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Hwang headed to Majors to join Giants

MLB.com @sfgiantsbeat

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants will again tap their supply of Triple-A reinforcements when they officially purchase the contract of infielder Jae-Gyun Hwang on Wednesday.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Tuesday that Hwang likely will start at third base in Wednesday's series finale against Colorado, enabling the Korean to achieve his goal of playing in the Major Leagues.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants will again tap their supply of Triple-A reinforcements when they officially purchase the contract of infielder Jae-Gyun Hwang on Wednesday.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Tuesday that Hwang likely will start at third base in Wednesday's series finale against Colorado, enabling the Korean to achieve his goal of playing in the Major Leagues.

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Hwang, who will earn the prorated portion of $1.5 million, will become the fifth player to make his big league debut with San Francisco after beginning the season with Sacramento. Infielders Christian Arroyo and Ryder Jones, outfielder Austin Slater and right-hander Kyle Crick are the others.

Hwang, who has played first base and left field besides third base this year, recorded a .287/.333/.476 slash line with seven home runs and 44 RBIs in 88 games with Sacramento.

News leaked of Hwang's impending promotion as it became apparent that third baseman Conor Gillaspie must return to the 10-day disabled list due to back spasms.

A non-roster invitee to the Giants' Spring Training camp, Hwang quickly gained attention with his offensive prowess. The 29-year-old posted a slash line of .333/.353/.688 with five home runs and 15 RBIs in 27 Cactus League games. This wasn't completely surprising, given Hwang's total of 53 homers during the previous two seasons in the Korea Baseball Organization.

But Hwang wanted to experience the challenge of playing in the Major Leagues. So he signed a Minor League contract with the Giants in January and performed so well that he won the Barney Nugent Award, which is given annually to the top first-year player in camp. It's voted on by players, coaches, athletic trainers and Bochy.

Hwang's earnest attitude was evident throughout Spring Training.

"He's worked hard to make himself comfortable," Bochy said Tuesday. Bochy elaborated little, pointing out the roster move had not been finalized.

Nevertheless, Bochy did add, "this is one of the best parts of the game for a manager -- shaking hands with and hugging a guy that's reached his dream and worked hard for. We've had a couple this year already. ... I'll be happy as he is when I see him."

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

San Francisco Giants, Jae-Gyun Hwang