Off to a tremendous start with the Pittsburgh Pirates, the recently acquired Hoy Park needs to be playing every day
Dear Derek Shelton,
Hey Shelty, Rum Bunter here, I know that since you have become the manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates we have not always gotten along. Your bullpen decisions and inability to properly read your starting pitcher have, at times, been very frustrating.
Some of the decisions with the starting lineup have also been head scratchers. Currently, there is a decision with the lineup that should be a no brainer. That is that newly acquired jack of all trades utility man Hoy Park needs to be in the lineup every single day.
Pirate fans everywhere.
Oaky, with that plea to Shelton out of the way, let’s dive into why the Pittsburgh Pirates need to be playing Park on a daily basis. Park was acquired from the New York Yankees as part of the Clay Holmes trade.
The return that the Pittsburgh Pirates received for Holmes was a surprise. In addition to Park, the Pirates received infielder Diego Castillo who is a player that appears primed to shoot up prospect boards this offseason.
When the Pittsburgh Pirates acquired Park he had the highest OPS of any hitter in al of Triple-A. Despite there seemingly being opportunities at hand, Park was never given a real look by the Yankees. Due to this there were plenty of Yankee fans who were upset by the Bronx Bombers moving on from Park so quickly.
Since joining the Pirates all Park has done is hit. Yes it is indeed a small sample size, but what Park has done at the plate thus far has earned him the right to consistently be in the lineup. After collecting a pinch hit double in his lone at-bat in Friday night’s loss against the Reds, Park is now 7-for-17 with 4 doubles and a pair of walks in 19 plate appearances as a Pirate.
The reasoning that Park needs to play on a daily basis goes much deeper than just his hot start with the Pirates. Again, he was arguably the best hitter at the Triple-A level this season. This is another reason he deserves to be playing daily.
Park’s ability to play all over the field is a factor as well. He can play shortstop, second base and all three outfield positions. So getting Park into the lineup should not be a challenge due to his ability to play all over.
Most importantly, Park could be part of the future for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Could Park become a long-term starter for the Pirates? He seems to have all the tools needed to do so. Even if this would not happen he appears to have the tool set needed to become a very good super utility man for the Pirates in the long-term. Regardless of his long-term future, right now, Park is hot at the plate and is an exciting young player for the Pirates. This alone is enough of a reason for him to play every day down the stretch.
Down the stretch there is no reason for Park to not be a mainstay in the Pirate lineup. So, Shelty, please, do the right thing and pencil him into your starting nine every day, or close to it, the rest of the way this season. After all, the only thing that should matter for the rest of the 2021 season is the future and Park could be a big part of that future.