With Bae Ji-hwan (Pittsburgh Pirates) out for the first half of the season, the National League stolen base race has taken a hit.
Bae was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a left ankle injury on Wednesday. He finished the first half on the DL. In 76 games this season, Bae hit .238 with 51 hits in 214 at-bats, two home runs, 19 RBI, 37 runs scored, 20 stolen bases, a .301 on-base percentage and a .308 slugging percentage.
Bae is a rookie in his second year. This is his first full-time experience. Despite this, he led the National League in stolen bases in the first half of the year. He even briefly threatened Ronald Acuna Jr. (Atlanta Braves) for second place in the National League.
But in June, his batting average dropped off, his injury worsened, and stolen bases became more and more elusive. It’s hard to be aggressive on the bases when you’re sick, because the first thing that affects your balance is your bat. This is especially true when it’s your ankle.
Bae’s last stolen base came on June 17 against the Milwaukee Brewers. After that, he didn”t attempt one for 13 consecutive games until the Milwaukee game on June 2. During this time, he was in a hitting slump and stolen bases were few and far between. In the meantime, the competition was rising, and Bae was slipping down the ranks.
Acuna, the National League’s stolen base leader, reached 40 on April 4 against the Cleveland Indians. He now has exactly twice as many stolen bases as Bae. His stolen base pace has exploded since the end of June, and he’s now just two behind Esteemedio Ruiz (Oakland Athletics, 42 steals) in the majors. Given his hitting ability, it’s only a matter of time before Acuna catches up to Ruiz.
Second and third in the National League are Corbin Carroll (Arizona Diamondbacks, 24 steals) and Starling Marte (New York Mets, 21 steals). They’ve also cooled off recently. Bae is fourth in the National League and eighth overall in the majors. That’s quite an accomplishment, and he deserves to be applauded.
However, with Bae on the disabled list, it’s no longer a sure thing that he’ll be able to maintain his fourth-place ranking in the National League and eighth overall. Nico Houner (Chicago Cubs) and Christian Yelich (Milwaukee Brewers, over 19 stolen bases) are within one stolen base behind Bae. Horner hasn’t stolen a base in three straight games since Jan. 1 against Cleveland, but he’s available at any time. Jelich stole his 19th career base against the Cubs.
Josh Lowe (Tampa Bay Rays) and Julio Rodriguez (Seattle Mariners) also have 19 steals in the American League. Four players are within one stolen base of Bae, 메이저놀이터 추천 threatening to push him out of the top 10 in the majors.
For Bae, getting healthy is the most important thing. He needs to recover his ankle so that he can hit, run, steal, and play defense with a healthy body in order to have a long career. Maintaining a top-tier ranking in the jungle that is the major leagues is no easy task.