- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 6' 0", Weight 187 lb.
- Born October 18, 1977
Sung-ho Jang is a former KBO batting titlist and two-time OBP leader who has also played in the Olympics for South Korea. He has played the outfield and first base.
Jang debuted professionally at age 18, hitting .206/.286/.286 in 189 AB over 71 games. His playing time increased in 1997 and he hit .268/.305/.357. In 1998, Jang batted .312/.381/.462 with 15 HR, becoming a solid all-around offensive player at age 20. During the 1999 campaign, Sung-ho hit .342/.420/.561 with 24 HR and 110 runs scored. It was the first of six consecutive seasons with a .400+ OBP.
In 2000, Jang put up a batting line of .324/.436/.489. He led the Korea Baseball Organization in OBP and was 7th in average, 3 points behind Julio Franco. He played in the 2000 Olympics, going 2 for 14 with three walks and four runs for the Bronze Medalists, splitting left field with Byung-kyu Lee.
In 2001, Jang hit .311/.422/.534 for the renamed KIA Tigers. He hit 23 home runs and drove in 97. At age 24, the KIA slugger batted .342/.445/.522 with 19 HR and 95 RBI. He led the KBO in average and OBP. The closest competitors in average, Hae-yeong Ma and Seung-yeop Lee, were 20 points behind. He starred for South Korea when they won the 2002 Asian Games. As the DH, he hit .520 with 7 RBI in six games. He led the Gold Medalists in hits (5 ahead of Byung-kyu Lee, Seung-yeop Lee and Jae-hong Park), average (Seung-yeop Lee was 2nd at .381) and RBI (2 ahead of Byung-kyu Lee). The 2003 season was another fine one - his batting line read .315/.417/.532 with 36 doubles, 21 home runs, 93 runs and 105 RBI. He was 8th in the KBP in average.
During 2004, the Tigers star hit .301/.401/.481 with 19 HR. He batted .300/.382/.457 in 2005, ending his run of .400+ OBP campaigns. Through 2005, he ranked 6th all-time in KBO history in average (.310), 7th in doubles (257), 36th in games (1,192), tied for 25th in grounding into double plays (94), 14th in hits (1,328), 20th in home runs (157), tied for 19th in RBI (656), 13th in runs (737) and 11th in BB+HBP (676).
A free agent, he re-signed with KIA. He batted .306/.413/.456; the 28-year-old's 13 home runs were the fewest since his teenage years. He won Bronze in the 2006 Asian Games.
Through his first 13 games in 2007, his career batting line reads .308/~.404/.480 with 805 runs in 1,331 games.
Jang was 1 for 4 with two walks in the 2007 Asian Championship.
Sources: KBO player page, Single-season KBO leaders, Career KBO leaders, Korean Wikipedia, IBAF site, assorted Baseball Almanacs
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