Hwang returning to Korea after 1 season with Giants
Jae-gyun Hwang's major-league career has come to an unceremonious end.
The third baseman, who spent all of 2017 in the San Francisco Giants organization after starring in his native South Korea for a decade, plans to return to the Korea Baseball Organization in 2018 after a disappointing turn in the majors, his agent Han Lee told Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports Bay Area.
"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."
Hwang had been outrighted off the Giants' 40-man roster in September, and recently elected free agency.
Hwang - who until this year was mostly known in North America for his epic bat flips in Korea - signed a contract with San Francisco last January after slashing .335/.394/.570 with 27 homers for the KBO's Lotte Giants in 2016.
His time by the Bay got off to a rotten start when he was sent to the Triple-A Sacramento River Cats following a solid spring training statistically. Hwang ended up spending the majority of this past season with Sacramento, hitting .285/.332/.453 with 10 homers, 21 doubles, 55 RBIs, and seven stolen bases over 98 Pacific Coast League contests.
The 30-year-old only appeared in 18 games for San Francisco, and finished his MLB career with a .154 average (8-for-52), five RBIs, two extra-base hits, and 15 strikeouts.
Hwang's lone big-league highlight came in his debut June 28, when he launched a home run for his first MLB hit, and punctuated the moment with an epic bat drop.
Prior to moving to the majors, Hwang hit .286/.350/.436 with 115 home runs over his 10-year career in the KBO.
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