Great expectations: Twins have high hopes for new slugger Byung Ho Park

Author:
Publish date:
Image placeholder title

When you hear numbers of 105 home runs in two seasons and when you see the footage of towering 522 foot blasts, it's hard not to get excited about the potential of the Twins' biggest signing of the offseason – Byung Ho Park.

It's not hard to see why the Twins signed the power hitting Park. He hit 53 home runs in 2015 after hitting 52 in 2014. None was more impressive than this 522 foot blast.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8qmI7yPlhw

Over the past two seasons, Park has averaged 128 runs scored, 53 home runs, 135 RBIs, 87 walks and 152 strikeouts during a 132 game season as a member of the Nexen Heroes in the Korean Baseball Organization.

Minnesota hopes his power translates to Major League Baseball.

Assuming the 29-year-old is ready for the majors, Park is expected to be the Twins regular designated hitter. The plan would be for him to help solidify a powerful Twins lineup that already includes Brian Dozier, Trevor Plouffe and Miguel Sano.

While it's not reasonable to expect Park to continue to crush 50 plus home runs in the majors anytime soon, what can the Twins expect from their $12 million investment?

https://twitter.com/blackwings2011/status/697430501179527168

1500 ESPN's Derek Wetmore writes that it's difficult to project expectations for Park. According to Wetmore, three members of the Twins front office say the team doesn't expect that level of output.

"It's so hard to guess how he'll produce because there's only one recent example of a player dominating the KBO as a hitter and then signing to play in the Major Leagues in the United States."

That player is a former teammate of Park's with the Heros – Pittsburgh's Jung Ho Kang. While Kang didn't produce the explosive numbers that Park has in Korea, Wetmore notes that Kang did post solid numbers in 2015 for Pittsburgh hitting .287/.355/.461 with 15 home runs.

If that's the baseline, the Twins would be really excited with FanGraphs 2016 projections for Park. They predict he'll hit .254/.328/.479 with 30 home runs – numbers that would certainly make a difference in the heart of the Twins lineup.

Next Up

Related