On Tuesday, the San Francisco Giants called up Jae-Gyun Hwang and the Korean third baseman is expected to make his major league debut today against the Colorado Rockies.
While hope for the San Francisco Giants in 2017 is quickly fading, the promising potential of Korean third baseman Jae-Gyun Hwang is not. Coming off superstardom in the Korean Baseball Organization, Hwang was called up to the Giants roster yesterday and will make his major league debut on Wednesday, June 28.
BREAKING: The Giants are calling up Jae gyun Hwang.
Prior to Spring Training, the Giants purchased Hwang from the KBO where he batted .286 with 115 homers in 10 seasons. The six-time All-Star with the Lotte Giants is known for his skill and flashy bat flips even in the United States.
“It was pretty incredible,” said right-hander Kyle Crick, who played with Hwang at Sacramento earlier this year (per mercurynews.com). “We would go to Korean barbecue restaurants and walk in and people there would know exactly who Jae was. They recognized him on the spot, almost like it was A-Rod walking in.”
Following a strong Spring Training – where he batted .333 with five home runs to earn the Barney Nugent Award for the most impressive first-timer in camp – Hwang carried his success into Triple-A Sacramento. In 68 games, Hwang posted a .287/.333/.476 slash line and hit seven homers.
Yet, the Giants signed Hwang to a contract with a potential expiration date. According to mlbtraderumors.com, Hwang could opt out of his contract if he was not called up by July 1. Luckily for the Giants, they added Hwang to their major league roster with three days to spare.
“This is one of the best parts of the game for a manager,” Bruce Bochy said (per mercurynews.com). “It’s when you can welcome and shake hands or even hug a guy who’s worked hard for this opportunity. We’ve had a couple [debuts] already, but for Jae, he’s worked hard and given up a lot to pursue this. I’ll be happy as he is to see him here.”
Hwang is the newest of several call ups made by the Giants this season. Starting with Christian Arroyo in April, Hwang joins Austin Slater and Ryder Jones in the new wave of young talent hitting the Giants roster.
“Anybody who takes that kind of risk to chase down his dream, it’s inspiring,” Hunter Pence said. “I look forward to seeing him come up here and join our team. I think we’ll all welcome him.”