Thursday, December 29, 2005
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Monday, December 26, 2005
The Whales selected RHP Che-Yi Su (on far right in the linked pic) with the 2nd overall pick in the first round.
The rest of the first round selections were as follows:
#3 pick - Elephants: LHP Ding-Jen Yeh
#4 pick - Lions: LHP Pai-Ching Chiang
#5 pick - Cobras: RHP Chia-Hung Chen
#6 pick - Bulls: OF Chien-Jung Su
For the rest of the team's picks, you can go to the CPBL's official website (in Chinese) for further detail.
Saturday, December 24, 2005
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
For more, read here.
Friday, December 16, 2005
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Yang, the top pick for the Fighters, will wear # 24, and have his name emblazoned on the back of his jersey as "You", the Japanese pronounciation of his Chinese character.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed and hoping that Wang and Kuo get a chance to shine for their country. I'm sure a strict pitch count will be imposed if they get the green light, but having Wang and Kuo is vital to Taiwan having any shot at beating Japan and Korea.
Sunday, December 11, 2005
Here's what BA wrote about Hu:
Background: One scout described Vero Beach's double-play combo of Hu and Abreu as "the traveling circus show" because of their penchant for defensive highlights. Hu finished second to Abreu in the Florida State League batting race, then hit .343 for Taiwan at the World Cup tournament following the season.
Strengths: While Abreu is a plus defender, Hu is off the charts. He's slightly undersized but wiry strong with outstanding body control and pure shortstop actions. His range is extraordinary, as are his hands, and his arm and speed are both above average. Hu made an adjustment at the plate, curtailing his leg kick, which improved his balance and prevented him from flying open during his swing. He has surprising pop, uses the whole field, and has a good feel for the strike zone.
Weaknesses: Hu has a tendency to bail on good breaking balls and he needs to become more selective. His small frame doesn't lend considerable room for projection.
The Future: Hu should be a .270 hitter with 10 home runs annually in the big leagues. Ticketed for Double-A, he should reach LA by the end of 2007.
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Now, word is the Rakuten Golden Eagles are close to signing lefty specialist Ying-Chieh Lin. Rakuten was also very interested in star rookie pitcher En-Yu Lin, but the Macoto Cobras were reluctant to part with both of their top pitchers. Sounds like only a matter of time before Lin becomes an Eagle!!!
Monday, December 05, 2005
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Taiwan's infield of the present and future is bright with Hu at SS, Chen at 2B, and Wu at 1B. All three are under 23 years of age, and Hu and Chen have shown promise both on the offensive and defensive end of the field while playing in the US minor leagues. Wu has still yet to put together a healthy and productive campaign, but he has shown a promising bat. Factor in Yang - the 18 year old SS #1 pick of the Nippon Fighters, and you might have a solid foundation for the next decade.
OF Lin of the Hanshin Tigers is currently working on building his arm strength (throwing off the mound and long toss) to allow him to be more competent defensively in RF. In limited duty with the parent ball club, Lin flashed good wood. However, in order to get more playing time, he must improve his defensive abilities.
The talent level in Taiwan is self-evident and is reflected in the growing number of players signed to play in the US and Japan: As of today - 13 in the US and 7 in Japan. Who's next? Well in an earlier post, En-Yu Lin was mentioned as a possibility. Lefty Y.J. Lin of the Macoto Cobras is also seeking a new employer next year. With respectable numbers and demonstrating that he is one of the top pitchers in the CPBL, Lin hopes to take his game to the next level by playing in Japan. I hope both Lin's get their chance soon.
Saturday, November 26, 2005
(Damn, Wu and Huang must be enjoying the All-American diet - fast food!)
Friday, November 25, 2005
In the senior league (college) championships, the National College of Physical Education defeated Jiayi University by a score of 9 to 0.
From this division, names to remember for the future include: NCPE winning pitcher Chia-Chun Tang and Jiayi pitcher Che-Yi Su
In the junior (high school) tourney, PingZhen High School won the championship by defeating Hualien H.S. 5 to 4. Yilan beat Taitung 7 to 4 for third place.
