By Colin Dunlap

Put my excitement meter at about six on a 1-10 scale.

Maybe.

Not trying to be a pessimist by any stretch; not trying to downplay this or rain on a parade before the participants line up and take even the first steps.

But I’m not caught up in KangMania. I’m going to do something that I know doesn’t move the meter in sports talk radio or stir controversy the way some would probably like — I’m actually going to sit back and reserve judgment on infielder Jung-ho Kang.

Crazy, huh? Perhaps we should do it a little more in life. I’m going to wait and see how the guy does before I try and guess how the guy will do.

It seems, however, that’s a novel concept as the 27-year-old Kang, who will reportedly sign a deal later this week with the Pirates, has been a man to force two very polarizing views.

The first is that his raw power and big-time numbers in the Korean Baseball Organization (.356 average, 40 home runs in 117 games last season) will automatically translate to some Major League Baseball success and he should supplant an incumbent Pirates starter from the moment his flight touches down in America.

The second school of thought is inflexible skepticism about the level of play in Korea, with some likening it to a Double-A of sorts and automatically drawing a hard conclusion that Kang can’t translate, whatsoever, to the Major League game here in the states.

Again, I will give it some time — watch his progression throughout Spring Training and the early portion of the season and then attempt to draw a firmer conclusion on how — or if at all — he fits into the marrow of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Perhaps a penchant for needing to over-analyze something is driven by the field I have chosen, or perhaps it is driven by an unquenchable thirst within the consumer to always want to project what something is going to be before it happens —- more likely it is a mixture of both.

The only thing that appears clear in all of this KangMania, however, is that the Korean infielder will be a member of the Pirates in short order, as the organization has taken a big step toward procuring international talent it feels can help at the big league level.

When — or even if — Kang can snatch Jordy Mercer’s job away from him or become some sort of Josh Harrison 2.0 remains to be seen. Heck, KangMania might end up making its way to Indianapolis and never gain a firm foothold here in Pittsburgh.

The only true certainty is that it appears Kang will be signing that dotted line within the week, plop that cap with a gold ‘P’ atop his head and his bank account will fatten.

After that, it’s all a guess. Take it as such.

It just might stop you from going crazy.

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