Minnesota Twins vs AL Central at Designated Hitter
Who Will DH for Teams in the AL Central?
This past off-season, the Twins signed Byung-ho Park from the KBO to be their primary DH for the foreseeable future. Yes, he will spell first baseman Joe Mauer in the field now and then, but the Twins have pushed all in on a young (29) slugger to man a position whose primary goals are to hit, hit home runs, and drive in runs. All the while shoring up a power drought in the middle of the batting order.
Last year, the Twins had young slugger Miguel Sano as their primary DH after his arrival in July. The thought was to either groom him to be the everyday first or third baseman of the future. Instead, the Twins signed Park last December 1st to a 4 year, $12 million contract, after posting $12.8 million to negotiate with him.
Park has lit up the KBO League the past 4 years, winning MVP honors twice, while leading the league in home runs each of the past four years. He hit 52 and 53 home runs in the past two seasons alone. The big question is how these gaudy power numbers will translate in the MLB. This spring, he has not seemed over-matched, leading the Twins in home runs and RBI so far, with a .944 OPS.
Kansas City Royals:
Kendrys Morales resurrected his career last year with the World Champion Royals, after bouncing around some teams (including the Twins), after leaving the California Angels. He had an .847 OPS with 22 HRs & 106 RBIs as the Royals’ full-time DH.
These numbers reflect earlier production at the plate when he was a regular with the Angels and then the Mariners. 23 HR’s/90 RBI’s would be reachable numbers for Morales, especially with all the offensive weapons and speed in the Royals lineup.
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