Prospect Ji-hwan Bae, a shortstop in the Pittsburgh Pirates system, has left the organization for his home, Daegu, South Korea, to face assault allegations brought by his former girlfriend earlier this week.
Police want to question Bae, 18, according to Sports Chosun, a South Korean media enterprise, based on the allegations filed by the ex that Bae slapped, choked and kicked her on New Year’s Eve.
The Athletic was first to report Bae had left the Pirates’ training complex in Bradenton, Florida, where he was waiting for the start of the Gulf Coast League season, a rookie league.
“The Pirates are cooperating fully with MLB’s review,” said Pirates GM Neal Huntington, according to The Athletic. “Bae has decided to return to South Korea to address these allegations directly. At this point, consistent with MLB’s policy, Bae is permitted to participate in baseball activities during this review.”
The Pirates made Bae the second-largest international signing in franchise history, signing him for $1.2 million in March. Bae batted .474 in 27 games for Kyeongbuk High School and won the Lee Young-min Batting Award as the top high school hitter in South Korea last year.
—Field Level Media