The Pittsburgh Pirates have been baseball’s busiest team, with the trade deadline less than a week away. On Monday, they made their second trade in as many days. The Pirates sent Clay Holmes to the Yankees in exchange for Hoy Jun Park and Diego Castillo. While Holmes has struggled, this season Park has been on a tear in Triple-A and could provide a spark to the Pittsburgh offense.
In 223 plate appearances for the RailRiders, Park is hitting .327. The twenty-five-year-old has also hit ten home runs and nine doubles. He has been hard to ignore in his first Triple-A season and lead the league in average, On-Base Percentage, OPS, and walks at the time of the trade. While the Yankees did not have a spot for Park in the majors he will get a chance in Pittsburgh as they continue their rebuild.
To carve out a consistent role with the Pirates, Park will need to cut down on his strikeouts. This season he has walked as often as he has struck out. While the Pirates’ newest prospect has managed to post a .255 average in six minor league seasons, he has struck out 456 times. In his sixth year in the minors, however, the South Korean native has made noticeable changes.
So far this season, Park is hitting more line drives than ever before. He has also improved his workout regimen, which has lead to his power surge. Entering 2021, the utility infielder was seen as a bench piece, but that could change if he continues his current play. While it is unknown how he will be used in Pittsburgh, he will get an opportunity to show that his play this season is no fluke.
What to expect from Park
Additionally, Park brings speed and versatility to the Pirates. In his minor league career, he has stolen 118 bases and only been caught 36 times. His speed has made him an on-base threat even with his improved power numbers. For a team that is not known for its speed, Park will be a welcomed addition.
Although the deal was a surprise, it could be a win for both teams. Holmes needed a change of scenery, and the Pirates got two prospects with upside. If Park can continue his impressive season, it could be a very good deal for Pittsburgh.
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Main Image Credit: Matt Bufano (Pinstriped Prospects)