Among the HS kids, names to remember include:
1)Hung-Cheng Lai (P) - throws lefty, HS senior, 5'9"tall, has been clocked at 90 mph, member of junior national team, a good athlete: reputed to have been timed at 11 seconds in the 100m dash, has been scouted by the Boston Red Sox
2)Wei-Da Su (P)
3)Jiang-Cho Chen (P) - 6'0 tall, junior in HS, clocked as fast as 90 mph
4)Chen-Hua Lin (P) - 6'0 tall, throws ~ 85 mph
In the infantile division (11-12 year olds), a team from Yilan defeated a team from Taitung 7-6 to win the championship.
Names to keep an eye out for include: Wen-Chia Song
Thursday, November 24, 2005
Friday, November 18, 2005
After some limited success in the low minors with the Boston Red Sox organization (he made it to A ball), Huang was persuaded by his agent to showcase his wares for some NPB scouts. During this workout, Huang tore his labrum, and has been recovering ever since. The pitching exhibition was in violation of Huang's contract with the Red Sox, who then released Kevin.
That's one helluva lesson for any young man to take - lose your job and potentially have a career-ending injury all happen at the same time.
Despite all this, I'm still rooting for the kid to make a full recovery and succeed in the CPBL.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Rookie En-Yu Lin of the Cobras won the league MVP/ROY awards. The kid had solid numbers - a league-leading 1.72 ERA, a 12-8 W/L record, and 152K's. Lin also won a golden-glove award for his stellar defense. The 6'2"- 24 year old is hoping to get a shot in Japan, and may follow the footsteps of former CPBL ROY's - Ming-Chieh Hsu of the Seibu Lions and Chung-Yang Tsao formerly of the Chunichi Dragons.
The Seibu Lions are thinking of moving Chih-Chia Chang to the bullpen as a reliever next year. The move could prolong the career of Chang, who had his past season derailed by injuries.
Chin-Feng Chen got a look by the Rakuten Eagles organization in the NPB. Word is that Chen didn't fare very well in his workouts - i.e. struggling with hitting off-speed breaking pitches. With his options shrinking, Chen might give it one more shot at the MLB and hope for the best in spring training.
Sunday, November 13, 2005
In the championship game, the Lions lost to the Marines in a much closer rematch 5-3. Despite being outhit, the Marines continued to receive timely hitting from import and ex-MLB player Benny Agbayani. Benny drove in 9 runs in the 4 games that he played in.
Bottom line: KBO and CPBL have comparable talent. The NPB still has better talent overall - especially in their homegrown pitching products. The KBO and CPBL have to rely on export pitchers to round out their starting rotations. Not surprisingly, the best young talent in Taiwan and South Korea usually end up overseas in Japan and the US. There aren't that many players in the CPBL who would be able to make the jump to the NPB or US minor leagues. En-Yu Lin of the Macoto Cobras, based on a number of factors - including size, age, and pitching skill, is one of the few that might have the talent to leave the CPBL.
Friday, November 11, 2005
Bright spots, if any for the Bulls were
1)SP Chien-Fu Yang's 7K's in 5 IP and only allowing 2 ER's
2) & CF Chien-Ming Chang, who continued his hot hitting as he drove in the Bull's only run
The game against the KBO champs will dictate who plays Lotte in the championship game.
To read more:
Thursday, November 10, 2005
In the other game, NPB champs Lotte handed the Samsung Lions a 6-2 loss.
Full box scores and results can be found for all of the games here.
The Sinon Bulls will match up against tourney favorite - the Lotte Marines tomorrow 11/11/05.
Let's see how the local kid - Yang fares against top notch NPB hitting.
Other reads on yesterday's action:
A big thank you goes out to Maos and Bigdaub for keeping us updated on the action in Asia.
Edited 11/10/05 8:20 PM
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
The Korea Times also has some good info in English on the Konami Cup. Read it here.
