Jung-ho Kang has reported to Pirate City, where he is working out and preparing for the start of Spring Training. Yesterday he took a few sessions of batting practice, and friend of the site Joe Sweetnich was kind enough to capture the video below. It’s only batting practice, but the ball looks to be jumping off his bat, and his swing looks very easy.
UPDATE: Here is a closer look from this morning.
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.
Stronger than kimchi breath.
King Kong likes Bibimbap better than kimchi!
The leg kick is fine. More worried about the early weight shift.
Why ? Dan Farnsworth, one of the best swing analysts, isn’t .
I want Kang to come in and go up to AJ and say “You have no marbles” just like Tanaka said to Cerrano
I disagree they need to get that guy back who worked with Chris Duffy. Make this guy hit it into the ground!
Haha, great reference.
Reminds me of Jose Bautista’s swing
Give the Pirates a couple weeks with him and they’ll take care of that… 😉
Smooth swing, I imagine that high leg kick is more to generate power though it could also be for timing. It will be interesting to see what adjustements he makes after big league pitchers get his timing and start disrupting it.
Noticed McCutchen in that picture, already working out.
Here is a link to a breakdown of Kang’s swing with some pretty heady comps. It’s a great article http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/breaking-down-jung-ho-kang/
Thanks, I had passed by the article but did not read it before, this time I read it. From any video I saw I thought Kang was a steal, I think most teams passed on him because they don’t think he played against good competition, for some reason they put his talent secondary.
I tend to think the same way… it’s not his fault the competition stinks. He’s got no control over that.
He was still the best player in the league..
And to be fair, if someone put those numbers in AA, they’d be seen as an elite prospect.. Furthermore, there’s not a player in ANY level of minor league baseball that put up anything close to what Kang did last year in barely 500 PAs.
Getting Cutch signed was NH best move… but this could be his most shrewd.
Absolutely agree with you!
People worry far too much about the leg kick in my opinion. And when you see his swing mechanics in video side by side with the other guys in the article. It really shows how clean, quick, and short to the ball he really is when you clear out all the other noise leading up to him loading his hands.
Another thing I noticed similar to Cabrera is that he lets the ball travel deep into the zone before he even starts his swing.
Almost no movement on the upper body, the leg kick is a timing mechanism as sevenpatch says. Very excite to see how he is going to do and fit into the pirates plans.
any chance it gets changed?
Not unless the results aren’t there. Hes had success with it, so if it ain’t broke don’t fix it
Why? It’s a non-issue.
that step is awesome, all timing oriented. I bet it all depends on the pitcher delivery, if the pitcher is slow to the plate then you get a big leg kick, if the pitcher is quick to the plate then the kick goes away. I wonder what Kang’s field splits are (is he strictly a pull hitter or can he work the whole field).
I have wanted to see a spray chart with home run distances, and see how many of them would not have left with PNC dimensions, but to the best of my knowledge that info isn’t available.
Yeah, I’ve been looking for spray charts too. Also game logs, I wanted to see how Kang did against Ryu a few years ago.
The last battle between Ryu Hyun Jin vs King Kong 2012. Right before Ryu came to the LA.
Cool thanks! FYI, 97 meters is 318 feet, 2 feet short of the Clemente wall, I think that particular shot would have hit the top of the wall. Might have been close though.
I love it. All the folks freaking out about the leg kick are missing out on how quick he actually is to the ball. Almost no wasted movement in his hands. This guy is going to hit.
Did you mean all the folks freaking out about his leg kick are Brewers and Cardinal’s fans ?
Ha. I’m sure they mean well, just a little too caught up in their Tom Emanski video series, endorsed by Fred McGriff.
Or they were reading Charlie Lau’s book, ” How To Hit MLB Pitching….. in the 1970’s.”
Why did I think Fred McGriff was about say:
“Kill my landlord,
kill my landlord”
Agree…actually very compact in the hitting zone
He’s going to hate left field at PNC Park.
not if he can hit them down the line!
Not any more than anyone else, he can pull the ball as well as go to all fields, he just might surprise a few people with his right field pop. He has major league power.
Ha yeah, unless he can aim for the left field notch! Maybe he can ring up the triples?
works for me.
Rookie of the Year?
I don’t know if he will get enough AB’s.
But if the guy is hitting, they will find a place for him 4 to 5 days a week.
I am really looking forward to seeing this guy in action.
I’m anxious to see this guy against elite pitching.
me too! good thing i am 30 miles to the north. Plan on taking in alot of action this spring!!
This team has me optimistic that this will be a season for the books!.
If every one stays somewhat healthy, and some minor league guys can come up and help out during the season, this team should be WAY better(especially) the bench, than last year, or even the 2013 team.
You wll get your chance, he has hit against elite pitching before however, Hyun-Jin Ryu is a pretty good pitcher as is Liz, he hit one of Liz’s fastfalls out of the park.
that step he takes is nuts.
The kick reminds me a bit of Sadaharu Oh from the other side. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBtqRkWg8GU
Every watch Jose Bautista since his rebirth in Toronto?