Jung-ho Kang Could Prove Extremely Valuable for the Pirates


Jung-ho Kang is a complete mystery for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Yes, everyone knows that he posted an incredible .356/.459/.739 batting line, hitting 40 home runs as a shortstop. However, no one knows how Kang, the first position player to come over from the Korean Baseball Organization, will perform in the majors leagues.

However, even without that knowledge, Kang is likely to provide the Pirates with a lot more than their four year, $16 Million outlay. Even if Kang proves to be only a shell of the player he was in Korea, the Pirates are likely to profit due to the increased advertising and broadcast revenue coming in from Kang’s home country.

Just look at the hordes of media surrounding every Japanese player to come over. While superstars like Yu Darvish and Hideki Matsui had, or still have in Darvish’s case, a large amount of media attention, players like Takashi Saito and Akinori Iwamura received a lot of attention. Their games were broadcast in Japan, although it was in the early morning over there, to solid ratings. Japanese businesses invested heavily in advertising to reach that market.

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With Jung-ho Kang coming over to the Pirates, the exact same scenario could happen in Pittsburgh. Kang jerseys will likely sell quite well in Korea. Korean businesses, looking to take advantage of another outlet to advertise, could pump in quite a bit of revenue. The Pirates, with that one investment, could well find that the signing is profitable in terms of the balance sheet even before Kang steps on the field.

Should Kang prove that his success in the KBO can translate to the majors, so much the better for the Pirates. Not only would they have a middle infielder with solid power and speed, but they would have that at a truly reasonable cost. Meanwhile, the better Kang plays, the greater likelihood that the Pirates would receive even more revenue from advertising and broadcasts from Korea.

Jung-ho Kang may prove to be a brilliant baseball move, but he will almost certainly prove to be an excellent financial investment for the Pirates. His value could go far beyond whatever production he provides on the field.