Bae Ji-hwan (Pittsburgh Pirates) hasn’t stolen a base in 14 games. In the meantime, the competition is creeping up on him.
Bae stole his 14th base of the season on June 6 against the Toronto Blue Jays. However, he stole second base that day and immediately failed to steal third. He failed to steal three straight bases against the Baltimore Orioles on April 13, Baltimore on April 15, and the Arizona Diamondbacks on April 21. He had stolen four straight bases.
He was caught stealing against the Texas Rangers on Sept. 24, a game that brought the team into disrepute. The Pittsburgh media heavily criticized the play. On the 25th, he came to bat in the bottom half of the game, but he had no timing and was unable to score.
While Bae was slumping, his competitors were slowly catching up to him or running away from him. First, Ronald Acuna Jr. (Atlanta Braves),먹튀검증 the National League’s stolen base leader, surpassed the 20-steal plateau on April 24 against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He has a six-game lead over Bae Ji-hwan and is in solo mode.
Along with Bae, “Bahamas Express” Jazzy Chizom Jr. (Miami Marlins) is tied for second with 14 stolen bases. Chizom was placed on the 10-day disabled list after stealing his 14th base against the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday. He injured his toe while playing defense. He is expected to miss four to six weeks, according to MLB.com. That means a June return is unlikely. Deadly in the stolen base race
It’s too soon for Bae to rest easy. In the meantime, a new competitor is closing in. It’s second-year big league outfielder Corbin Carroll (23, Arizona Diamondbacks). He’s a top outfield prospect who was selected in the first round in 2019. In 47 games this season, Carroll is 161-for-46 with a .286 batting average, seven home runs, 17 doubles, 31 RBI, 14 stolen bases, and an OPS of .889.
Carroll is a speedy outfielder. He stole his 14th base of the season on May 25 against the Philadelphia Phillies, tying him for second in the National League in stolen bases with Bae and Chizom Jr. He stole three bases in front of Bae on April 21-22 against Pittsburgh. Four stolen bases in his last five games. He’s a candidate for National League Rookie of the Year. Bae has the edge in at-bat volume. Arizona locked up Carroll for eight plus years and a maximum of $134 million before the season began.
Behind Carroll, Starling Marte (New York Mets) with 13 stolen bases, Eloy Estrada (San Francisco Giants) with 12, and Nico Houner (Chicago Cubs) threaten Bae. Christian Yelich (Milwaukee Brewers) also surpassed 10 steals.
As you can see, the major leagues are full of players who can hit and run well. It’s a crisis for Bae, whose stolen base pace has slowed recently. Fundamentally, he needs to improve his batting performance so that he has more opportunities to steal bases. He will gain valuable experience in his first full season in the big leagues.