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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Ji-Hwan Bae To Be Promoted to Pittsburgh

As per our own Ryan Palencer, Ji-Hwan Bae is set to get promoted to the Pirates and is set to join the team in Pittsburgh. Bae has been one of the top performers in the system over the past two seasons, as he has seen a drastic power surge that has made him a legitimate major league prospect.

Bae has some of the best speed and contact skills in the system, so the power starting to come through has really boosted his game. So has the time in the outfield, where he has been able to use his speed defensively.

It will be interesting to see how he is utilized once arriving to Pittsburgh, as Rodolfo Castro has really made the case to be the everyday second baseman — with Oneil Cruz and Ke’Bryan Hayes obviously manning two of the other infield spots.

The Pirates also have Bryan Reynolds in center field, another one of Bae’s secondary positions. While analytically this hasn’t been one of his better years defensively, center field still seems like Reynolds’ to lose.

I’ve talked about what Travis Swaggerty’s future in Pittsburgh may hold, and depending on where Bae plays it may make what lays ahead even murkier for the former first round pick. He made his major league debut this year, but never really got a chance to play everyday, or even in some sort of rotation before getting sent back to Indianapolis and left there.

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Anthony began writing over 10 years ago, starting a personal blog to cover the 2011 MLB draft, where the Pirates selected first overall. After bouncing around many websites covering hockey, he refocused his attention to baseball, his first love when it comes to sports. He eventually found himself here at Pirates Prospects in late 2021, where he covers the team’s four full season minor league affiliates.


Pirates Prospects has been independently owned and operated since 2009, entirely due to the support of our readers. The site is now completely free, funded entirely by user support. By supporting the site, you are supporting independent writers, one of the best Pittsburgh Pirates communities online, and our mission for the most complete Pirates coverage available.

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Wilbur Miller

Heineman to concussion list.


Wilbur, Do you know when Endy is rule 5 eligible? Maybe him for a couple of games.?


This winter.


Bring up JVM to catch.


Nah. We have Collins who at least has done it.


12 games for us to extrapolate the entire 2023 potential of Bae. He’ll go 5 for 12 and I’ll pencil him into 2023 as an AllStar. I’m not going to fall for it- I know this is a BC/BN diversion tactic and he will be in Indy until June haha


12 games is better that 0 games and still guessing. If he stays in AAA till June 2023 then it will mean the Pirates will do what just about every other team not in immediate position to compete for a WS birth would do.


What took you so long BC? Wasted months of the season playing the likes of Tucker, VanMeter, Park, Allen, Marisnick, etc…


How many times do people need to remind you he was hurt? Do not read follow-ups or are do you just do drive-by posts and bounce?

He went down and hasn’t been as good since going down. I’m glad he’s up now. But let’s not act like it’s the worst thing that he hasn’t come up until today.


John D,said below. He was supposed to be up a while ago and got hurt. Was on the IL for a while and it took a while working his way back. Scuffled for a while when he came back.


That young man needs to get off my lawn and go get a hair cut. Hippies!

b mcferren

what exactly did the scout do that allowed Bae to become a free agent?

Wilbur Miller

The scout didn’t do it. The Braves agreed to pay Bae under the table to circumvent the restrictions they were under relating to maximum bonuses.

b mcferren

send Hayes to the bench


For those who think Bae deserves a tryout and you’re worried about him getting it, I’m here to assure you that 2023 will be yet another full season tryout for any number of jabronies and minor leaguers. Bae will get his shot. As will Swaggerty.


It’s been said many times here. We’re somewhere around 65 rostered players this year. Bae may tie or break the record IIRC. The Pirates really are in perpetual tryout mode at the MLB level. We have 7 positions plus the BP that are open and available for perpetual tryouts that will extend at least into 2023. Other MLB clubs also have tryouts, but they are far more narrow in scope, with far less frequency along with data that actually supports a MLB call-up.

BC has stock-piled the lower levels with prospects, without barely addressing the ML team’s needs. So it will be a constant parade up and down to see who could possibly stick.
It creates the perception that BC is actually accomplishing a “build”. We may eventually see good results from the “build” (can they get any worse?), but I contend we’re on a 6-year plan with BC, with no real sense of urgency or accountability. Moving forward with turtle speed.


Rays type roster churn in ’23!


Castro is not going to be the long term second baseman so I don’t see any problem giving Bae starts there. Plus Castro’s defense has been just ok at 2nd. This team is perpetual tryout mode anyway so it would make zero sense to have anyone blocked pretty much anywhere. Gamel shouldn’t take starts away from anyone either. Most Castro to 1st. They have a giant hole there anyway.


