Who Is He And Where Did He Come From?
He’s Hoy-Jun Park, and Bloom just grabbed him from the Pirates in exchange for an 18-year-old you’ve never heard of.
Park originally signed with the Yankees as a 17-year-old international free agent way back in 2014. It’s actually pretty rare for Korean teenagers to sign with Major League clubs. Korean ballplayers, unlike their counterparts in Latin America, have the option of playing in a high-level, financially-lucrative domestic league. But Park decided to head to the states, was considered the best international free agent out of Asia in 2014, and received a $1 million signing bonus from the Yanks.
After struggling his way up through the Yankees system without much to show for it, he finally put together an outstanding 2021 season in AAA, hitting 10 home runs in 48 games while slashing .328/.475/.567. By that point he was already 25-years-old, though, and not considered much of a prospect. Brian Cashman immediately packaged and flipped him to the Pirates for Clay Holmes.
What Position Does He Play?
What position doesn’t he play? While he spends most of his time at second base, he’s also played third, short, and all three outfield positions in his professional career.
Is He Any Good?
You knew the answer to this as soon as you read that he was traded for an 18-year-old you’ve never heard of. Despite the fact that he’ll turn 27-years-old next April, he’s only played 68 total games in the Majors, slashing .201/.291/.346. However, as with Joely Rodriguez, there is something he does on a baseball field at a near elite level. In the 45 MLB games he played in 2021, he put up a 12% walk rate. That’s a walk rate similar to what guys like Paul Goldschmidt, Freddie Freeman, and Kyle Schwarber put up, and it would have been the 15th best mark in all of baseball last season. This guy just doesn’t chase many pitches. The 14 home runs hit in 352 at-bats over three different levels in 2021 are pretty promising, too.
Defensively, scouting reports have him as a competent, though not outstanding infielder with good hands but only average range. But, regardless, his versatility obviously provides a lot of value.
What’s His Role On The 2023 Red Sox?
Guy who gets called up from Worcester when any of the infielders or outfielders get hurt.
What’s He Doing In His Picture Up There?
Spotting a flock of starlings swooping and diving in formation and marveling at the majesty of the natural world.
Show Me A Cool Highlight
This dude’s spent so little time in the big leagues that we can watch pretty much all of his career highlights in one clip. I’m not going to lie: I like his swing. He drops the head of the bat on the ball well and his hits really seem to carry.