Pirates Prospect Watch: Ji-hwan Bae Starting to Heat Up
It has taken a little bit of time for him to get going, but Pittsburgh Pirates prospect Ji-hwan Bae is starting to find his groove at the plate.
In Thursday’s game against the Boston Red Sox, Bae went 2 for 3 and drove in a run. He’s collected two hits in each of his last two starts, going 4 for 8 over that span.
Spring started slowly for the 23-year-old, but the South Korea-native is starting to heat up. Bae now founds himself with a .250 batting average with two RBIs to go with a couple of stolen bases.
The Pirates’ prospect made his major league debut with the club late in the season last year. In 10 games with the Pirates, Bae hit .333 (11 for 33) with six RBIs and showcased his impressive speed, going a perfect 3 for 3 in stolen base attempts.
Bae currently finds himself in competition to make the Pirates’ Opening Day roster as either the starting second baseman or a utility-type role off the bench. With less than a week to go until the opener, Bae will have to continue to impress.
In Other News…
Tired of hearing about Pirates’ prospects Canaan Smith-Njigba and Travis Swaggerty yet? Well, prepare to hear about them some more.
In the Pirates’ loss to the Red Sox, Smith-Njigba went 1 for 3 with an RBI-double and a run scored. Smith-Njigba is now tied with Swaggerty for the team-lead with 10 runs driven in this spring and currently carries an OPS of .961.
The outfielder has been especially hot of late, hitting .407 (11 for 27) in his last 11 games.
Swaggerty didn’t start in the game but came in later. In two plate appearances, he drew two walks and scored once. Swaggerty is slashing .379/.471/.690 in 19 spring contests.
It’s been quite the spring for the duo, who both are giving their best shots to break camp with the club. The Pirates are facing interesting decisions on both fronts.