Patrick Teale

Here's a scouting report on Pulaski shortstop Hoy Jun Park.

The New York Yankees signed shortstop Hoy Jun Park out of South Korea for a reported $1.2 million in July of 2014. He had a solid professional debut season last year, provides one of the safer projectable floors, and also boasts a high ceiling as well.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Hoy Jun Park
Position: Shortstop
DOB: April 7, 1996
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 175
Bats: Left
Throws: Right

Batting and Power. The key to Park's hitting potential is his plus bat speed.  In fact, with quick-twitch wrists he has some of the best pure bat speed around among his peers.  Throw in a patient approach at the plate and a real ability to use the whole field and it all spells long-term, high-average hitting potential.  Not a physically imposing figure at all, he does show average or better power potential because of the impressive torque he's able to generate with his bat speed.   More of a gap hitter to the opposite field, he does show impressive home run potential to the pull side but that can also get him into trouble too.  Sometimes he will load up a bit too much and the swing gets a little longer when he tries to make better use of his power, and that can cause some hitting inconsistencies.  When he stays within himself, takes what the pitchers give him, and serves the ball all over the field he shows a real ability to be a consistent hitter, one with average or better power.

Base Running and Speed. Park can really run.  In fact, his 12 stolen bases and mere 63 percent success in his debut season last year do not do his actual speed any justice.  An above average to plus runner, being a foreigner playing in a strange land hasn't allowed him to completely come out of his proverbial shell just yet.  Getting more comfortable with his surroundings and a little more confident with each passing year could allow his running game to really flourish like most scouts believe it can.  He easily has the potential to be a 30-plus stolen base threat each year [if not more], especially given his ability to get on base consistently, once he learns the nuances of reaching pitchers' moves better. 

Defense. Park is above average in just about everything he does defensively; he has above average range, a tick above average arm strength, plus hands, etc.  He is still so young and still needs to learn the ins and outs of playing the shortstop position at the professional level but everything is in place for him to become a premium defensive player in the middle infield, including some great athleticism.  In fact, it is his top-shelf agility that could lend itself to sliding over to second base someday quite seamlessly should the need arise.  He can be a difference-maker with the glove.

Projection.  Considering how patient a hitter he is and with his agility and athleticism lending itself quite well to potentially move over to second base too if need be, he has the floor of a big league bench player already and he still hasn't turned 20 years old.  However, with above average speed and defense, and average or better hitting potential and power, Park is a bit of a rarity in that he has true five-tool potential in the middle infield as well.  Throw in the fact that at 6-foot-2 and 175 pounds he still has a lot of room to fill out as he continues to physically mature, the one tool that doesn't grade out as above average [his power] has some considerable ceiling left to be tapped.  And all of that is not even considering the rising confidence factor; he really should become more comfortable playing in the United States after each passing year.  A lot still has to play out as he rounds out his game in the coming years from a profile standpoint [despite being so quick and ultra-patient his hitting style actually profiles better as a non-leadoff type hitter right now as he has shown to be better with runners on base] but it's hard to ignore his big league starting potential and potential impact in all phases of the game. 

ETA. 2019. Park is ready for the long-season leagues in 2016.  He should open up at the starting shortstop for the low-A Charleston RiverDogs and given the depth of shortstop prospects needing playing time there's a good chance that Park will begin seeing some additional playing time at second base as way to get him into the lineup more consistently. 

2015 Pulaski .239 222 11 5 30 48 34 50 12 .351 .383 .734

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