Jung Ho Kang
Jung Ho Kang
33-Year-Old Third Baseman3B
 Free Agent  
Free Agent
2020 Fantasy Outlook
Legal troubles and wrist surgery limited Kang to just three big-league games in 2017 and 2018 combined, but he was ready to go to start the 2019 season. Unfortunately for the Pirates, he proved to be nowhere close to the player he was in his first two seasons stateside. In 65 games before getting released in early August, Kang hit an anemic .169/.222/.395, striking out at a 32.4% clip. His power was still there, but that's just about all he offered, as his defense also graded out poorly at both third base and shortstop. It's hard to see why a team would be interested in taking a chance on Kang this season. He does have a 116 career wRC+ in 297 major-league games, but his last successful season at the plate came back in 2016, and he'll turn 33 in April. Given his past success, it's possible he could get things back together, but there's little reason to invest during draft season. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a one-year, $3 million contract with the Pirates in November of 2018. Released by the Pirates in August of 2019.
Will serve one-year ban from KBO
3BFree Agent  
May 27, 2020
The Korea Baseball Organization issued Kang a one-year suspension Monday and ordered him to complete 300 hours of community service before considering his reinstatement, Jee-ho Yoo of the Yonhap News Agency reports.
ANALYSIS
After his career in North America stalled out, Kang is looking to return to his home country of South Korea to continue playing, but his three prior DUI convictions will delay his potential reinstatement. Given that KBO rules could have resulted in Kang serving a three-year suspension due to the arrests, the one-year ban represents a lighter penalty than anticipated for the 33-year-old infielder. Before joining the Pirates ahead of the 2015 season, Kang was one of the KBO's standout performers, as he hit .356 with 40 home runs in his final year with the Nexen (now Kiwoom) Heroes. The Heroes will retain his rights if and when he's reinstated by the league.
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Batting Stats
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2019
2018
2017
2019 MLB Game Log
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2018 MLB Game Log
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2017 MLB Game Log
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Minor League Game Log
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
6
5
7
1
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
1
3
5
3
7
1
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2017
 
 
+38%
OPS vs RHP
2019
 
 
+39%
OPS vs RHP
2018
 
 
-100%
OPS vs RHP
2017
No Stats
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2017vs Left .504 76 6 3 7 0 .160 .171 .333
Since 2017vs Right .698 115 9 7 17 0 .184 .261 .437
2019vs Left .504 76 6 3 7 0 .160 .171 .333
2019vs Right .700 109 9 7 17 0 .175 .257 .443
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
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2017
 
 
+20%
OPS at Home
2019
 
 
+22%
OPS at Home
2018
 
 
-100%
OPS on Road
2017
No Stats
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2017Home .682 89 11 6 12 0 .160 .225 .457
Since 2017Away .566 102 4 4 12 0 .186 .225 .340
2019Home .682 89 11 6 12 0 .160 .225 .457
2019Away .559 96 4 4 12 0 .176 .219 .341
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
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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.

* Exit Velocity and Barrels/PA % are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 400 PA) and Hard Hit Rate is benchmarked against last season's data (min 400 PA). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • BB/K
    Walk to strikeout ratio
  • BB Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a walk.
  • K Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a strikeout.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many of a batter’s balls in play go for hits.
  • ISO
    Isolated Power. Slugging percentage minus batting average. A computation used to measure a batter's raw power.
  • AVG
    Batting average. Hits divided by at bats.
  • OBP
    On Base Percentage. A measure of how often a batters reaches base. Roughly equal to number of times on base divided by plate appearances.
  • SLG
    Slugging Percentage. A measure of the batting productivity of a hitter. It is calculated as total bases divided by at bats.
  • OPS
    On base plus slugging. THe sum of a batter's on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
  • wOBA
    Weighted on-base average. Measures a player's overall offensive contributions per plate appearance. wOBA combines all the different aspects of hitting into one metric, weighting each of them in proportion to their actual run value.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Hard Hit Rate
    A measure of contact quality from Sports Info Solutions. This stat explains what percentage of batted balls were hit hard vs. medium or soft.
  • Barrels/PA
    The percentage of plate appearances where a batter had a batted ball classified as a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
BB/K
0.18
 
BB Rate
5.9%
 
K Rate
32.4%
 
BABIP
.184
 
ISO
.227
 
AVG
.169
 
OBP
.222
 
SLG
.395
 
OPS
.617
 
wOBA
.268
 
Exit Velocity
92.2 mph
 
Hard Hit Rate
40.7%
 
Barrels/PA
6.5%
 
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
Games By Position
Defensive Stats
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Batted Ball Stats
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Stats Vs Upcoming Pitchers
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Jung Ho Kang
The Z Files: Winning Tendencies, Part Four
18 days ago
Todd Zola continues his breakdown of last year's NFBC Main Event rosters and explains why he thinks Christian Yelich showed up on so few league-winning squads.
Games Played By Position: 2020 Eligibility Notes
231 days ago
Clay Link looks at appearances by position and makes note of multi-position eligibility and lost eligibility for 2020.
NL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
325 days ago
Despite a poor start to the season, Jan Levine thinks Jesus Aguilar's recent form qualifies him as an excellent addition.
NL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
353 days ago
He may not be hitting too well of late, but Jan Levine thinks Chris Taylor can turn it around if the Dodgers provide him sufficient playing time.
NL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
June 2, 2019
Jan Levine takes us through the latest NL rounds, including a look at Addison Russell's recent return and fantasy prowess.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
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.
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
Seeking return to KBO
3BFree Agent  
May 22, 2020
Kang has applied for a return to the KBO, and disciplinary proceedings will open Monday to determine how long of a suspension he will have to serve for his multiple drunk driving cases, Yoo Jee-ho of the Yonhap News Agency reports.
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Seeking MiLB deal
3BFree Agent  
May 12, 2020
Kang is expected to pursue a minor-league deal after his return to the Korean Baseball Organization was blocked by suspensions, Jason Lee of JaysJournal.com reports.
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Pursuing return to South Korea
3BFree Agent  
April 29, 2020
Kang is pursuing a return to the Korea Baseball Organization after a league official confirmed Wednesday that the 33-year-old removed himself from the KBO's "voluntarily retired" list last week, Jee-ho Yoo of Yonhap News reports.
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Deal not yet finalized
3BFree Agent  
August 16, 2019
Kang has not officially signed a minor-league contract with Milwaukee, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.
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Inks minor-league deal with Brewers
3BMilwaukee Brewers  
August 16, 2019
Kang signed a minor-league contract with the Brewers on Friday, Craig Calcaterra of NBC Sports reports.
ANALYSIS
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