I'm not too sure about how frequently this site will be updated, but the NPB's official English website for the Konami Cup is here.
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
The Sinon Bulls swept to a CPBL championship over the Macoto Cobras and will be representing the CPBL in the Konami Cup. For more scoop on the Bulls, check here.
In other news, NY Yankees rookie Wang is back at home in Taiwan. Read more here and here.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
In the CPBL, the Sinon Bulls have a commanding 3 - 0 series lead over the Macoto Cobras.
Questionable managerial decisions by Taiwanese baseball icon and current Cobras coach Tai-Yuan Kuo have contributed to the huge deficit the Cobras face.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
NPB champs - Chiba Lotte Marines
KBO champs - Samsung Lions
CBA champs - Beijing Tigers
The CPBL will crown a champion in a clash between the Macoto Cobras and the Sinon Bulls.
Personally, I don't really follow professional baseball in Taiwan, but the Cobras would probably fare better against Asian competition because it has better starting pitching with rookie stud En-Yu Lin, star lefty Ying-Chieh Lin, and starter Chu-Jien Hsu.
The obvious favorite has to be the Lotte Marines, followed by the Lions, and then the eventual CPBL champs.
The official site of the Konami Cup can be found here.
Chiang will get one final opportunity to showcase his talents at the 2006 World Junior Championships. Don't be surprised to see Chiang playing SS defensively, as he is currently learning to play the "glamour position" in HS.
Overall, Chiang is a talented athlete who has a lot of tools that will allow him to succeed at the "next" level, wherever that may be. Chiang compares very well to Yang, and is in fact bigger than him. Offensively, he projects to be better than Yang - with his ability to hit for average and power. He has good speed and quick feet, as well as the ability to toss 88 mph fastballs, which should help with his transition to the SS position. If he continues to develop, the sky is the limit for him, and his dreams of playing in the MLB someday could become a reality.
Sunday, October 23, 2005
Saturday, October 22, 2005
I think it's a great idea, since there are so many Chinese-language forums on baseball in Taiwan and none that I can think of that are in English.
Ok, here's some of my favorite cards that I own. Bowman Chrome Refractors usually sell for a premium, especially the limited edition gold versions. Chen's best rookie is his Bowman's Best issue. You have to love the autos in Chinese by Chen, Wang, and Kuo. I think Hu was practicing his English penmanship. I'm still waiting for an officially licensed auto card for Tsao.
Friday, October 21, 2005
You can zoom in on the picture a few times to read the fine print.
Thursday, October 20, 2005
Monday, October 17, 2005
1)Chien-Ming Wang 3/31/80 NY Yankees
2)Hong-Chih Kuo 7/23/81 LA Dodgers
3)Chien-Ming Chiang 5/27/85 Yomiuri Giants
4)Wei-Yin Chen 7/21/85 Chunichi Dragons
5)Yao-Hsun Yang 1/22/83 Fukuoka Daiei Hawks
6)Chin-Hui Tsao 6/2/81 Colorado Rockies
7)Ching-Lung Lo 8/20/85 Colorado Rockies
8)Po-Hsuan keng 10/15/84 Toronto Blue Jays
9)Chi-Hung Cheng 6/20/85 Toronto Blue Jays
10)Chia-An Huang 11/11/85 Seattle Mariners
11)Chih-Chia Chang 5/6/80 Seibu Lions
