Hwang call-up coming, Heliot Ramos makes AT&T intro

The San Francisco Giants will call up former Korean baseball star Jae-gyun Hwang Wednesday.

Manager Bruce Bochy said he is expected to play third base in his first day as a major leaguer. To make space for current Sacramento RiverCat, Conor Gillaspie will again be placed on the 10-day disabled list with back spasms.

Gillaspie injury aside, it would be foolish for the Giants (28-51) to let a possible Hwang call-up slide. The longtime Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) standout was going to opt out of his minor league deal on July 1 had the move not been made.

Hwang gave up a fair amount of money in the KBO to play in the MLB, and Bochy said he’s excited to see the sacrifice rewarded.

Contract urgency plays some part as well, but Hwang is a good a candidate as any to spark the team offensively. He’s batting .287 with 44 RBIs in 68 games with Triple-A Sacramento. One concern is his patience at the plate; he strikes out more than 20 percent of the time — 56 strikeouts this year in 254 at-bats — and has drawn just 19 walks.

The Giants are fairly stacked at third, Ryder Jones is settling in, though he continues to hunt for big league hit No. 1, and Eduardo Nunez is expected back Friday. But Hwang is comfortable at first base and has played 17 innings in left field.

Speaking of fresh faces: The Giants’ first-round draft pick (17th overall) Heliot Ramos visited the ballpark before Tuesday’s game.

Bochy sat with Ramos and joked with the front office officials present that he’d like to see him take some swings in batting practice. The skipper seemed excited about the 6-foot-2, 17-year-old draftee from Puerto Rico:

“He’s a strong kid for a young kid. … The ceiling is high on him and that excites you, too. You got all the tools to be a good player.”

Ramos, an outfielder, demonstrated promising potential in his young career. He played Wrigley in the 2016 Under Armour All-America, going 3-for-3 with a triple, home run and four RBIs.

He said his favorite player is Andrew McCutchen, and knew his Giants history. He said he was excited to play in a ballpark with so much history for the same team that housed Willie Mays, Orlando Cepeda and Barry Bonds.


Shayna Rubin is SFBay’s San Francisco Giants beat writer. Follow @SFBay and @ShaynaRubin on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of Giants baseball.