Tomorrow is the official reporting date for pitchers and catchers in Spring Training. Many of the Pittsburgh Pirates players have already reported to Bradenton, including several position players. There isn’t much going on yet at Pirate City, outside of bullpen sessions, batting practice, and fielding drills. However, today provided an opportunity to watch Jung-ho Kang and Jordy Mercer rotating at shortstop while fielding grounders. The videos of each player can be seen below for your comparison purposes.
For more coverage of Jung-ho Kang, check out last week’s video of him taking batting practice, and my story from Friday on how he wants to pave the way to MLB for other Korean league players.
Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.
It’s still to early to tell though it looks like mercer has a better first step and kang has a quicker release.
Yeah, it doesn’t matter. It’s not like a decision is being made off these grounders. Mercer will be the SS this year.
I thought Mercer looked more polished. Kang waited on every ball while Mercer charged and backhanded balls when appropriate. Kang looks to have the stronger arm. It will be interesting to see if Kang can learn how to read and charge balls. If he does he could give Mercer a run for his money.
Looked like jordy double clutched just about every ball. Is that just habit or just not transitioning from the glove to throwing hand well?
It’s the day before pitchers and catchers report.
Scouting these videos is like scouting pre-game warmups.
Lang looks pretty smooth in picking it and in transferring ball from glove to hand. Be interested to see how he looks moving side to side and forward. And of course, time will tell if his arm plays well enough, too.
I’m getting a chuckle out of these guys scouting the videos Tim posted as if Kang and Mercer are even going 50%, let alone full speed. But I agree with you that Kang’s hands do look soft.
Maybe it’s me but it seems like Mercer was goofing around and Kang was pretty serious. Looks like it’s windy down there in Pirate city. Thanks for the vids Tim!
I feel like Mercer had more balls hit to the third base side, while Kang had more “routine” grounders. That led to some different throws for Mercer. There were some for each player that didn’t make the cut in the video, and it was more of the same. I wonder if that was intentional.
It was windy today.
Thanks for the all of your work! Personally I think Kang and Jordy will both stay in the games evetually! Because they will be palying great together later on! Probably the other players may move out before or after F.A.! Money issue! They will get too expensive later on!
These are some more videos for new Bucs Kang!
2015 World Series —Pirates vs Red Sox
Mercer took his good old time getting to the ball, went to the backhand a few times. But his throws seemed to have more zip