Castro is way too dumb for first


Yes, most him to 1st! Or move, whatever works!


12 games left, not much time to pick up the proper veteranosity needed to play for Shelton. I hope he gets a chance to shine.


Honestly one of the more exciting and deserved promotions this year!

He makes the defense better, and adds some well needed contact ability and speed to the lineup.


Assuming making contact in today’s MLB is even important anymore.


Only when you are setting strike out records with the bat.


They should move Suwinski to the Dev squad and let Bae have a shot at LF.

There’s no room on the dirt for Bae with Hayes, Cruz, Castro.

He’s not going to play 1b, he’s not going to play CF over BRey and he’s not playing RF.


Barry Bonds got moved to LF, so can Reynolds


Please make this happen. This is almost as important as moving cruz from shortstop.

Wilbur Miller

Wonder who’s departing.


Greg Allen? Collins?


Won’t be Collins. He is the backup catcher


I think you guys are really missing why VanMeter was rostered.

It’s because Cherington had zero depth at 1b. They’re trying to keep Chavis away from righties and he’s still well below replacement. It’s to the point of Zack Collins playing 1b. I don’t remember a more dire situation at 1b than this season.

Instead of complaining about JVM, you guys should have been complaining about Cherington’s inability to adequately roster a competent 1bmen.


Ben? Why come here?



Wilbur Miller

I think you’re missing why VM shouldn’t have been rostered. Even with him, they STILL didn’t have any 1B depth. Just owning a 1B mitt doesn’t make you ML depth.

On actual ML teams, ML players are expected to be able to do ML things, like hit better than Ivan Nova. VM pitched a few times, too. Maybe they should have hung onto him as closer depth.


and he’s been replaced by Zack Collins.

Wilbur Miller

It’s not like ditching VM suddenly made Cheringtoon competent.


Cherington has an inability to roster an entire major league team. Why focus on 1b??


Pretty sure I’ve heard and for that matter made that complaint regarding BCs judgment several times.

Complaints about JVM weren’t about him nearly as much as they were questioning why he along with Marisnick, Yoshi, Padlo, Collins, Allen, etc were and still are taking up space on the roster?


Josh VanMeter’s name has been typed in these rooms more than any player or prospect in this organization.


My question is why are we bringing up Bae, when we still have Josh Van meter in Indy.


Why at this point in the season, just another puzzling move by the Pirates front office(being kind)…


Why not? Actually there are some other guys in Indy who deserve a shot in Pitt especially given that Allen, Collins and Gamel have remained on the roster for no rational reason that anyone can explain.

John Dreker

He has to be added to the 40-man roster this off-season. I think he was coming up earlier until he missed a month. I was hearing rumblings about it from a good source. Since he came back five weeks ago, his numbers have been average at best. I think that’s why he wasn’t up a little sooner, but the oblique injury is why he wasn’t up a lot sooner. He basically rehabbed in Indy under the disguise of just returning from the IL. Last thing you want is him coming back too soon and finding that out in the majors.


Ok, I get that explains him not being brought up in Aug or early Sept, but my point is why bother now, it’s just another mystery decision by an incompetent FO…Unless he is going to make a bunch of monies…then good for him…

John Dreker

Big league experience, that’s all. He earned it over the full season. Whenever he comes up next year, there won’t be any breaking in period. I think it’s similar to what they did with Cruz and Contreras last year. Neither one of them had to make the majors last year, they had minimal Triple-A experience and both were injured for part of the year too. They rewarded them with a look at the majors.


Bae did not get promoted based on his performance post-injury: a wRC+ of 95 won’t cut it unless you’re a + defender. From the start of the season through 7/24 he posted a 117.


It’s a nice reward for the kid. By staying down in Indy for much of September, he saw more playing time than he would have in Pittsburgh, since Newman and Cruz are healthy and lineup-worthy. And now he can put this feather in his cap, much like Cruz did last year.


How good is he defensively in Center?


Excellent question. It’s unlikely that he is or will be better than Swaggerty, so he’s got a tough path.


This is excellent insight, instead of nonsense of “He should have been up sooner”


Nah at this point in the season, seems like every move is wrong and is being executed with no forethought or plan in place /s


Welcome Bae to the show, well deserved👍👍👏👏


Hope he kills it for your sakes, Ted.


And mine too! At the very least, the more that come up and kill it gives either players for the roster or quality trade chips to get what we need easier.


And mine, I think he and Swaggerty should start on the big club, and move Reynolds (and his surprisingly poor) defense to left. Still got to figure out how long Castro can hang onto 2nd and how soon will a true 1st baseman be found. BUT! There are glimpses of positivity to be seen if one squints hard enough.

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