12)Ming-Chieh Hsu 12/1/76 Seibu Lions
13)En-Yu Lin 3/25/81 Macoto Cobras
14)Ying-Chieh Lin 5/1/81 Macoto Cobras
15)Chu-Jien Hsu 1/25/81 Macoto Cobras
16)Wen-Hsiung Hsu 12/5/78 LA New Bears
17)Wei-Lun Pan 3/5/82 President Lions
18)Bao-Hsien Wu 2/6/80 Brother Elephants
19)Chien-Fu Yang 4/22/79 Sinon Bulls
20)Wei-Ming Chu 8/2/81 Chinatrust Whales
21)Ying-Feng Tsai 5/26/83 Amateur
22)Min-Ching Kao 7/12/84 Amateur
23)Sung-Wei Tseng 12/28/84 Amateur
24)Yi-Che Huang 2/14/83 Amateur
25)Chun-Chung Huang 4/25/82 No Affiliation - former Boston Red Sox
26)Chih-Kang Kao 2/7/81 President Lions
27)Chun-Chang Yeh 10/25/72 Sinon Bulls
28)Feng-Min Chen 10/29/77 LA New Bears
29)Chin-Shou Shi 9/26/74 Chinatrust Whales
30)Chih-Hong Chen 12/11/78 Amateur
31)Yi-Wei Lee 8/18/83 Amateur
32)Cheng-Hua Kao 7/1/77 President Lions
33)Kuan-Yi Yang 2/17/85 Amateur
34)Chin-Lung Hu 2/2/84 LA Dodgers
35)Yung-Chi Chen 7/13/83 Seattle Mariners
36)Chung-Shou Yang 1/17/87 Nippon Ham Fighters
37)Chia-Hsien Hsieh 4/8/76 Macoto Cobras
38)Chao-Kuan Wu 5/25/84 Seattle Mariners
39)Chih-Sheng Lin 1/1/82 LA New Bears
40)Sen Yang 3/25/81 President Lions
41)Kuo-Ching Kao 10/6/78 President Lions
42)Chang-Ming Cheng 1/28/78 Chinatrust Whales
43)Chia-Hung Chen 10/3/80 Chinatrust Whales
44)Tai-Shan Chang 10/31/76 Sinon Bulls
45)Chia-Hao Chang 10/31/76 Sinon Bulls
46)Shih-Yang Deng 7/24/79 Macoto Cobras
47) Yi-Chuan Lin 11/11/85 Amateur
48)Sheng-Wei Wang 4/1/84 Amateur
49)Chiang-Ho Chen 1/15/82 Amateur
50)Tsung-Han Yu 8/24/85 Amateur
51)Chin-Feng Chen 10/28/77 LA Dodgers
52)Wei-Tsu Lin 1/22/79 Hanshin Tigers
53)Kuo-Hui Lo 9/26/85 Seattle Mariners
54)Cheng-Min Peng 8/6/78 Brother Elephants
55)Chih-Yuan Chen 10/27/76 Brother Elephants
56)Long-Yi Huang 2/20/79 LA New Bears
57)Ying-Chieh Liao 9/17/84 Amateur
58)Ying-Chieh Chung 1/31/85 Amateur
59)Chih-Yao Chan 1/2/83 Amateur
60)Chun-Yu Kuo 4/20/84 Amateur
Blue indicates players with MLB affiliations
Red indicates players with NPB affiliations
Black indicates players with CPBL experience or amateur status
Saturday, October 15, 2005
2)against the US: Lee came in relief and pitched 2.2 innings, struck out 4 with 0 earned runs
My source stated that the Indians offered Lee a signing bonus of $20,000. If the Indians want to get their foot in the doorway in Taiwan, they will need to throw some more money at the kid. That kind of offer will NOT get it done with Lee.
In a personal sidenote....My wife and I found out that we will be having a baby boy in February!!!! Can't wait to get the lil slugger a bat in his hands!!!!!
Thursday, October 13, 2005
Here's a pic of the Yang brothers united again in Taiwan. Older brother and future Hawk, Yao-Hsun Yang is on the left. Lil brother and NPB first round pick, Chung-Shou Yang, is on the right.
Photo taken by Chun Liang Lin.
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
My short list of prospective 18 year olds include:
1)Chiu Tzu Kai
2)Wu Hsin Tsung
3)Luo Cheng Lung
Most of the better pitching prospects haven't turned 18 yet.
Anyone else care to venture a guess?
Monday, October 10, 2005
The guy over at baseballtaiwan.net has a pic up of Lin, Su, and Tsao. Here is the link. Lin is the guy on the far left, with Tsao in the middle, and Su on the right. From the pic, assuming that Tsao is 6'2" and Su is 6'0 even, I believe Lin stands somewhere around 5'10" to 5"11.
