Twins’ Park Byung-ho gets rude awakening, suffers 3-strikeout debut

March 2, 2016
Minnesota Twins' Byung Ho Park, of South Korea, walks off the field after striking out swinging in the third inning of a spring training baseball game against the Boston Red Sox in Fort Myers, Fla., Wednesday, March 2, 2016. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Minnesota Twins’ Park Byung-ho, of South Korea, walks off the field after striking out swinging in the third inning of a spring training baseball game against the Boston Red Sox in Fort Myers, Fla., Wednesday, March 2, 2016. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

By The Korea Times Los Angeles staff

Korean slugger Park Byung-ho’s Minnesota Twins debut did not go as planned, to put it mildly. He struck out all three times on just 11 pitches Wednesday in Florida.

The 29-year-old power hitter downplayed his three-strikeout debut after a 7-4 exhibition game win over the Boston Red Sox. He said he was mostly focusing on tracking the ball in preparation for regular season games, and he was just glad to have the first one out of the way. He also said the pitches he saw weren’t all that much different than what he used to see in South Korea.

Park swung through a 1-2 high fastball with bases loaded in the first inning against Red Sox left-hander Henry Owens. Facing righty Noe Ramirez in the third, Park went down swinging on three pitches. In the fifth, he fouled off one pitch before being called out on strikes against right-hander Anthony Varvaro.

Just so you know, striking out a lot is nothing new for Park. He struck out 161 times last year, and 142 times in 2014, en route to hitting 105 home runs in two years combined. It won’t be a tremendous upset to see him threaten Mark Reynolds’ record of 223 strikeouts (2009) in a single season, should he earns enough at-bats.

The Twins signed Park to a four-year, $12-million deal during the offseason after making a $12.85 million winning bid to negotiate with him.

 

 

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