Former Pirates Slugger Jung-Ho Kang Suspended One Year by KBO for DUI Arrests

Former Pittsburgh Pirates  INF Jung-ho Kang
Former Pittsburgh Pirates INF Jung-ho Kang | Quinn Harris/Getty Images

This could very well be the end of the road for Jung-Ho Kang.

The South Korean signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates prior to the 2015 season and made his MLB debut that year, finishing third in the Rookie of the Year voting after slashing .287/.355/.461 in 126 games. But now the league that gave him the opportunity to play overseas won't have him back for the time being.

Kang, who missed all of 2017 due to visa issues stemming from a DUI arrest and played just three games in 2018 because of season-ending wrist surgery, has been banned from the KBO for a year. After the Pirates cut ties with him after a lackluster 2019 season, Kang attempted to make a comeback in South Korea, but was handed the punishment because of his three previous DUI arrests.

And this is somehow good news for the 33-year-old, who was facing up to a three-year ban. That would have 100% likely ended his baseball career. He has a shot in the dark to return in 2021 if he can get his act together, but it won't be easy because by that point he'll have played in a grand total of 68 games since the end of the 2016 season.

But then when you consider the sexual assault allegations he was facing recently, it's hard to envision a clear path for Kang to get back on the diamond.