From what I've googled, Lin hasn't been on the international scene much as compared to some of the other recently signed kids. He was on the Under-17 Chinese-Taipei National team in 2001 that included teammates: Chia-An Huang(Mariners), Wei-Yin Chen(Chunichi), and Chien-Ming Chiang(Yomiuri). Lin was also included on the Taiwanese team that participated in the 2004 edition of the Grand Forks International Tournament.
Friday, October 07, 2005
Thursday, October 06, 2005
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
Wang got off to a good start in the first inning as he had his sinker working - getting 3 ground outs in the first. You could tell that Wang was pumped up, as he was clocking up to 96 mph on the gun. Except for a lead-off solo blast by Juan Rivera in the 5th inning, Wang was cruising through the first 5 innings. A-Rod's misplay on a ground ball in the 6th inning eventually led to a run scored when Benji Molina singled in the unearned run. Tied 2-2 going into the bottom of the 7th inning, Wang was still hitting 93 to 94 mph with his fastball, but he was leaving pitches up in the zone. An errant throw to first by Wang on an infield ball hit between the pitcher's mound and home plate, allowed the Angels to get 2 men on base. With runners on 2nd and 3rd with 2 outs, O. Cabrera came up with a clutch 2 out - 2 run scoring single. That was all she wrote for Wang, as Torre called in Leiter to relieve Wang.
Bottom line - Wang pitched well but in the later innings started leaving pitches up in the zone and out over the plate - the Angels hitters made him pay with clutch 2 out hitting; NY's defense was shaky; and the Yanks offense left too many men on base. You can't win with that kind of performance against a solid team like the Angels.
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Monday, October 03, 2005
The game will be broadcast by ESPN at 10:00 PM ET. Hopefully Wang will reward the Yanks with a good outing Wed. night.
Yang is the younger brother of amateur pitcher Yao-Hsun Yang. The older brother faced off against Ian Kennedy this past summer. The elder Yang is expected to make the jump to the NPB next year with the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks. A mix-up during the 2005 draft caused elation and tears for the younger Yang, when Hawks manager Saharu Oh originally thought that he had won the rights to draft Yang. The younger Yang was obviously hoping to be drafted by the Hawks because of his Fukuoka connection, his brother's expected signing, and the fact that the revered Sadaharu Oh is the manager there. However, when the error was corrected, Yang's happiness turned to sadness when the Fighters were given the rights over the Hawks to pick Yang.
In other notes of the 2005 NPB draft, super stud high school pitcher, Tsujiuchi Takanobu was selected by the Yomiuri Giants. The rich get richer with the selection of Takanobu, who dominated Taiwan's high school kids earlier this summer.
Edited: 10/4/05 3:00 AM
Sunday, October 02, 2005
Saturday, October 01, 2005
Look for this kid to get a good look from the Chinese Taipei selection committee when they begin choosing players for the national team in preparation for the World Classic.
Friday, September 30, 2005
Through the first 5 innings, Wang pitched an efficient game. Aside from a first inning RBI single by AL MVP candidate David Ortiz and a leadoff solo blast by Jason Varitek in the 2nd inning, Wang had his sinking fastball working for him, getting almost all of his outs via the ground ball and with a good fastball - K'ing Manny Ramirez, Trot Nixon, and Jason Varitek. The ESPN radar gun had Wang clocked consistenly around 93 to 94 mph. Television viewers in Boston and New York reported that Wang was clocked at 97 to 98 mph via the local radar gun.
Things went a little haywire for Wang in the 6th inning. After a leadoff single by Damon, Wang got the first out of the inning by K'ing Renteria on a 92 mph fastball. Damon stole second base, which forced Torre to have Wang intentionally walk Big Papi. Manny Ramirez then sharply singled to left field, to load the bases. The next batter, Trot Nixon was walked with the bases loaded to force in Boston's third run. With the bases loaded and only one out, Wang got what he was looking for from Jason Varitek, a ground ball to first basemen Jason Giambi. However, Giambi muffed the throw to home in a force attempt, which allowed David Ortiz to score Boston's fourth run. Olerud then hit a sac-fly to center field to score Boston's fifth and final run. Wang finally got out of the inning when Giambi made a nice play at first when he snagged Bill Mueller's sharply hit ground ball. Final result of the disasterous 6th inning: 2 hits, 2 walks, 1 error, and 3 runs given up.
