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Friday, March 11, 2016

2016 FANTASY BASEBALL STOCK WATCH: JUNG-HO KANG READY TO RUN BASES

Pittsburgh Pirates Korean shortstop Jung-Ho Kang reached another significant milestone on Thursday when it was revealed he is ready to start running the bases as he continues to make steady progress in his return from a torn meniscus and fractured tibia he suffered last September that ended his promising rookie season in its tracks.  After lighting up the Korean League with prodigious power and an average well north of .300, Kang was a big curiosity heading into the 2015 fantasy baseball season.  The general feeling was that Kang faced a pronounced adjustment period against Major League pitching as the Korean League was compared to A-Ball in the States.  Well after a rough April that was not unexpected, Kang started showing off his ability and power the rest of the way.  Right before the injury, Kang had turned himself into an every day fantasy baseball infielder by hitting .287 with 15 home runs and 5 steals in just 467 at-bats.  With a full allotment of at-bats, Kang could have hit 20 home runs which are very valuable at any middle infield spot and especially for a rookie player.  Be that as it may, the devastating knee injury was expected to keep him out until May of 2016.

Still Kang has made nice progress in his recovery from the injury and there are whispers now that he could be ready by the end of April.  With a K rate of 21.2 percent that was better than expected as a rookie and some obvious power, Kang could be a tremendous value play if he does return that quickly.  We could be looking a ta .280 hitter with 15-20 home runs and a few steals for the price of a late round pick and of course you need to go with upside like this during the last few rounds of your draft.  Kang may not ever light up the scoreboard like he did in Korea but this is a story that is still being written in positive ink.


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