The Yankees have placed infielder Hoy Jun Park on the team’s taxi squad, according to The Athletic’s Lindsey Adler (via Twitter). Reporter Daniel Kim (Twitter link) said earlier today that Park was being called up to the Yankees, and such a move could quite possibly still be imminent, given that infielder Gio Urshela is reportedly in COVID-19 protocol. Park is not on New York’s 40-man roster, though the team has roster space available and won’t need to make a corresponding move if/when Park’s contract is officially selected.
Though MLB Pipeline doesn’t rank Park among the Yankees’ top 30 prospects, the Seoul native has been crushing Triple-A pitching this season, batting .325/.475/.541 with eight home runs over 206 plate appearances. This is a marked increase from Park’s numbers in five previous minor league seasons, as he offered some good on-base skills but little in the way of power. Even with this year’s Triple-A dominance factored in, Park has a pretty modest .254/.366/.369 slash line over 2411 career PA in New York’s farm system.
Still, there’s no real risk for the Yankees in riding the hot hand, especially since the club may need some roster reinforcements in short order. Kim doesn’t know if Park’s call-up is specifically related to the COVID situation, as Park’s Triple-A numbers were already making a strong case for a promotion.
An international signing back in July 2014, Park offers some added value to the Yankees beyond his bat. Park has 116 stolen bases (from 152 chances) in the the minors, and he has displayed some defensive versatility — mostly a second baseman and shortstop during his six pro seasons, Park has also received a handful of games as a third baseman, left fielder, and center fielder. This could indicate an opportunity for Park to supplant either Rougned Odor or Tyler Wade for backup infield duty, if he indeed gets a look on the Major League roster.