Byung Ho Park began last year as Minnesota's starting DH after hitting 50 home runs in each of his previous two seasons while playing for Nexen of the Korean Baseball Organization. While he showed power in the majors with 12 home runs in 62 games, he struggled to make contact and hit just .191/.275/.409. His struggles continued in the minors as he hit just .224/.297/.526 at Triple-A in 31 games before season-ending surgery to repair a tendon in his right middle finger. Minnesota's logjam at DH and 1B may make it hard for him to reach the majors again especially after he was DFA'd in February, but he has some upside due to his power if he can reduce his strikeouts (32.8 percent) and make better contact (63 percent).
Park went 1-for-2 and and hit his fourth home run of the spring in Monday's win over Toronto. Park has had an outstanding spring training, hitting .394 (13-for-33) and striking out in just 23 percent of his plate appearances (compared to 32.8 percent last year in the majors). Kennys Vargas began the spring as the leading candidate for the starting DH job, but Park may have overtaken him for the role. However, the competition may not be decided until the end of training camp since Vargas has missed time while playing for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic.
Park went 1-for-3 in Wednesday's win over St. Louis and is hitting .400 (10-for-25) with three home runs this spring. Kennys Vargas is the leading candidate to win Minnesota's starting DH job, but Park is having a strong spring and could land the role. However, the competition may come down to the final week since Vargas has just three at-bats so far while playing for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic.
Park went 1-for-2 with a home run in Saturday's spring training loss to the Red Sox. Park is 2-for-4 with a double and home run in his first two games. Park will need to have a stellar spring to win the DH job over Kennys Vargas, but he's at least off to a hot start.
Park went 2-for-2 in his spring training debut Friday as the DH in Minnesota's 3-1 loss to Tampa Bay. Park was designated for assignment in February, but no other team claimed him and he was outrighted to Triple-A Rochester. However, he's in big league camp and has a chance to win the DH job over Kennys Vargas.
Park (finger) cleared waivers and was sent outright to Triple-A Rochester on Thursday, LaVelle E. Neal of the Star Tribune reports. Park was designated for assignment last week as the Twins made room for free agent signing Matt Belisle. The 30-year-old garnered some interest on waivers, but his .191 batting average in 215 at-bats last season, plus the $9 million he is still owed, ultimately deterred teams. He'll return to camp with the Twins in spring and compete for a spot on the big league team.