Report: Nexen Heroes to post power-hitting 1B Byung Ho Park next week

The Nexen Heroes of the Korea Baseball Organization will post power-hitting first baseman Byung Ho Park for MLB teams, according to a Yonhap News Agency report. Park will be posted next Monday, November 2.

Park, 29, is the "best pure hitter in the history of KBO," former scout and current Korean baseball analyst Daniel Kim told Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Here are Park's career statistics, via Baseball Reference:

YearAgeTmGPARH2B3BHRRBISBCSBBSOBAOBPSLGOPS
2005 18 LG 79 185 22 31 11 0 3 21 1 0 12 48 .190 .265 .313 .578
2006 19 LG 48 142 7 21 2 0 5 13 1 3 9 42 .162 .227 .292 .519
2007-08: Did not play (Military Obligation)
2009 22 LG 68 213 28 41 7 0 9 25 2 1 20 70 .218 .305 .399 .704
2010 23 LG 78 192 25 30 4 0 7 22 5 1 26 55 .188 .305 .344 .649
2011 24 2 Teams 66 230 31 51 11 2 13 31 2 0 26 76 .254 .343 .522 .866
2012 25 Nexen 133 560 76 136 34 0 31 105 20 9 73 111 .290 .393 .561 .954
2013 26 Nexen 128 556 91 143 17 0 37 117 10 2 92 96 .318 .437 .602 1.039
2014 27 Nexen 128 571 126 139 16 2 52 124 8 3 96 142 .303 .433 .686 1.119
2015 28 Nexen 140 622 129 181 35 1 53 146 10 3 78 161 .343 .436 .714 1.150
All Levels (9 Seasons) 868 3271 535 773 137 5 210 604 59 22 432 801 .281 .387 .564 .951

Kim told Sawchik approximately 20 clubs have scouted Park this season, including traditional big spenders like the Rangers and Yankees. The Pirates have scouted Park, a former teammate of Jung Ho Kang's with Nexen, as well.

"I don't think the Pirates can sneak in like the way they did with Kang," said Kim to Sawchik. "(Park) will do well in the States, but I'd like to see him in less-pressured market like Pittsburgh or Oakland. ... He is quiet and introverted."

Park is a right-handed hitting, right-handed throwing first baseman, which is a surprisingly uncommon profile in the big leagues. The right-right first basemen who make it in MLB tend to have huge power and strong defensive skills. It's tough to stick when you're at the platoon disadvantage most of the time and aren't good defensively at a non-premium position.

Here is some video of Park from a few seasons ago:

Once the Heroes post Park Monday, teams will have until 5 pm ET on Friday, Nov. 6 to submit a blind bid. The Heroes will then have until Monday, Nov. 9 to decide whether to accept the bid. If they accept, the team and Park will then have 30 days to negotiate a contract. The team only pays the bid -- the posting fee -- if they sign Park.

Kang is the first and so far only position player to successful transition from Korea to MLB via the posting system. He was a smashing success for the Pirates this season -- there are 29 teams wondering why they missed the boat on him -- and that figures to lead to teams spending more time evaluating Park.

The Pirates landed Park with a $5 million posting fee last offseason. They then signed him to a four-year contract worth a guaranteed $11 million.

Byung Ho Park will be posted for MLB teams next week.
Byung Ho Park will be posted for MLB teams next week. (YouTube screen grab)
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