intolerable acts on his girlfriend in 2017. Bae ended up being suspended 30 games and paid a 2 million dollar fine.  Bae was a minor at the time of the incident, hopefully, he has learned and matured since.