Jung Ho Kang
Jung Ho Kang
31-Year-Old Third Baseman3B
Pittsburgh Pirates
2019 Fantasy Outlook
After a tumultuous 2017, Kang had his eyes on a return to MLB during the 2018 season. However, he needed to obtain a work visa first, something that proved to be a bit difficult due to his off-field troubles. The Korean infielder didn't receive his visa until late April, setting him behind the rest of the team even after he participated in the Dominican Winter League. He began playing for Pirates minor-league affiliates in early June, putting him in a position for a big-league callup before a wrist injury struck. He wound up requiring surgery and didn't get back to the majors until the final three days of the season, going 2-for-6. Kang has the ability to play third base and shortstop as needed, and his bat is good enough to warrant some attention. However, it seems like he's destined to fill a short-side platoon role alongside Colin Moran at third base in 2019, limiting his fantasy appeal significantly. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a one-year, $3 million contract with the Pirates in November of 2018.
Receives work visa extension
3BPittsburgh Pirates
January 17, 2019
Kang's US work visa was extended Thursday, allowing him to play Major League Baseball for the 2019 season, Adam Berry of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
This development comes as little surprise given he signed a contract to return to the Pirates back in November. However, it is worth noting given how much trouble Kang had acquiring one last season, as it ultimately delayed his return to the United States until late April. It seems like the Korean infielder has a relatively uneventful offseason on tap, with nothing suggesting he won't be fully available at the start of spring training. He'll look to win a starting infield role for Pittsburgh, though a platoon situation seems to be the more likely outcome as things stand now.
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Batting Stats
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Minor League Game Log
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Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2016
 
 
+18%
OPS vs RHP
2018
 
 
-100%
OPS vs RHP
2017
No Stats
2016
 
 
+18%
OPS vs RHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2016vs Left .757 82 7 3 11 1 .209 .354 .403
Since 2016vs Right .891 294 38 18 51 2 .268 .354 .537
2018vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018vs Right .667 6 0 0 0 0 .333 .333 .333
2017vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2016vs Left .757 82 7 3 11 1 .209 .354 .403
2016vs Right .896 288 38 18 51 2 .267 .354 .542
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2016
 
 
+25%
OPS at Home
2018
 
 
-100%
OPS on Road
2017
No Stats
2016
 
 
+24%
OPS at Home
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2016Home .969 169 19 10 32 3 .303 .396 .572
Since 2016Away .777 207 26 11 30 0 .218 .319 .458
2018Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018Away .667 6 0 0 0 0 .333 .333 .333
2017Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2016Home .969 169 19 10 32 3 .303 .396 .572
2016Away .781 201 26 11 30 0 .214 .318 .462
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Stat Review
How does Jung Ho Kang compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
BB/K
0.00
 
BB Rate
0.0%
 
K Rate
16.7%
 
BABIP
.400
 
ISO
.000
 
AVG
.333
 
OBP
.333
 
SLG
.333
 
OPS
.667
 
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
Games By Position
Defensive Stats
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Stats Vs Upcoming Pitchers
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Pirates Depth Chart
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Jung Ho Kang
The Z Files: NL Playing Time Overview
214 days ago
Todd Zola examines playing time situations in the Senior Circuit, where Ryan Braun is one of a number of players caught in crowded outfields.
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220 days ago
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NL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
226 days ago
Jan Levine recommends FAAB chasers to check if a pair of young NL East arms -- including the resurgent Zack Wheeler -- can be had off the waiver wire.
NL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
233 days ago
Jan Levine is wondering why Ross Stripling remains available in plenty of fantasy leagues and recommends other NL waiver-wire targets.
NL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
268 days ago
Jan Levine's latest FAAB report is stuffed with Braves, including two pitchers who might make a huge impact if given the chance the rest of the season.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
2016
2015
Kang missed all of 2017 as legal issues in South Korea prevented him from acquiring a work visa, and his status for 2018 remains unclear as he's still without a visa and could face additional suspensions from the Pirates and/or Major League Baseball if and when he does receive his work permit. While the 30-year-old infielder hasn't played a big-league game in over a year, he's kept in shape and participated in the Dominican Winter League in order to help him get his feel back. However, he struggled by hitting hit .143 in 24 games and was released. With David Freese preferred for a bench role, Kang would likely start at third base upon his reinstatement assuming the Pirates don't look elsewhere for a replacement. However, the Pirates said they don't expect him to play in 2018. There's no doubt Kang can contribute when he does play, but at the moment there's simply too much uncertainty surrounding his status to consider drafting him in single-season formats.
Kang's power numbers rose across the board from his impressive 2015 debut, but his batting average slipped from .287 to .255, however, and his recovery from knee surgery prevented him from playing shortstop, reducing his fantasy value in some instances. Unfortunately, there are major character concerns, which could understandably leave Kang susceptible to punishment from the legal system and MLB, as he was investigated for an alleged sexual assault in July. His off-field issues continued this offseason when he was charged with his third DUI in South Korea, in incident in which he also fled from the scene of an accident. While all signs currently point to the Pirates opening the season with Kang as their starting third baseman, discipline stemming from the aforementioned incidents may force a change of plans.
A serious left knee injury derailed what was a fantastic first season in North America by the 29-year-old. Kang was playing his best ball when a slide by Chicago’s Chris Coghlan ended his year prematurely Sept. 17. When it was all said and done, he hit .287/.355/.461 with 15 homers and 58 RBI in 434 plate appearances. Only Andrew McCutchen (4.06) saw more pitches per at-bat than Kang (4.03) among Pirates regulars. He also finished third in the NL hit by pitches (17). Kang will most likely be restricted to playing third base when he returns, to reduce the wear and tear on his knee. When exactly he is able to return and how good he will be immediately after the injury are both questions without answers as spring training begins.
Kang had an outstanding season in South Korea last year, hitting .356 with 40 home runs for the Nexxen Heroes. At age 27, he could be the first position player from the KBO to come to MLB via the posting system. It's not clear if his power would translate to MLB since the KBO doesn't feature as high a level of pitching, and it's not clear if he'll stick at shortstop, but he could be in a MLB lineup next spring. The Pirates won the bidding for Kang, and he would presumably start over Jordy Mercer if he signs with Pittsburgh and assuming that the franchise views him as a viable defensive shortstop.
More Fantasy News
Re-signs with former club
3BPittsburgh Pirates
November 8, 2018
Kang inked a one-year, $3 million deal with Pittsburgh on Thursday.
ANALYSIS
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Has 2019 option declined
3BFree Agent
October 31, 2018
The Pirates declined Kang's club option for 2019 on Wednesday, Adam Berry of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Makes successful return Friday
3BPittsburgh Pirates
September 29, 2018
Kang singled as a pinch hitter Friday, marking his first appearance in the majors in nearly two years.
ANALYSIS
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Joins Pirates for final series
3BPittsburgh Pirates
September 28, 2018
Kang (wrist) will join the Pirates on Friday for the final series of the season at Cincinnati, Adam Berry of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Expected to join big club Friday
3BPittsburgh Pirates
Wrist
September 27, 2018
Kang (wrist) is expected to join the Pirates ahead of Friday's series opener against the Reds, Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
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