(Must watch video.)
New Twins acquistion Park Byung-ho (29 years old), has blasted 4 homeruns at the span of just 12 games played so far this season (in 43 at-bats). All of those homeruns by Park weren’t just cheapies, either… his first Major league homerun that was hit Kauffman stadium was measured at 134.4 meters (441 feet), off reliever Joakim Soria in the 8th inning, his second homerun off Angels pitcher Joe Smith was measured at an outstanding 140.8 meters (462 feet), the true distance was said to be at exactly 142 meters (466 feet) there at centerfield, overtaking Jim Thome’s 464 feet blast that was hit at Target Field in year 2011, the longest homerun ever to be hit at Target Field… but due to the variety of being measured by different sources, it was deemed as “controversial”, therefore his second homerun was only measured at 140.8 meters by the Twins… Facing the Brewers in the series at Target Field, Park blasted homeruns off Chase Anderson and Tyler Thornburg measuring at 117 meters, 385 feet (true distance) and 123 meters, 404 feet respectively in back to back days. With 4 homeruns hit in April this season, Park is currently leading his team in homeruns.
In his last 7 days, Park Byung-ho blasted 3 homeruns (22 at-bats, compiling a batting average of .318, going 7 for 22).
Now, as stated in the video above via TVchanews (0:48- 1:02 mark)… Park Byung-ho can break the current MLB Asian homerun record which was previously set by Hideki Matsui in year 2004, the time he blasted 31 homeruns in the season playing for the Yankees… making him so far the only Asian player in Major League Baseball history to hit 30 or more homeruns in a single season… With the 162 game season in the MLB, compared to the KBO’s 144 games… Park is set to finish the Major league regular season hitting 45-50 homeruns (46 homeruns as target) if he maintains his current homerun pace going, among South Korean sluggers that has played in the MLB, it’s Choo Shin-soo (so far) that has had the most success… hitting 20 plus homeruns in both year 2010 and 2015 in the bigs.
Park Byung-ho also has power to all fields, present in the MLB today, and previously in the KBO. In the MLB, Park has already blasted homers to leftfield (2 times), centerfield (one) and right (one) in just 12 games played. As for his strikeout numbers or swings and misses this MLB season (16 strikeouts), I’ll tell you… It’s not really that alarming. As you can see in this chart here below via Koreabaseball.com, you can see all of Park Byung-ho’s strikeouts here by month during his time in the previous KBO league regular season. While his batting average though may be high (due to inferior pitching, as the starters’ fastball there only average 138-145 kph on the radar gun…), he is still averaging around 25 plus strikeouts per month there in the KBO season. Park finished his 2015 KBO league campaign hitting 53 homeruns and 146 RBI’s while having a batting average of .343 in 140 games played last season.
(Park’s by month statistics in the 2015 KBO league season.)
So far in the Major Leagues, Park Byung-ho only has one pitch arsenal he’s currently struggling to catch-up too… And that is against Major League fastballs, in which he had no hits acquired yet… with 10 foulballs, and also 2 strikeouts in the ongoing season.
Be that as it may be (his current strikeout rates), his power hitting skills is still very present and phenomenal there in the Major leagues, even putting up tape measured shots. While the 45 plus homerun record can, or may still be pretty far fetched, there’s is still a chance that he can break, or possibly tie Hideki Matsui’s record of 31 homeruns in the Major leagues… The Minnesota Twins projections for the MLB rookie Park Byung-ho is set to finish the 2016 season at 31 homeruns and 77 RBI’s, while having a batting average of .252 in 481 at-bats. While ZiPS (sZymborski Projection System) meanwhile, are projecting him to hit 27 homeruns and 84 RBI’s while having a batting average of .266 to finish the season.
Also, a very important note: All of Park’s 4 Major league homeruns (average true distance) are measured at 129.5 meters (424.8 feet), far leading the MLB average homerun true distance of just 122 meters (400.6 feet) this season.
The longest ever homerun Park Byung-ho has hit in his Baseball career was measured at 159 meters… back in year 2015 here in the video via YTN (0:17-0:38 mark), blasted way out of Mokdong Baseball Stadium facing against the KT Wiz at home.
So, yeah… I wouldn’t be surprised if he’ll hit one veeerrryyy far like this there in the Major leagues someday.