Despite the tough inning, Joe Torre decided to let Wang start one more inning. In the 7th, after getting 2 groundball outs, Wang walked his 6th and final batter and was pulled. Wang was still throwing hard, clocked at 93 to 94 mph in his last pitching frame.
Overall I'd give Wang a B based on his performance tonight. Facing the vaunted offense of the defending champs, Wang for the most part shut them down, only giving up 4 hits and 3 earned runs in 6 and 2/3 innings. Playing in a hostile environment with playoff implications, Wang, despite his wildness, pitched well enough to keep the Yanks in the game. Games like this are invaluable to Wang's pitching growth.
Thursday, September 29, 2005
Tracy is trying to get a read on how effective Kuo pitches in back to back games. So far the results haven't been very positive. But, Kuo is the type of kid who will use this game tonight as fuel for the next time out.
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Kuo's ERA is now down to a respectable 5.40 with 9 K's in 5 IP.
The scouting report on Hu called him "one of the most polished players in the FSL." Hu was praised as a defensive whiz with quick feet, soft hands, smooth fielding, good flexibility, and a plus throwing arm with accuracy. The report also noted his ability as a good contact hitter (.313 BA), display a keen eye (40 K's in 470 AB's), and flash some occasional power (8 HR's). The one knock on Hu was his lack of patience at the plate. He only had 19 BB in 470 AB's.
Hu should start next year at AA. If he continues to progress, I wouldn't be surprised if Hu is the next one to make it to the Majors.
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Kuo displayed a good fastball, clocked around 94 mph, and more importantly demonstrated better command of his pitches, throwing 5 out of 6 pitches for strikes. Kuo also dropped his ERA down to 6.75
Monday, September 26, 2005
Sunday, September 25, 2005
In the game, Wang was all business. The first four innings, Wang was brilliant, pitching a no-hit/shutout performance. He had his sinker working for him, inducing 9 ground outs and 2 K's in those innings, while running his fastball around 90-93 mph.
Then in the 5th inning, Wang had trouble locating his pitch, and left a few pitches over the plate. In the 5th he gave up a lead-off double to Corey Koskie, then induced a groundout from Hillenbrand. The next Blue Jays hitter, Eric Hinske tatooed a 92 mph fastball that was left over the plate, into the centerfield bleachers for a 2-run blast. Following Hinske's HR, Gregg Zaun walked. Reed Johnson then singled, advancing Zaun to 3rd. Johnson was caught trying to steal 2nd for the second out of the inning. Wang then gave up a bloop-double to Aaron Hill, scoring Zaun. Finally, Wang got a ground out from the next batter to end the inning.
In the 6th and 7th inning, Wang continued to struggle with his command, although he was still throwing the heater around 89-92 mph. However, he was able to escape both innings without giving up a run, while giving up 2 singles. Wang did manage to induce 3 more ground outs and a fly out sandwiched around a K . Wang finished the 7th inning, trailing 3-2. However, in the bottom of the 7th, Robinson Cano smashed a 2-run HR to make Wang eligible for the win. In the final 2 innings, Tom Gordon and Mariano Rivera closed out the game and the Yanks offense secured Wang's 8th win of the season.
Wang's most impressive stat of the night was his 14 ground outs to 1 fly out ratio. The Yanks infield D did a good job backing up Wang. Congrats to the Wanger as he runs his record to 8-4 and lowers his ERA to 4.02.
Friday, September 23, 2005
Thursday, September 22, 2005
Chien-Ming Wang will get the start this Sunday for the Yankees against the BlueJays. The decision was made by Torre as Aaron Small will be moved to the bullpen to make way for Mike Mussina's return to the starting rotation. - Quite a vote of confidence for the young hurler from Taiwan!!
