6'2" 200 lbs DOB: 2/6/1988
Bats: Left | Throws: Left
2009: Bowling Green Hot Rods
Acquired: 2006 Draft, 15th Round, 439th Overall
In a system thin on hitting prospects, Kyeong Kang's stats should stand out, but he's been lost in the discussion of top Rays prospects a little. As a 21-year old in the low-A South Atlantic League, a strong season was anticipated; even still, a .307/.390/.491 slash line isn't to be taken lightly. After the All-Star break, he hit .328/.427/.513 with an OPS over 1.000 in his final 28 games.
Kang's tools don't jump out like Desmond Jennings' or even Tim Beckham, but they're not to be taken lightly. After hitting .276 and .278 his first two pro seasons, he topped .300 in 2009. He actually hit one fewer homerun in 2009 than 2008, but nearly doubled his doubles from 15 to 29 in 61 extra at-bats. He also doubled the number of walks drawn, from 20 up to 40 in 2009, while only adding 12 strikeouts transitioning to full-season ball. He also stole 10 bases for the Hot Rods.
Defensively, he has above-average range with a nice arm. He doesn't have the athleticism to play center field(in fact, he didn't see any time there after playing it some in 2008) but he would be fine in either corner spot.
The important thing to watch is his power output. Corner outfield is traditionally a power position, so he'll probably need to start cranking some more homeruns. His extra-base hit total was impressive(29 doubles and 7 triples) but the homerun number dropping one from last season was a disappointment. He has the raw power to become a 20 home run type.
Kang got off to a late start in 2009 because of injury, but finished as hot as anyone in the system. If he carries that momentum in 2010 with Charlotte, a mid-season promotion to Montgomery is possible.