Park Hoy-jun sent to minor league by A’s despite strong spring

SEOUL, South Korean utility player Park Hoy-jun has been sent to the minor league by the Oakland Athletics despite putting together an excellent spring training. The Athletics told Park on Tuesday (U.S. local time) that he will begin the season in Triple-A Las Vegas. The A's will open their new Major League Baseball (MLB) season Thursday against the Cleveland Guardians. Park, 27, appeared well on his way to the Opening Day roster. Prior to the Athletics' final spring training game Tuesday, Park was leading the club with 21 hits in 22 games, while boasting a robust .488/.489/.674 line. He struck out just once in 43 at-bats. But the perennially rebuilding Athletics decided to go in another direction, at least at the start. Park was a non-roster invitee to spring training and almost played his way onto the Opening Day roster. He elected free agency in November after spending the entire 2023 season with the Gwinnett Stripers, the Triple-A club of the Atlanta Braves. Park batted .262/.385/.379 with six home runs, 42 RBIs and 16 steals in 101 games, while appearing at second base, third base and right field. In 2021, he had his first cup of MLB coffee with the New York Yankees, the team that signed him out of high school in 2014, and was later traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Park appeared in 23 major league games for the Pirates in 2022, batting .216/.276/.373 with two home runs and six RBIs. He played second base, third base, shortstop and right field in 2022. The Pirates dealt Park to the Boston Red Sox in November 2022, and the Red Sox shipped him to the Braves in December. The Braves then assigned Park to Gwinnett and did not invite him to spring training in 2023. Park's last MLB game came on Sept. 7, 2022, as a Pirate. Source: Yonhap News Agency

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