If there was ever a game to see the upside in Pittsburgh Pirates prospect Ji-Hwan Bae, the game last night was one to catch. The Bucs played game 2 of their 3-game set in Boston and once again won the game. Ji-Hwan Bae had a big impact on the game.
Ji-Hwan Bae hit his first career home run off of veteran right-handed pitcher Nick Pivetta. Bae took it the other way just clearing the monster.
This proved to be a pivotal moment in the game as the Bucs would take the lead and never give it back. However, this was not the only big play that Bae made during the game. Bae, who started the game at second base, was moved to centerfield late in the game. This has happened already this year with the team looking to have its best and most athletic players on the field to protect leads.
Well, Bae showed why the Pittsburgh Pirates trust him playing in center field so much. In the 8th inning with 1 out, Red Sox slugger Rafael Devers hit a hard line drive toward left-center field. Bae who was somewhat turned around at first was able to track it back and make a full extension catch-up against the legendary Green Monster. Here is a video of the spectacular play:
This ball was hit well and obviously had some carry to it. So while he was turned around at first, he also shows the ability to recover and still track the ball. Not all outfielders can do this so seeing Bae come through in this situation was impressive.
Bae is making things tough for incumbant second baseman Rodolfo Castro. While Bae is making highlight real players, Castro is struggling to find consistency in the early going. The good news is that there are plenty of way to get both in the lineup with Bae being able to provide plus range in the outfield.