Jared Hoying received his first smattering of big league playing time during the 2016 season and had his fair share of struggles. He spent the first couple months of the campaign with Triple-A Round Rock (as he had for the past three years), but received a callup after posting a strong .319/.409/.550 slash line through 41 games with the Express. The 27-year-old began his tenure on the large side of a platoon while filling for Shin-Soo Choo, but his measly .217 batting average with Texas ended up forcing the Rangers to shuttle him between the majors and minors for the remainder of the season. Hoying's combination of speed and power that were displayed in the minors is somewhat intriguing, but as a 27-year-old who struggled while making his big league debut, he has all the characteristics of a Quadruple-A hitter. He returned to Texas this offseason on a minor league deal and should once again serve as organizational depth.
Hoying was sent to minor league camp Monday, MLB.com's TR Sullivan reports. Hoying, who signed a minor-league deal with a spring-training invite in December, was a long shot to break camp with the big league club. The 27-year-old struck out 11 times in 44 at-bats and hit just .205 during spring training. At Triple-A Round Rock last season, Hoying hit .269 with 16 home runs in 100 games.
The Rangers declined to tender Hoying a contract Friday, making him a free agent. He's managed just a .305 on-base percentage in four seasons at Triple-A and he struggled mightily in his first exposure to big-league pitching. Further, while he played some center field at Round Rock this year, Hoying is not a plus defender even in the corners, so it seems likely he will have to settle for a minor league deal in free agency.
Hoying was recalled from Triple-A Round Rock on Tuesday. He was not included among the first wave of September callups, but Hoying will return to the big club with Round Rock's season coming to a close Monday. The 27-year-old posted respectable numbers with Round Rock this year (.810 OPS) and can play all three outfield positions, but he did not fare well in a 16-game sample with Texas earlier this season and he will likely play primarily off the bench over the final few weeks.
Hoying was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock on Tuesday. Hoying was optioned to Round Rock in a corresponding move that brought Joey Gallo up to the big club. Hoying is 7-for-29 across 16 games with the Rangers and owns a .280/.352/.494 line over 62 games at the Triple-A level this season.
Hoying was recalled by the Rangers on Wednesday, Rangers Executive VP of Communications reports. To make room for Hoying, the Rangers placed catcher Bryan Holaday on the disabled list with a thumb injury. Hoying, a 27-year old outfielder, has shown some power over the past few seasons in the Rangers organization. He hit 26 home runs in 2014 and 23 in 2015. So far this year in Triple-A, Hoying holds a .280 batting average with nine home runs and 43 RBI in 243 at-bats.