‘Prospect’ Bae Ji-hwan, it’s okay to miss the opening roster

Bae Ji-hwan (24) of the Pittsburgh Pirates, who rose to the big leagues after experiencing success in Triple-A last season, need not be frustrated if he fails to join the opening roster. Rather, it could be a better thing.

Bae Ji-hwan’s last season was successful. In 108 Triple A games, he recorded a batting average of 0.289, on-base percentage, 0.362 slugging percentage, 0.430, 8 homers, 53 RBIs and 30 steals, and was selected as the team MVP. He properly showed his own talent, speed.

As a result, he ended the 2022 season at 11th in the club’s prospect list selected by’MLB.com’. Nick Gonzalez is the only center infielder ranked higher than him and whose big league debut is imminent.

That atmosphere will soon lead to spring camp, which is about to start. The major league’s spring camp competition for starting pitchers actually starts from last season. There are very few seats covered by the results of the camp exhibition game.

As Bae Ji-hwan showed that he can work well in the big leagues last season, many opportunities will be given to him as well.

MLB.com, a major league media, predicted that Bae Ji-hwan, who can play second base, shortstop, and center fielder, will join the opening roster as a utility backup. The starting second baseman was named Rodolfo Castro, who will be entering his third season.

However, it is still unclear when that opportunity will be given. He may make the opening roster, but he may not. There is a good reason to talk about losing weight before spring camp even starts.

The major leagues are deliberately sending promising players down to the minor leagues during the camp period to manage free time. Whenever a prospect is sent down to the minor leagues during camp, the coaches and general managers give plausible reasons such as ‘constant opportunity to play’ and ‘because they need more experience’.

But the real reason is different. This is a measure to delay a player’s FA qualification acquisition by even one year. Major League Baseball recognizes one year of service time for 172 days of service time in a season. To prevent a prospect from completing 172 days of free time, start him in the minor leagues. This is an action taken regardless of the team.

In good terms, it is a custom, in a bad way, it is a bad habit. 메이저사이트

As if conscious of the criticism for this, the major league labor and management introduced measures to prevent this, such as compensating for draft nomination rights if a new player included in the opening roster is ranked high in the Rookie of the Year vote in the new labor-management agreement applied from last season. did. However, such a device is literally a measure for ‘League Top Class’ prospects.

Regardless of this, Pittsburgh sent O’Neal Cruz down to Triple-A in the season opener last season. Cruz was called up to the big leagues after hitting 0.232 on-base percentage, 0.336 slugging percentage, 0.422 9 homers and 35 RBIs in 55 Triple A games. Currently, he has yet to fill a year with 110 happy days.

There is no law telling Bae Ji-hwan not to do what he did to Cruise. Bae Ji-hwan also said at a press conference on departure that he was aware of such a ‘bad habit’, saying, “I haven’t experienced it myself, but I’ve seen it a lot, so I’m resistant.” He added, “I think I will be happy because the fact that I am being treated like that is different from other prospects,” and added that it could be a better thing.

Of course, the best case is to join the opening roster and expand your presence with a steady stream of opportunities in the big leagues. But it’s not always the best case. Even if you join the opening roster, you will not get a steady chance at the beginning of the season, and a vicious cycle of poor performance and poor performance may continue. In the long run, it may be better to show up in the big leagues after steadily digesting games under the management of the club and raising your senses. Until now, many stars have grown through such a process.

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