Behold the Power of Byung-ho Park
Minnesota signed the Korean slugger to a relatively modest 4 year, $12 million deal this offseason, despite not having a clear position for him to play. As the age-old adage goes, if you can hit, you will play. Park sure did hit in Korea, as last year he posted an eye-popping stat line of 53 HR, 146 RBI, to go along with a .324 batting average in just 140 games. There is some concern over his strikeout numbers, as he fanned 161 times last year, and he will undeniably face a hefty step up in competition as he transitions to the American League Central.
Park has not disappointed in his first glimpse of action this spring in hitting 3 home runs in his first 19 at-bats including a grand slam. As it stands now, the 29-year-old should receive the majority of the DH at-bats while occasionally spelling Joe Mauer at first base. While it remains to be seen if Park will be able to hit for average, there is no denying the power is legit. If the first two weeks of Grapefruit League play is any indication of what’s to come, fans in Minnesota will have a lot to cheer about this summer.