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Jung Ho Kang (3B, PIT) - Fantasy Baseball Draft Sleepers

BALLER MOVE: Draft target ~pick 400

CURRENT ADP: ~460 overall

ANALYSISPittsburgh Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang is the pure definition of a sleeper. After missing the entire 2017 season due to legal issues in his home country of South Korea, Kang re-obtained his work visa in April of 2018 and shortly returned to the organization in an attempt to get back into baseball shape. It took until the Pirates' final series of the season to make his debut, marking his first games at PNC Park in almost two whole seasons. Even though Kang will turn 32 in the early portion of the upcoming season, the Pirates re-signed him to a one-year deal to show he still has what it takes. He hasn’t played much baseball in the past two years, so the risk is palpable but his opportunity in Pittsburgh this season is enough to make him that dark horse that could pay dividends for your fantasy team.

Unfortunately, Kang’s absence for most of the past two years makes predicting his output a tough task, so we must go back to his first two seasons in America. Kang showed up in Pittsburgh in 2015 with few knowing what to expect. He proceeded to finish fifth on the team in home runs (15), RBI (58), and runs (60). He slashed .287/.355/.461 in his first big league season for a team that won 98 games. In September of '15, the Cubs' Chris Coghlan slid hard into second base, ending Kang's season with a knee injury. That same injury forced him to start 2016 on the DL, but upon returning he clubbed 21 home runs with 62 RBI, making him one of the most dangerous hitters in the Pirates lineup yet again. In 103 games that season, his slash line was .255/.354/.513.

While he is surely going to have to battle with Colin Moran to be the Pirates starting third baseman, Kang should still have a sizable role on the Pirates in 2019. He can be that player that people will question you come draft day, but you can have the last laugh when he winds up as a top-20 third baseman.

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