Bae Ji-hwan is a different story…24-year-old Dominican express narrowly misses out on ML title ‘Don’t follow Akuna’

July 6, 2023 0 Comments

For Bae Ji-Hwan (Pittsburgh Pirates), it’s all over. This year’s stolen base races in both leagues have been decided early.

The American League and National League stolen base leaders are Esther Ruiz (24, Oakland Athletics) and Ronald Acuna Jr. (26, Atlanta Braves) as of June 6. Ruiz has 43 stolen bases, a whopping 16 ahead of second-place Wander Franco (Tampa Bay Rays, 27). Acuna has 41 steals, 17 ahead of second-place Corbin Carroll (Arizona Diamondbacks, 24).

Both are on such a dominant pace that it’s easy to be optimistic about the stolen base leader even before the first half is over. It’s unlikely that a 15+ gap will be forgotten overnight. As long as the duo doesn’t suffer a major hitting slump in the second half, they should be in good shape to win the stolen base title.

Bae Ji-Hwan (Pittsburgh Pirates) was recently placed on the 10-day disabled list with an ankle injury, forcing him to drop out of the stolen base race. Bae has 20 stolen bases, which is fourth in the National League. However, he was tied for fourth on the day with Christian Yelich (Milwaukee Brewers). The gap between Carroll and third-place Starling Marte (New York Mets, 23 steals) is starting to close.

To make matters worse, he’s being chased by Nico Hounor (Chicago Cubs, 19 steals), Tyro Estrada (San Francisco Giants), Jake McCarty (Arizona), and Trey Turner (Philadelphia Phillies, 18+). Ha-Sung Kim (San Diego Padres), with 15 stolen bases, also potentially threatens Bae.

The longer Bae delays his return, the more likely he is to be overtaken. While he’s still in the top 10 in the majors (8th), there’s a chance he won’t even make the top 10 in the National League. However, he can’t and shouldn’t return quickly because of the stolen bases. Bae needs to fully recover from his ankle before he can return.

In the meantime, the race for the century between Ruiz and Acuna is in full swing. Acuna’s dominant batting stats this season have him atop the National League MVP race. If the American League has Shohei Ohtani (LA Angels), the National League has Akuna’s dominance.

Ruiz, on the other hand, doesn’t have the batting stats of Akuna. He has a .257 batting average and a .310 on-base percentage. This doesn’t compare to Acuna’s .337 batting average and .414 on-base percentage, which means that Ruiz has overwhelmingly fewer opportunities to steal bases than Acuna.

Nevertheless, Ruiz hasn’t lost the overall lead in stolen bases. In 51 attempts this season, he’s thrown out eight times. 15.7%. Acuna has made 48 attempts and failed seven times. That’s a 14.6% failure rate. Ruiz even has a higher failure rate than Acuna.

In the end, Ruiz is still on top of the list because he has fewer stolen bases than Aquino. This is because, although he gets on base a lot more than Ruiz, there are times when he hits a double or a home run, and there are times when he doesn’t try to steal because of the flow of the game. Ruiz, on the other hand, tries to steal every chance he gets. Ruiz stole his 43rd base of the season on June 6 against the Detroit Tigers.바카라

While Bae has been on hiatus, the competition for the top stolen bases in the majors continues. Both are on pace for 80 steals. The last 80-stealers in the Major Leagues were Rickey Henderson (New York Yankees, 93) and Vince Coleman (St. Louis Cardinals, 81) in 1988. Changes in the game that encouraged running baseball led to some of the greatest sluggers of all time.

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