Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Should The Yankees Pursue Korean SS Jung-Ho Kang?

In case you haven't heard the New York Yankees will have a huge hole at the shortstop position following the 2014 season and the Derek Jeter replacement options are not encouraging. Currently on the roster the Yankees have Brendan Ryan, Stephen Drew (who will also be a free agent after this season), Martin Prado, and guys like Carmen Angelini in Triple-A. The free agent market doesn't look exactly encouraging either with Hanley Ramirez, Asdrubal Cabrera, and J.J. Hardy showcasing the market. The Yankees may have to look outside the organization and outside the country for Jeter's replacement and their search may extend all the way to Korea and Jung-Ho Kang.

Kang is 27 years old and stands 6' tall and weighs in at 180 pounds. Kang plays above average defense and has the power to absolutely slug the ball at the plate. Here are Kang's Korean Baseball Organization stats:

9 Seasons892351730334659041901013753551381593.298.382.503.885
As you can see Kang has been above average in each of his last five to seven seasons, albeit in a lower class of baseball in the KBO. Kang has stayed healthy, hit for power, hit for extra base hits, takes enough walks, and has slugged the heck out of the ball for three seasons now. Kang was also in the 2013 World Baseball Classic where he hit the decisive two run home run off of Taiwan in the eight inning.

No positional player from the KBO has ever had much success in the major leagues so it would be nice if the first were with the New York Yankees because this team is definitely better with Kang in the field and at the plate.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)