Let’s face it, there’s a reason Hwang was signed to a minor league deal: Korea simply does not send a lot of players directly from Korea to the Majors.

But let’s face something else: the San Francisco Giants just do not sign a lot of players from the far east, so it’s news when they do.

And it’s worth facing some other fact: however likely Hwang is to struggle at least at first…few players have such tantalizing potential that Hwang does.

Hwang hit 26 home runs in each of the last two seasons in Korea, as a 27 and 28-year old, in 144 games and 118 games respectively.  But it’s also worth remembering that Korea is basically the Pacific Coast League of the Asian professional leagues, in terms of being hitter friendly.  It’s almost the California League.

But Hwang brings tools other than power.  He’s got a solid hit tool behind his power.  He also showed some huge improvement this last season in striking out.  He’d collected 122 strikeouts in 596 PA in 2015 (20.4% of plate appearances).  In 2016, he struck out 64 times in 522 PA (12.2%), which is a huge improvement in any league.

That’s my favorite stat of his.  To make such a fundamental shift in his game at 28, without sacrificing power, speaks to a player’s ability to learn.  He will get some of his biggest challenges in 2017.  But I hope he’ll learn from them, and thrive against them eventually.

Oh, but my second favorite stat of his is 24 stolen bases in 2016.  And that was a spike up from the last few seasons, but not his top total.

Sure, it’s all potential, but I was a Barry Bonds fan in the 90’s.  Hwang could be the best power-speed guy in the system since…well, you know who.