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Giants interested in Jung-Ho Kang

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The Korean shortstop might be a Pablo Sandoval replacement.

Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

I'm going to work you up about Jung-Ho Kang, the Korean shortstop the Giants are reportedly interested in. Ready? He hit .364 last season.

Yeah, you're interested. Oh, and he posted a .457 OBP to boot.

You've already started making a homemade Kang shirsey. Don't do that. The ink will stain your porcelain sink. But what if I told you that he slugged .733?

Oh, you've already started working up a homemade Kang the Conqueror mask. That seems sudden. Before you get too far, note that the rest of us are already making Kang-a-roo hats, and you'll be left out.

One last note, though: Brett Pill hit .311/.353/.537 in Korea last year. So there are problems just tossing those stats from Kang into the ol' opinionizing machine and pretending like you know what to do with them. The KBO is a hitter's league, and how. That .364/.457/.733 isn't going to just port over like an old game to a new system. Also, he's never played third base, as far as I can tell. He's always been a shortstop.

That written, I'm fascinated. I've had a tab with his stats open for a month, just waiting for an excuse to write about him. Keith Law ranked Kang the #15 free agent on the market.

Kang seems to have split scouts into two disparate camps: Those who see a power-hitting middle infielder, and those who see an unathletic corner guy whose power won't translate outside of Korea.

I'm closer to the former camp, as I see a swing that will generate legit plus power even once he leaves his hitter-friendly home park in the Yangcheon District of Seoul.

Law also notes that Kang probably isn't a true shortstop but has a great arm, which means he profiles well for third base. It's at this point that I don't envy the Giants' job. I know how you evaluate defense; I'm just not sure how you evaluate it so confidently that you're willing to commit millions and millions of your boss's money. That goes for Kang's hitting, too. The good news is that we all get to be critical if it doesn't pan out.

One last wrinkle: Kang (and other Korean players) are still under the old, weird posting system. That is, every team has to submit a blind bid, with the winner getting exclusive negotiation rights. That leads to lower final deals for the players (think Yu Darvish) but the cost is still substantial for the team because of the posting fee (think Yu Darvish).

I, for one, look forward to the Giants having the second-highest bid for Kang. Until that happens, though, enjoy the sweet alternate timeline that an international mystery player provides. He could be the one to break this weeks-long championship drought, everyone.