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Original Issue

Unexpected Homer Binge


At 6' 5" and 240 pounds, Hee-Seop Choi has the look of a prodigious slugger, but after three major league seasons the South Korean first baseman was known more for his patience at the plate and slick glove than his power. But this year coaches have tried to tap his power potential by imploring him to be more aggressive at the plate.

Last weekend the 26-year-old Choi, who had 15 homers in his first full season in the majors last year, finally cut loose. He doubled his season home run total to 12 by slugging six in three games against the Twins. In a 6-5 victory last Friday, Choi homered twice, including a game-winning shot in the ninth. He went deep again on Saturday (458 feet to rightfield) before slugging three solo home runs in the Dodgers' 4-3 win on Sunday.

"My problem is sometimes I watch a lot of pitches," says Choi, who homered on the first pitch on three of his six home runs against Minnesota. "Now I don't think about count. I just look for a pitch to hit."