Byung-ho Park (박병호)
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 214 lb.
- School Jeonju University
- High School Seongnam High School
- Debut April 4, 2016
In the 2004 World Junior Championship, Park went 5 for 21 with 4 walks, a double, triple, four runs and four RBI as South Korea's starting first baseman as they beat the US for the Bronze Medal. The LG Twins took him in the first round of the 2005 draft. He made his debut with LG in 2005, hitting .190/~.246/.313 in 79 games. He was even worse in 2006 at .161/~.262/.292 in 48 contests. He spent 2007-2008 in the South Korean military. Returning to action in 2009, he hit .218/~.293/.399 with nine homers in 188 at-bats but slumped to .188/~.301/.344 in 78 contests in 2010. In 2011, he was traded with Soo-chang Shim to the Nexen Heroes for Seong-hyun Kim and Shin-young Song. He improved to .254/~.339/.522 with 13 homers in 66 games.
Park then exploded in 2012, producing at a .290/.393/.561 clip with 34 doubles, 31 home runs, 105 RBI and 20 steals. He was 7th in the league in runs (76), tied Yong-taik Park for the lead in doubles, led in home runs (5 ahead of runner-up Jung Choi), led in total bases (263, 8 ahead of Choi), led in RBI (14 ahead of Seok-min Park), led in slugging (.001 ahead of Jung-ho Kang) and was 4th in OPS (behind Tae-kyun Kim, Jung-ho Kang and Seok-min Park). He was named KBO MVP for his efforts.
He was left off South Korea's squad for the 2013 World Baseball Classic in favor of Seung-yeop Lee, Dae-ho Lee and Tae-kyun Kim but Park remained superb in 2013. He hit .318/.437/.602 with 37 home runs, 91 runs and 117 RBI. He led the KBO in homers (8 over Hyung-woo Choi), total bases (271, tied with Choi), RBI (19 over Hyung-woo Choi), runs (8 ahead of Ah-seop Son), slugging (51 points ahead of Jung Choi) and OPS (59 points ahead of Jung Choi). He was 8th in average (between Seok-min Park and Jung Choi) and 2nd to Tae-kyun Kim in OBP (.007 behind). He repeated as MVP, the 4th repeat winner in KBO annals following Dong-yol Son (1989-1990), Jong-hun Jang (1991-1992) and Seung-yeop Lee (2001-2003). He beat out Byung-kyu Lee and Young-soo Bae.
On November 2, 2015, the Nexen Heroes placed his name on the Posting system, where he was hoping to follow in the path of Jung-ho Kang, who had had an excellent season with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2015 after being posted by Nexen. The Minnesota Twins won bidding rights for him by offering $12.85 million, more than two and half times what the Pirates had bid for his former teammate Kang a year earlier. On December 1st, the two sides came to an agreement on a four-year contract worth $16 million, with an option for a fifth year. With Joe Mauer entrenched at first base for the Twins, Park was expected to be the DH, with slugger Miguel Sano moving to an outfield spot. On Opening Day, April 4th, he made his major league debut hitting 6th as the Twins' DH against the Baltimore Orioles. He struck out against Chris Tillman in his first at-bat, but hit a single off reliever Tyler Wilson the next time up. He was also hit by a pitch and scored a run as the Twins lost, 3-2. After three months, he was batting only .191 with 80 strikeouts in 62 games, although he had showed good power with 9 doubles and 12 homers. The Twins were struggling mightily, however, and on July 1st, he was sent down to the minor leagues when slugger Miguel Sano came off an extended stay on the disabled list. He played 31 games for Rochester, where he hit .224 with 10 homers and 19 RBIs and did not return to the majors. On February 3, 2017, the Twins decided to have him designated for assignment to make room on the roster for free agent signee Matt Belisle. As no team put in a claim for him, he was outrighted to Rochester on February 9th.
- Rhett Bollinger: "Park on way to Minnesota to meet with Twins: Korean star headed to Chicago for meeting with agent before continuing to Twin Cities", mlb.com, November 29, 2015. 
- Rhett Bollinger: "Park clears waivers, outrighted to Rochester", mlb.com, February 9, 2017. 
- David Dorsey: "MLB player Byung-Ho Park adjusts to life in Fort Myers", USA Today Sports, February 16, 2016. 
- Bob Nightengale: "Twins win right to sign Korean slugger Byung Ho Park", USA Today Sports, November 10, 2015. 
- Phil Rogers: "Twins hit home run with addition of Park", mlb.com, December 1, 2015. 
- Phil Rogers: "Park ready for next step of American adventure: Twins to remain patient as Korean slugger acclimates to MLB", mlb,com, March 1, 2016.