Kang Showing Early Signs of Progress

After missing last season the Pirates infielder is off to a solid start in his journey back.

Noah Hiles
June 06, 2018 - 7:31 pm

© Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

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PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) – It could still be a long time until Pirates fans get to see Jung Ho Kang play another game at PNC Park. Following his return to the Pirates organization earlier this season, the front office was unaware as to how long his path back to the big leagues would take. However, after his first few games in the Florida State league with Class A Bradenton, things are certainly looking positive.

In four games with the Marauders, Kang is hitting .462 (6-13) with two homeruns and has driven seven runs in. He has also walked five times and taken a big step in the field where he has started to stay in and play the entire length of a nine inning game.

After hitting a grand slam on Saturday, Kang went 4-5 with another homer and three RBI on Monday. When asked if he had been able to see what his former third basemen was doing in the minor leagues, Clint Hurdle told reporters on Wednesday he had indeed been keeping tabs.

“We watched some of the game last night,” said Hurdle. “The fact that he is playing nine innings is good. He’s playing short (stop) and moving to third and making plays.”

Hurdle then went on to talk about Kang’s hitting approach saying, “He is showing some patience at the plate and has barreled some balls even when they’re pitching around him. I think he is in a pretty good place right now where he is playing and against the competition that he is facing.”

Despite his early success the Pirates plan remains to allow Kang to progress throughout the minor leagues at a fair pace in fears of rushing him back before he is completely ready to play at the major league level. During his process in returning to the majors, Kang is getting work at both shortstop and third base, which when combined with the power he can bring at the plate, would make him a very valuable addition to the Pirates current roster.