May
23

Report: Yankees close to $1.1M deal with Korean SS Hyo-Jun Park

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According to a Naver report (translated article) passed along by Sung-Min Kim and Dan at MyKBO, the Yankees are close to signing 17-year-old Korean shortstop Hyo-Jun Park to a deal worth $1.1M. The bonus will count against the team’s international spending cap, so the deal might not become official until the new signing period opens on July 2nd, when the Yankees are expected to go bonkers.

Park spent some time working out in California earlier this year. He is a slick fielder and a left-handed hitter who is said to be a contact-oriented line drive guy without much power. That said, here’s a video of him hitting a grand slam. Here’s another video of him fielding, hitting, and running. It appears the signing will help address the team’s lack of a quality bat flip tool in the minors. Including Park, the Yankees reportedly have their eyes on at least eight international players for seven-figure bonuses this summer.

  • Yan Solo

    You’re right, Mike…that kid bat flips with A-THOR-A-TIGH!!

  • http://www.twitter.com/SungMinKim116 Sung-Min Kim

    Hey there, Sung-Min Kim here. Park to Yankees rumor (at least among the Korean media) has been going on since mid-March and here’s another report saying that Padres made an offer worth $1 mil (http://sports.news.naver.com/s.....038;page=4) but it’s looking more and more like he’s signing with the Yankees.

    If he were to stay in Korea, he’d be a strong candidate to be a 1st overall pick in the upcoming KBO draft. All I hear is raving about his tools and talent

  • jesuschristlordensav (@jesuschristlor1)

    heres some Bat Flip related tv http://mlb.mlb.com/news/articl.....y=news_mlb

  • Bats

    Power is overrated. The fact that he’s left-handed and will put the ball in play is good enough.

    • Wolfgang’s Fault

      Can he play shortstop? If he can hit, great, but if they’re signing him specifically because they’re looking for a SS, then he’s gotta be able to really pick it first. Any video of that? A video w/him airing it out w/his arm & legs would be helpful too. BTW, does he speak English? Could only help him in transitioning to North America.

      Where are the future starting pitchers coming from, India?

      • Wolfgang’s Fault

        Just saw the 2nd video. Still not enough to go on for me, but he looks like he’s still really young and has a lot of growth ahead of him. Nice loose frame, & he clearly knows how to play baseball. Would have liked to have seen some video of him going to his right and making the long through from there.

  • lightSABR

    The video cracks me up. Apparently the Korean word for out is “out.” And a home run is a “homee.”

    I guess it makes things easier to translate, though. I was once interpreting for someone when the speaker made a baseball joke, and I had to try to figure out what the German word for “shortstop” was.

    I gave up and said, “He told a joke. Laugh.”

    • lightSABR

      Ha. And safe is “safe.”

  • DR

    Definitely an 80 potential on the bat flip.

    • JLC 776

      Damn – that’s HOF bat flip potential.

  • Dalek Jeter

    So…if we sign him on July 2nd he’ll be in the line up July 3rd right?

  • Slu

    The kid is 17. I think calling him a tool is bit over the line.

  • Yankee$

    Would love to see the all-Asian middle infield of Park/Katoh by 2018.

    • Fernando

      Hey, don’t forget Robert Refsnyder at 2b. He is actually Korean.

      • Yankee$

        True, he can keep the Keystone warm until Katoh is ready. Then move to LF / Super Utility like a Zobrist.

  • Deep Thoughts

    Seems fair. Based on the videos he appears to be about 1/14th the shortstop Stephen Drew is today.

  • crawdaddy

    About time the Yankees got more aggressive again in their IFA signings for young players.

  • vafaculu

    Can anyone tell me what purpose does the Yankee Minor League Farm System serve?

    • First

      They draft/sign both international and domestic players to build the farm for AA/AAA. No guarantee these guys will make it to the majors.