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Jung-Ho Kang becomes valuable for the Pittsburgh Pirates

It can be safe to say for the Pittsburgh Pirates that if the team’s in a win-or-lose situation, the safe bet is to call upJung-Ho Kang to save the day.

When  the Pirates took a gamble on a relatively unknown South Korean infielder, it was never a thought that Kang would become a vital part of not only the infield, but in the batting order as well. He has now won over the interest of the Pittsburgh baseball community and continues to contribute to the success the Pirates have had this season. It’s easy to see why just by looking at his talent on the field.


His defining moment came on March 29 when the second baseman finally broke out of a 2-29 slump at the plate going out of spring training against the Atlanta Braves. Kang hit a two run home run in the top of the ninth to seal the victory for the Bucs. From there, the season and the battle for the starting position became his for the taking.

Currently, Kang features a slash line of .268/.343/.385 with 25 RBIs and four stolen bases with most of his impressive moments coming when the Pirates needed it. Making his way onto the starting nine while last season standout Jordy Mercer has had his struggles at the plate, Kang is quickly making a case for himself when it comes down to who should be the everyday starter and why he was so dominant overseas.

While playing for the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), Kang produced quality numbers year-after-year and was one of the faces of the league. Starting in 2008, he consistently hit around .300 with double digit homeruns in five out of his nine years on the field. What turned Pittsburgh on to court him to the team was a 2014 season that showed what the infielder could really do, hitting 40 homeruns and 117 RBIs for the Nexen Heroes. Even with impressive stats in his minor league days, Kang still had to prove himself on the Major League level, something that he’s done on a consistent basis.

Despite some struggles at the plate from time to time throughout this season, Kang has shown streaks of what kind of player he truly is. Throughout the month of May and June, he has slugged his way to a low .300 batting, showing that he may have bright future ahead in the city of Pittsburgh.

via Jung-Ho Kang becomes valuable for the Pittsburgh Pirates.