Can Kim Ha-seong (San Diego Padres) catch up to Bae Ji-hwan (Pittsburgh Pirates)?
Kim stole his 10th base of the season against the Miami Marlins on Feb. 2. Stolen bases in four consecutive games dating back to last month’s 29th against the New York Yankees. It’s the second straight year he’s reached double digits in stolen bases. He is on pace to surpass his 12 stolen bases in 2022, the most in a single season in his major league career. If he stays healthy, 20 steals is not out of the question.
Kim has now stolen four straight games and is now ninth in the National League in stolen bases. He’s in the top 10. Cody Bellinger (Chicago Cubs) and Joey Wilmer (Milwaukee Brewers, 9+ stolen bases) are close behind, but the top 10 is tightly packed.
He has closed the gap on Bae, who has been at the top of the stolen base race since the beginning of the season, to five points. Bae is alone in fourth place with 15 stolen bases, behind Ronald Acuna Jr. (Atlanta Braves, 23), Corbin Carroll (Arizona Diamondbacks), and Starling Marte (New York Mets, 16+).
Bae slowed down to four steals in May compared to nine in April. He had some nagging injuries and his stolen base pace slowed down. After stealing his 15th base against the Seattle Mariners on May 28, he went four games without attempting one.
His stolen base rate in May was just 50 percent. In eight attempts, he made just four. He was criticized by the Pittsburgh media for his baserunning. 메이저놀이터 Still, runs and stolen bases are Bae’s main weapons. If he keeps this pace, he could reach 20 or even 30 stolen bases.
At his current pace, Kim Ha-seong is chasing Bae. Behind Bae are Jayson Chizom Jr. (Miami Marlins), Nico Hounor (Chicago Cubs, over 14 steals), Tyro Estrada (San Francisco Giants, 13 steals), and Christian Yelich (Milwaukee Brewers, 12 steals). Kim is next on the list.
Of course, the National League stolen base race is Akuna’s to lose. He’s unlikely to be overtaken unless something happens. Their bats are just too hot. Still, it’ll be fun to watch Bae and Kim battle it out for the top 10 all season long. In order to steal bases, you need to hit well and stay injury-free. Physical fitness is key to minimizing the ups and downs of batting. This is especially true for infielders, as they both have defensive responsibilities.
The most stolen bases in a season by a Korean major leaguer is 22, set by Shin-Soo Choo (SSG) in 2010 while playing for the Cleveland Indians. Both Bae Ji-hwan and Kim Ha-seong are on pace to surpass 22 stolen bases. With the importance and value of stealing bases in the major leagues, there’s no reason for Bae and Kim to keep their stealing abilities sealed.