HOY PARK, SHORTSTOP
|Born: April 7, 1996
Signed: Int’l Free Agent, 2014, Yankees
How Acquired: Trade (with Yankees)
Country: South Korea
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
|The Yankees signed Park out of South Korea for a large bonus. His calling card is excellent strike zone judgment, as he rarely chases pitches out of the zone. Prior to 2021, he showed little power, but he suddenly started hitting for significant power in AAA. How real that power might be remains to be seen; according to FanGraphs, the analytics suggest it mostly isn’t. Park has played mostly short and second, and the Pirates believe he can handle either. The Yankees called him up very briefly, then outrighted him. He cleared waivers and a few days later, the Pirates traded for him after they and all the other teams in baseball had passed on him.
Park hit decently in his debut in advanced rookie ball. He drew a lot o walks but also struck out a lot for the amount of power he produced. He played short exclusively. Baseball America rated him 25th in the Yankees’ system.
In full-season ball, Park’s hitting dropped off some and he had trouble with strikeouts. He did do quite well stealing bases. The Yankees played him at short and second.
The Yankees sent Park back to low A where his hitting returned to 2015 levels. He spent the last month at high A. Park split his time between second and short.
In high A for a full season, Park showed outstanding plate discipline but didn’t hit with much authority. It was the pitching-dominated Florida State League, so some allowance has to be made for that.
In AA, Park continued along the same lines, this time playing more second than short.
Park didn’t play during the pandemic season.
Park had a huge breakout season in AAA. His played at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where the park depresses power, so that wasn’t it. He continued to show outstanding plate discipline. Park played all over the infield and a little in center. The Yankees called him up very briefly in July. He got one AB in the majors, then was outrighted to AAA. Park cleared waivers and a few days later went to the Pirates for Clay Holmes. The Pirates sent him to Indianapolis, but after he got into three games there, they called him up. Apart from a brief stretch in late August, he spent the rest of the season with the Pirates, playing semi-regularly. With them, he played second more than anywhere else, but he also got some time at third and short, and in the outfield, including center. His hitting wasn’t good, but he showed a little power and continued to draw walks. He hit LHPs far better than RHPs, with a .995 OPS versus .550. His fielding was probably at least average.
Park had a good spring and made the roster as a utility player. He only got into five games before being sent down. Apart from a couple of one-game cameos, his only other time in the majors was a three-week stint starting in mid-June. Apart from showing modest power and, in AAA, a lot of patience, Park didn’t hit well at either level. He was fine against LHPs, as he had a substantial reverse platoon split. He had a bad slump when he went back to Indianapolis in July, going 7-for-56 (.125). In the field, Park played third, second and short, in descending order of frequency. He also played a little in the outfield, but thankfully not much. Statcast and UZR both see his defense as below average.
Park will turn 27 at the beginning of the 2023 season and his strong 48-game stretch at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in 2021 is a clear outlier with the rest of his career. Given all the infielders the Pirates have from AA on up, it’s very hard to make a case for him staying on the 40-man roster.
UPDATE: The Pirates removed Park from the roster when they claimed Lewin Diaz.
|2023: Minor league salary|
|Signing Bonus: $1,000,000
MiLB Debut: 2015
MLB Debut: 7/16/2021
MiLB FA Eligible: 2023
MLB FA Eligible: 2027
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: 7/16/2021 (since removed)
Options Remaining: 2 (USED: 2022)
MLB Service Time: 0.138
|July 2, 2014: Signed by the New York Yankees as an international free agent.
July 16, 2021: Contract purchased by the New York Yankees.
July 21, 2021: Outrighted to AAA by the New York Yankees.
July 26, 2021: Traded by the New York Yankees with Diego Castillo to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Clay Holmes.
July 31, 2021: Called up by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
November 22, 2022: Designated for assignment by the Pittsburgh Pirates.