Why trade there? An unlucky Korean leaguer, will this be the decisive moment of his life?

He was a promising player in Korea. Everyone cheered that a large shortstop had appeared. Major league clubs also gave him high praise. He chose to challenge the major leagues instead of the KBO draft. Many people were very interested in the challenge of Park Hyo-jun (27, Atlanta). The key was whether he could break the barrier of an infielder with a high threshold.메이저놀이터

It seemed like light was coming after his time in the minor league. He finally entered the major league stage wearing a New York Yankees uniform in 2021. And shortly after that he was traded to Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh, which was then and still is a rebuilding team, was diligently experimenting with young infielders and put Hyo-Jun Park in uniform with the intention of using him. After the trade, he appeared in 44 games.

In 44 games, he had a batting average of 0.197, an on-base percentage of 0.299, 3 home runs, 14 RBI, and 16 runs scored. It was a score that did not guarantee a place in the starting lineup. However, his slugging ability was better than expected, and his on-base percentage (.299), which was more than 100% higher than his batting average, showed promise. More opportunities to participate were expected in 2022. However, the Major League has always been a place of competition. In addition to Park Hyo-jun, Pittsburgh had many infielders on standby. Meanwhile, the opportunity disappeared.

2022 continued to go back and forth between the major league and minor league. He went up to the major league, then went down to Triple A, and then got promoted and demoted again and again. In the process, he only played in 23 games on the Major League stage in 2022. Although the player had to overcome it, his performance did not improve significantly compared to 2021. Eventually, he was traded again to Boston in November 2022.

I also dreamed of success in Boston, but things didn’t go as planned. Not long after, he was designated as a transferable player (DFA) to make room on the roster for the newly acquired Kenley Jansen, and was traded to Atlanta. In Atlanta, he was eventually sent down to the minor league after DFA. He thought he would have a chance if he worked hard, but that wasn’t the case either. Even if you’re unlucky, it’s too bad. After all, Atlanta is doing well.

I worked hard while waiting for a call-up from Triple A. As of the 7th (Korean time), he has played in 89 Triple A games. It is clear that this is a resource that the club keeps on standby in case of an emergency. His performance in 89 games is not bad either. He had a batting average of .272, 5 home runs, and 39 RBI. His on-base percentage reaches 0.393, which is much higher than his batting average. OPS, which is the sum of on-base percentage and slugging percentage, is 0.782, which is a significant jump from last year (.686).

However, there are no empty seats in Atlanta’s infield. It’s set up very well. Atlanta, one of the best teams in the league this season, is full of young, talented fielders. The infield starts from first base and includes Matt Olsen, Aji Albis, Orlando Garcia, and Austin Riley. The outfield features Ronald Acuña Jr., Michael Harris, and Eddie Rosario. There were no particularly serious injuries. All starting players, including catcher Sean Murphy, hit double-digit home runs. There is no room to squeeze in.

As a result, he has not been promoted to the major league even once this year and is only spending an indefinite time in Triple A. It was good until he was traded to Boston, which lacked an infielder. However, he can be considered unlucky to be traded to Atlanta and still in Triple A so far. It might have been a better situation if he had been traded to another team that lacked infielders, or if there had been an injury to Atlanta’s infield.

This will continue to be a problem. He failed to show his skills in the major leagues this year. Even if it appears on the market, it is highly likely that other clubs will not look at it so favorably. Meanwhile, time goes by and I am getting older. I turn 28 next year. There is no word yet that the military service issue has been resolved. This year, I was able to choose the challenge because I could see the major league. But now we have to face a heavier reality.

In fact, if you look at Triple A grades alone, it is a wasteful resource to waste in Triple A. Because of this, he can continue to challenge himself in the major leagues, or he can choose to return to Korea. It’s not easy either way. Promotion to the major leagues also requires luck, as seen in this year’s case. To continue your professional career in Korea, you must endure a two-year grace period. After that, you will be thirty. Attention is being paid to whether Park Hyo-jun can make a dramatic turnaround this year.

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