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Jack Hannahan, the former Gophers slugger who played 6 1/2 seasons in the major leagues, this year played for the LG Twins in Seoul, South Korea before a back injury sidelined the utility infielder from St. Paul. Hannahan played a lot against Byung-ho Park, the 29-year-old first baseman for whom the Twins posted a $12.85 million fee for negotiating rights last week.

Park this season hit 53 home runs and batted .343 for the Nexen Heroes in the Korean Baseball Organization.

“He’s good — he’s got a ton of power,” Hannahan said. “If anyone says he played in a small ballpark, he did. But this guy can hit home runs in any park he plays in. He’s got that type of power.”

Hannahan, who played in the majors for Oakland, Detroit, Seattle, Cleveland and Cincinnati before signing a $1.5 million, one-year contract to play in Korea, said the 6-1, 194-pound Park has a short, quick swing.

“When I was there, there was a lot of hype about him possibly going to America to play,” Hannahan said. “The biggest adjustment he’s going to have is the pitching. Korean pitching and major league pitching are very different. If he can make the adjustment, I think he’ll be great.”

That adjustment will be velocity.

“Pitchers in Korea don’t throw a lot of cut fastballs, and basically that’s what major league pitchers throw nowadays, cut fastballs and sinkers,” Hannahan said. “In Korea, there’s a lot of off-speed stuff, big slow curveballs. You won’t see any good fastballs in Korea. American pitchers will challenge him with their good fastballs.

“But I think he’ll make the adjustment, and he’ll be fun to watch.”

Hannahan, who was an exceptional fielder in the major leagues, said Park “won’t hurt you defensively” at first base.

Source : https://www.twincities.com/2015/11/17/charley-walters-twins-multi-million-dollar-target-byung-ho-park-has-a-ton-of-power/

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