Byung-ho Park Just Keeps Destroying Baseballs
Every time Minnesota Twins rookie Byung-ho Park launches a massive tater into the stands, our ears are blessed with the sweet, sweet sounds of the play-by-play call from his native South Korean broadcasters.
At this rate, all of us finna be fluent by August.
Byung Ho #Park's solo homer #7 (Korean call)#MNTwins pic.twitter.com/xjkdTITA41
— Joseph Kim (@blackwings2011) May 4, 2016
That was just his latest, run-of-the-mill, opposite-field, line-drive home run off the facing of the second deck. Ya know. No biggie.
The absurd thing about that seemingly impressive dinger, though, is that it was actually sub-par for the standard Park has set thus far. It was his seventh home run of the year, but it was only his second that didn't go at least 410 feet, according to Statcast. The other was also an oppo taco, flying 390 feet against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Even that other "short" dinger off Park's bat had a higher exit velocity than his most recent display of pop. The exit velocity on Tuesday night's home run was 104.83 miles per hour, the lowest exit velocity on any of his home runs this year. Two of them have topped 111 miles per hour, making him one of only 14 players with multiple homers leaving the bat that quickly.
He's also in elite company when we look at the distance of his homers. Four of Park's seven long balls have traveled at least 430 feet, making him one of only three players (Trevor Story and Mike Trout are the others) to do that four times. Only 22 players have at least two 430-foot dongs, and Park has four. Not too shabby, rook.
All of this could lead you to think he's some sort of one-trick pony who's only here to chew bubble gum and hit home runs, but everything that leaves his bat is carrying right now.
Byung Ho #Park with a 2-run triple vs Dallas Keuchel
his 1st MLB triple, 418 feet #MNTwins pic.twitter.com/Zct73l4PZ4
— Joseph Kim (@blackwings2011) May 3, 2016
Tal's Hill just outchea tryna hold down greatness. Disrespectful.
Not even a random hill can suppress Park's top-notch power potential. He's currently eighth in the league in hard-hit rate among qualified batters, and he has the 18th lowest soft-hit rate. When you couple that with a 44.2% fly-ball rate, you've got a guy who is going to keep lighting the ever-loving crap out of baseballs for the foreseeable future.
If you're a pitcher trying to counter Park's reign of terror, A) I'm so sorry, but more importantly B) you may want to try pitching him inside. All seven of his home runs have come on pitches either down the pipe or outside, as you can see on this Statcast chart.
Considering two of his home runs have been to the opposite field and another two to dead center, that really shouldn't be a surprise. It'll just make it even more demoralizing if he proves he can also light up pitches on the inside edge.
Based on what we've seen so far, Park is a legit long-ball threat every time he comes to the dish, and everything about his batted-ball stats says it's sustainable. He's sending bombs every which direction, and they're going massive distances. It's not a stretch to say -- after 85 big-league plate appearances -- that he is baseball's next great power hitter.
And if that means more of these beauties, then you won't hear me complaining.
Byung Ho #Park's 1st Target Field homer ,462 feet (Korean call) #ParkBang #MNTwins pic.twitter.com/c8CB0Ohnni
— Joseph Kim (@blackwings2011) April 16, 2016