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Jin-man Park

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Jin-Man Park

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 8", Weight 172 lb.

Jin-Man Park is a shortstop for the Samsung Lions. He has represented South Korea in the Olympics and World Baseball Classic and was Korean Series MVP in 2006.

Park began his career with the Hyundai Unicorns as a teenager, hitting .283/.332/.403 in 1996. Surprisingly, his statistics have remained relatively stable since then, not showing much progress. He regressed in 1997 and 1998, hitting .185/.245/.259 the first year and .203/.253/.291 the next. In 1999, Jin-Man batted .263/.334/.349.

Park had his two best years to date in 2000 and 2001. In 2000, Jin-Man produced at a .288/.350/.486 clip with 15 homers and a career-high 30 doubles. He won his first Gold Glove award and played for the Korean entry in the 2000 Olympics, winning a bronze medal; he only hit .172/?/.241. In 2001, Park hit .300/.380/.507, setting highs in every rate stat as well as in runs (72) and home runs (22). On the other hand, he had a career-high 25 errors. He still won a Gold Glove award.

The Hyundai infielder batted .219/.306/.369 in a major decline in 2002 and fanned 85 times, a career high. He bounced back in fine form in 2003, with a .283/.379/.458 batting line and 16 homers. He played for South Korea in the 2003 Asian Championship. In 2004, he hit .286/.365/.445 with 17 circuit clouts and a career-best 69 RBI. That season, Park became the 40th with 100 career homers. He also won his third Gold Glove award.

A free agent, Jin-Man signed a four-year, 3.9 million won deal with the Samsung Lions. In 2005, Park hit .249/.343/.381. The next season, the 29-year-old was picked for the South Korean entry in the 2006 World Baseball Classic. Jin-Man hit only .190/.190/.261 in the series as the Korean starter at shortstop. During the 2006 season, Park put up a .283/.380/.432 line to match his career high in OBP. He coaxed 56 walks, his best yet. He made the All-Star team at short, won his fourth Gold Glove, finished 11th in the Korea Baseball Organization in OBP, became the 31st KBO player to hit 200 doubles and was the 46th KBO player to get 1,000 hits. In the 2006 Korean Series, Park won the MVP award as Samsung took home the title. He hit the game-winning single in game three and hit .280 overall in the Series.

Park won his fifth Gold Glove in 2007.

Park was 2 for 7 with a homer in the 2007 Asian Championship. His homer came against Taiwan, helping South Korea finish in second instead of third. Despite an injury, Park hit .278/.409/.333 for South Korea in the 2008 Final Olympic Qualification Tournament as they won a spot in the 2008 Olympics. He played error-free ball at shortstop.

Park was just 1 for 15 with a walk in the 2008 Olympics and again fielded perfectly. South Korea won Gold despite his struggles.

Through 2006, his career line read .260/.339/.403 in 1,313 games.

Sources: Samsung Lions player page, Korean wikipedia, 2001 and 2007 Baseball Almanacs, IBAF site, 2008 Olympics

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