Byung Ho Park is slugging his way back to Target Field

A promising spring appears to have Byung Ho Park headed back to Minnesota.
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Byung Ho Park did it again Tuesday afternoon. He slugged another home run providing the game's only run in a 1-0 Twins victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.

Park's homer was his team-leading fifth home run of the spring, providing further evidence that the Korean-slugger is poised to become the Twins starting DH on Opening Day.

Last season was hopefully Park's low point. After 62 games he was demoted to Triple-A Rochester after hitting just .191 with 12 home runs and 80 strikeouts in 215 at bats.

That was a far cry from what the Twins were hoping they would get from Park when they signed him out of Korea, prior to last season. He slugged more than 100 combined home runs the previous two years in the KBO.

Things hit rockbottom for Park on Feb. 9 when days before the opening of Spring Training the Twins designated him for assignment – removing him from the 40-man roster.

But since day one this spring, everything has changed. Not only has Park shown off the elite power, he's also hitting .362 and appears to be on the verge of locking up his spot in the Twins starting lineup.

"It's been fairly consistent all spring," said Twins manager Paul Molitor to the Star Tribune about Park's spring. "Some of the pressure has been lessened. You can see a little more calmness. The velocity doesn't seem to get him off his approach too much, like we saw at times last year."

For Park to be with the Twins on Opening Day, the team will have to add him to the 40-man roster, those moves could happen as soon as Wednesday.

As for his success at the plate, Park credited a few tweaks to his powerful stroke to his spring success.

"It's less of a mechanical thing than a timing thing with the bat," Park said through a translator following Tuesday's game. "My timing has been great at the plate. It's worked out really well for me."

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