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Well, Chin-Feng Chen's 7 year contract with the Dodgers is officially over. Rumor has it, that Chen will pursue a career in Japan if he is not invited back next season for spring training. Personally, I think it's time for Chen to move on. The Dodgers organization has shown that it is going with younger prospects and that Chen's window of opportunity has closed. Should Chen leave for the NPB, the Pacific League would be ideal for showcasing Chen's bat, as the DH rule is still in effect.
Taiwan will begin preparations for the World Baseball Classic next month in October. The head coach will be selected first. It was rumored that the CTBA was interested in seeking out Saharu Oh to coach the team. That was wishful thinking, as Oh has been tapped to lead Japan in the inaugural Baseball Classic. Once the coaching staff is complete, 60 potential players will be selected for tryouts. From there, the roster will be eventually reduced to 30 players.
I also found out that Yung-Chi Chen sat out the last game of the World Cup against the US because of an injury - a sprained foot. Let's hope it's not too serious, as he prepares for his offseason workouts.
Sunday, September 18, 2005
Lo currently is 19 years old, but will turn 20 at the end of September. His age could work against him, since it will take him a few years to get accustomed to the US.
Most Taiwanese players face culture shock when they get here. Some players thrive - see Chin-Feng Chen and Chin-Hui Tsao, while others struggle - see Chia-An Huang and Ching-Lung Lo.
Physically, Lo stands 6'2" and weighs 185 pounds. He bats righty and throws righty. He has a very projectable body that should get stronger as he matures.
From a genetic stand point, Lo is Chin-Hui Tsao's nephew - yea, the same Tsao of the Colorado Rockies who clocks triple digits on the radar gun. As you can see, baseball runs in the family.
Lo's most impressive attributes are his offensive capabilities. Lo has always been able to hit for high average and demonstrate plus power during competitive play. In his native country, Lo hit .363 in 80 AB's while cranking 2 HR's, contributed 20 RBI's, and had 11 SB's, with only 10 K's in Taiwan's amateur senior level league in 2005 play. During this summer's US tour, which I eyewitnessed, he was easily the most impressive offensive player on both sides of the field.
Lo's bat during the World Cup produced a top 10 BA: .433 while batting clean up for Chinese Taipei.
Lo is able to generate plus power and get good wood on the bat because of a fundamental level swing, quick wrists, and strong hips which help generate tremendous bat speed and torque.
Citybear, who I have a weblink to, has taken some great pictures of Lo # 52 at the plate - check it out. At the plate Lo has shown good discipline. Earlier this summer, while facing one of the top US college pitchers in Ian Kennedy, Lo was able to work the count and draw a walk from Kennedy.
As a baserunner, Lo shows good instincts, although he was picked off first base by US pitcher Chris Michalak during World Cup play. Lo tied Ching-Lung Hu with 2 SB's for the team lead in that department. I personally timed Lo around 4.3 seconds (+/- .1 seconds) going from home to first base - which is above average for his size.
Defensively, Lo covers adequate range in the OF with his wheels. During summer play in the US, Lo played all 3 OF positions, although his primary defensive position was CF. I was unable to judge Lo's arm strength, as he was never tested in any of these games. It is interesting to note that Lo was used strictly as a DH for Taiwan during World Cup play. I do not know the reasoning behind the manager's decision not to play Lo in OF.
It is easy to see the similarities in Lo's game with the guy he idolizes: Chin-Feng Chen of the Dodgers. Lo wears #52 in honor of Chen. Physically the two guys are very similar: Chen stands 6'1" and weighs 190 pounds. Both are good fastball hitters with power and speed potential. However, hopefully the comparisons to Chen end here. While Chen is viewed as an icon in his native Taiwan and has had success at the AAA level, he has been unable to latch on to a major league team secondary to perceived weaknesses: defensive liability and a high K rate. My hope for Lo is that he will be able to surpass the achievements of Chen and someday be a key contributor in the Major Leagues. I wish Lo the best of luck in achieving his dreams of making it to the Big Show!
