Ji Hwan Bae (pronounced JEE-wahn BAY)...Loves eating home-cooked meals when he goes back to South Korea...His favorite food is Korean barbecue...Favorite players growing up were Ichiro Suzuki and Trea Turner...Puts on baseball camps for children in South Korea during the offseason.
Was selected to the big league roster on 9/23 and made his Major League debut that night vs. Chicago (NL); started at second base and went 1-for-3 with a walk and two stolen bases while batting ninth...Singled off Erich Uelmen for his first big league hit...Had two hits in the same inning (third) on 10/4 vs. St. Louis...Spent the majority of the season with Triple-A Indianapolis, where he was named the team’s MVP...Ranked eighth in the International League in batting (.289), tied for fifth in triples (six) and tied for eighth in runs scored (81)...Ranked second among all Pirates minor leaguers in stolen bases (30); his 30 stolen bases were also the most by an Indianapolis player since Alen Hanson had 36 in 2016...Made 57 appearances at second base, 24 at shortstop, 20 in center field, eight in left field and one at third base...Reached base safely in 28 straight games from 4/27 through 6/1, going 37-for-109 (.339) with eight doubles, three triples, five home runs, 23 RBI, a .431 OBP and a 1.037 OPS...Was named Indianapolis’ player-of-the-month for May after reaching base safely in every game of the month en route to a career-high 28-game on-base streak...Ranked among the International League leaders in triples (second, three), runs scored (second, 25), hits (tied for sixth, 29), total bases (tied for eighth, 50), OBP (ninth, .427) and OPS (10th, .983) during the month of May...Was on the Seven-Day Injured List from 7/28-8/18 with a strained left oblique.
Entered season ranked as Pittsburgh’s ninth-best prospect according to Baseball America...Was also listed as the ninth-best shortstop prospect by MLB. com...Hit a combined .281 (92-for-327) with 12 doubles, five triples, eight home runs, 33 RBI and 20 stolen bases between Double-A Altoona and Pittsburgh’s two Florida Complex League teams while on rehab...Became the first Korean-born player to suit up for Altoona...Finished tied for fifth among all Pirates minor leaguers in stolen bases... Ranked fifth in the Northeast League in stolen bases (20), eighth in runs scored (63) and tied for second in triples (five)...Hit .424 (14-for-33) with a .500 OBP during a nine-game on-base streak that ended on 5/16...Was placed on the injured list with an injured left knee on 6/9 after a collision with Cal Mitchell on 6/8...Began a rehab assignment on 7/2 in the Florida Complex League...Hit first professional home run in first game on rehab on 7/2...Was activated from the injured list on 7/6...Hit .292 in 18 games in July after returning from the injured list...Made his first career start in the outfield (center field) on 8/1...Recorded a 25-game on-base streak with the Curve from 8/15 to 9/16; the longest by an Altoona player for the season (sixth-longest in the Northeast League)...Hit the first eight home runs of his career after 7/1...Made 65 appearances (63 starts) at second base and one start in center field while playing with Altoona...Hit .250 (23-for-92) with four doubles, one triple, two home runs, 11 RBI and eight stolen bases in 23 games for the Peoria Javelinas in the Arizona Fall League...Was named to the Falls Stars Game.
Was ranked by Baseball America as Pittsburgh’s seventh-best prospect entering the season; was also listed by the same publication as the “Best Hitter for Average” in the Pirates minor league system...Was a member of the taxi squad at the alternate training site in Altoona...Was rated by MLB Pipeline as the “Best Runner” in the Pirates minor league system following the season.