The LG Twins of the Korea Baseball Organization announced that they’ve signed former big league first baseman Justin Bour for the remainder of the 2021 season (link via Jee-ho Yoo of South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency). Bour will be paid $350K for the remainder of the season.
Bour, 33, signed a minor league deal with the Giants after Spring Training had begun and opened the 2021 season with their top affiliate in Sacramento. He’s out to a .213/.346/.426 start to the season with six homers, five doubles, a strong 15.4 percent walk rate and a 23 percent strikeout rate in Triple-A. The former Marlins, Phillies and Angels first baseman spent the 2020 season with Nippon Professional Baseball’s Hanshin Tigers in Japan, hitting at a .243/.338/.422 clip with 17 long balls and eight doubles in 379 trips to the plate.
It’s been a couple years since we’ve seen Bour in the Majors and a bit longer than that since we saw him at his best. From 2014-17, Bour hit .273/.346/.489 as the Marlins’ primary first baseman — including a monstrous .289/.366/.536, 25-homer showing back in 2017 (134 wRC+, 143 OPS+). Bour was an above-average hitter in each of his five seasons with the Fish, but his production dropped precipitously following a 2018 trade to the Phillies and fell off even further with the Angels in 2019.
Bour is replacing first baseman Roberto Ramos on the roster for the Twins. Ramos, 26, took the KBO by storm last year in his debut campaign when he hit .278/.362/.592 with 38 home runs, 17 doubles and a pair of triples. The former Rockies prospect has been hindered by a lower back injury throughout the 2021 season, however, and has now been out of action for the Twins since June 9. He batted .243/.317/.422 through 205 plate appearances before the injury sidelined him.