If Kang keeps playing well, he’ll help some Korean players (and their teams) get a lot of money.
Like Suzuki, Kang studied American pitchers feverishly before crossing the Pacific Ocean, and like Suzuki, his adjustments appear to have gone swimmingly.
“Girls,” he joked when asked his favorite thing about America. “No, the food. I like steak. I have nothing to complain about.”
Partly because of his size, there are believers the power will migrate. Dan Farnsworth, a swing analyst for Fangraphs.com, predicted immediate stardom for Kang, just as he did for another unknown, Cuban hitter Jose Abreu.
The believers include the Pirates. Kang peppered the metal roof of batting cages beyond the left-field fence at a Pirate City back field early this spring. In his second spring at-bat, he homered to right-center against Toronto Blue Jays right-hander Marco Estrada.
Not Carlos Correa, South Korea.
Putting a blanket statement on the level of talent in the KBO is an unwinnable situation. Both Nitkowski and Sadowski said that while there are guys there who could not crack a Double-A roster in the U.S., there are players, such as Ryu, who clearly have the talent to be difference makers in the majors.
“I don’t know that there’s a Triple-A team that could roll in and necessarily beat the Doosan Bears,” Nitkowski said. “Even to say that it’s ...
Nobody is sure what to expect of Kang. We’ll find out soon enough.
The easiest way to summarize the risk is this: Kang just finished second in the league in home runs. In third, with 37, was one Eric Thames. Thames also finished with a four-digit OPS, and in North American Triple-A, he slugged .506. Thames, in the majors, has slugged .431. Meanwhile, Yamaico Navarro just hit 31 homers in Korea, with an OPS of .969. He was worse than that in Triple-A, and he never did anything in the bigs. This ...
Who is Jeong-ho Kang?
Then there’s Jeong-ho Kang, the 27-year-old Korean who intrigues the Mets enough that they have scouted him in person and on video and convened earlier this week at the Winter Meetings — at the Mets’ behest — with Kang’s agent Alan Nero. Cabrera also is represented by Nero, yet the Mets’ interest lies primarily with Kang.
Kang has consistently put up huge numbers in Korea and posted an amazing .364/.457/.733 slash line in 2014 for the Nexen Heores, hitting 39 home runs in 116 games. The big question is how those numbers translate, which is why he could be viewed as a bargain by some.
Yes, that is the question. Any speculation on how this fellow’s skills translate?
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