Jae-gyun Hwang headed back to Korea after 'unforgettable and disappointing' year


Jae-gyun Hwang headed back to Korea after 'unforgettable and disappointing' year

The year didn’t go as planned, but the dream was made. Jae-gyun Hwang can always say he played Major League Baseball. After a year in which Hwang spent the majority of his time in Triple-A and fulfilled his dream in 18 games with the San Francisco Giants, Hwang is heading back to Korea where he has been a star in the Korean Baseball Organization. He elected free agency on Nov. 2.

“We are pursuing a contract in Korea for 2018,” Hwang’s agent Han Lee revealed to NBC Sports Bay Area.

Hwang took a risk. He was a star in the KBO for his success on the field and a star off it on YouTube for his eccentric bat flips.

The Giants signed Hwang in January to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training. He hit .333 with five home runs, but the Giants sent him to Triple-A with the Sacramento River Cats. 

"Jae's first experience with MLB was both unforgettable and disappointing," Lee said. "Being in an unfamiliar environment, there were several challenges that Jae was unaccustomed to."

Success didn't follow Hwang to the majors in 2017. With the Giants, Hwang only hit .154 and knocked one ball over the wall. He also hit .285 for the River Cats and totaled another 10 home runs as one of the team's top hitters in 98 games. Before signing with San Francisco, Hwang was coming off a monster year in the KBO with the Lotte Giants. Over 127 games, he posted career highs with a .335 batting average, .394 on-base percentage, .570 slugging percentage, and 27 home runs.  

"Ultimately as a player, Jae understands that it was up to him to perform. And because he was unable to do that (at least not to the level to convince the team to give him another look in September), he has no regrets," Lee said.

Hwang arrived in the majors on June 28. It was a huge event in his hometown Seoul, South Korea, with family, friends and fans waking up early in the morning to watch him take the field at AT&T Park. And Hwang came with a bang. 

The Giants were all tied up with the Rockies, 3-3, in the sixth inning as Hwang took a 2-0 fastball and blasted it over the left field wall to give the Giants the lead for his first hit as a major leaguer. Drop the mic (bat). 

The ball landed in the bleachers at 6:32 a.m. in Seoul.

"Being able to play in a big-league stadium, and hit a home run in his first game, is something that he will always remember," Lee said. 

Along with the moment every ballplayer dreams of, Hwang will also always cherish the little moments. Lee says Hwang learned a lot from his teammates and coaches alike. Hwang is thankful for the opportunity and the warm welcome. One player in particular sticks out for Hwang in his experience with the Giants. 

"He would like to thank the veteran guys for making him feel welcome in the clubhouse, especially Hunter Pence," Lee said. 

Beede, Garcia among Giants protected from Rule 5 draft


Beede, Garcia among Giants protected from Rule 5 draft

SAN FRANCISCO — A top pitching prospect highlighted the list of Giants added to the 40-man roster before Monday’s deadline. 

The Giants put right-hander Tyler Beede on their 40-man roster, along with Aramis Garcia, Tyler Herb and D.J. Snelten. The four players were protected from the Rule 5 draft, held in December on the final day of the annual Winter Meetings. To clear roster spots, the Giants designated Orlando Calixte and Micah Johnson for assignment and outrighted Dan Slania to Triple-A. 

Beede, a 24-year-old former first-round pick, likely would have ended up on the roster earlier if not for a groin injury that ended his Triple-A season early. The Giants anticipated him making a September debut, but he ended up needing time in the Arizona Fall League to make up for lost innings. Beede was sharp in the AFL once he knocked the rust off, allowing three runs over 10 innings in his final two starts. He is expected to compete for a rotation spot at some point next year, although he also stands as one of the organization’s best offseason trade chips. 

Garcia, 24, has struggled with injuries at times in the minors, but he hit 17 homers in just 402 at-bats in 2017 and earned a promotion to Double-A Richmond. Garcia is currently one of just two catchers on the 40-man roster. 

Herb was essentially the player to be named later in the Chris Heston deal. The 25-year-old had a 2.76 ERA in 10 starts for Double-A Richmond last season. Snelten is a lefty reliever who had a 2.20 ERA across two levels last season and could break into the big leagues as a bullpen weapon next year. 

The roster now stands at 40 after the churn, which included a couple of players picked up as flyers because the Giants are at the front of the waiver process. Johnson was added in October and infielder Engelb Vielma, added during the season, was claimed by the Phillies on a  waiver claim. Slania, who made his big league debut during the season, cleared waivers and joins Triple-A Sacramento’s offseason roster. 

Report: Giants discussed Panik, top prospects in potential Stanton trade


Report: Giants discussed Panik, top prospects in potential Stanton trade

On Monday morning, some important details emerged.

The Giants discussed Joe Panik and top prospects Tyler Beede and Chris Shaw with the Marlins in a potential trade for Giancarlo Stanton, according to sports radio host Craig Mish.

Last week, San Francisco reportedly made an actual offer for Stanton.

The Giants selected Beede, 24, in the first round (14th overall) of the 2014 draft.

The right-handed pitcher went 6-7 with a 4.79 ERA over 19 starts in Triple-A last season.

[RELATED: Healthy Tyler Beede shows why he's Giants' top pitching prospect]

The Orange and Black took Shaw, 24, in the first round (31st overall) of the 2015 draft.

In 37 games for Double-A Richmond in 2017, he hit .301 with six home runs and 29 RBI.

He was promoted to Triple-A and hit .289 with 18 home runs and 50 RBI in 88 games.

Shaw recently played in the Arizona Fall League, but only saw action in five games because of a sore shoulder.