Saturday, September 17, 2005
Taiwan did manage to place a member of it's team to the tournament All-Star team. Yung-Chi Chen, a member of the Mariners organization, was named an All-Star at 2B. In the 8 games Taiwan played, Chen had a great all-around showing, leading the team in hitting(BA), and showing a tremendous glove (o errors). 2B is Chen's most natural position, although the Mariners have been playing Chen at 3B in the minors.
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Based on World Cup play, I am encouraged to see that Taiwan's future is in good hands. Bringing the youngest team into the tourney, Taiwan was able to gain valuable international experience for these young guys. Despite a losing record of 3-5, Taiwan was fairly competitive, even in their losses. The loss to Colombia was a huge upset and an aberration; but Japan, the US, Nicaragua, and Puerto Rico all sported a more veteran and better all around team than Taiwan. Taiwan did manage a quality win over Australia.
Taiwan's hitters were able to prove that they can compete with anyone. In preliminary action, Taiwan had the 5th highest team batting average (.320), was 6th in total HR's hit (8), 4th in team hits (89), and 5th in slugging (.500). However, timely hitting was a problem for Taiwan, as it was only average/middle of the pack with 48 runs scored. Also errors cost Taiwan a number of runs and even a game (vs. US), as evidenced by it's team .958 fielding percentage.
Taiwan's young pitchers were overmatched against the competition they faced. Against weaker opponents, Taiwan's pitchers were very effective. However against the stronger teams in the pool, the kids faltered. As a team, Taiwan's pitchers gave up 8 HR's in 8 games, and had a team ERA of 3.92.
Many of these unsigned kids will go on to careers in the CPBL. Tseng(P) and Kuo(OF) are 2 good examples of kids who put up good numbers in the World Cup, but because of their lack of prototypical size, will probably end up playing domestically in Taiwan.
As for the kids who signed contracts with the MLB and the NPB; Lo, Hu, and Chen hit very well and I'm sure made their respective organizations proud. Pitchers Cheng, Keng, and Chiang will need to step up their game if they expect to climb the organizational ladder all the way to the top.
It will be interesting to see if any of these kids make the national team next spring for the World Baseball Classic.
Starting pitcher Sung-Wei Tseng was solid for Taiwan, going 6 strong innings, giving up only 1 ER, K'd 7 hitters, and had 2 BB's.
As for Taiwan's hitters,
Yung-Chi Chen DNP
Ching-Lung Hu was 1-4 with a double
Kuo-Hui Lo went 2-3 with a BB, a HR, and 2 RBI's
Chun-Yu Kuo went hitless in 4 AB's and K'd all 4 times
Others of note:
Ying-Chieh Liao was 2-2 with a HR and a RBI
Sheng-Wei Wang was 1-3 with a HR and a RBI, but committed 2 errors in the 6th inning
Thus ends Taiwan's play in the World Cup.
Monday, September 12, 2005
Chi-Hung Cheng started the game for Taiwan and couldn't even get out of the first inning. He gave up 5 consecutive base hits and 5 earned runs, before being yanked. The relief pitchers didn't fare much better.
Taiwan's hitters continued their torrid hitting pace:
Yung-Chi Chen was 3-5 with a RBI and a double
Ching-Lung Hu went 1-4 with a BB and a double
Kuo-Hui Lo was 2-4 with a triple
Chun-Yu Kuo hit his 4th HR of the tourney and was 2-4 with 2 RBI's, including the roundtripper
Taiwan will be playing the final matchup of preliminary play against the US. The original matchup between the US and Taiwan was scheduled on 9-11-05. However due to the sensitivity of the date to the American ballplayers, the game was rescheduled for 9-13-05. You can follow the action live on this link.
Saturday, September 10, 2005
Offensively, Taiwan racked up 18 hits, as pretty much everyone in the lineup got in on the hit parade.
Chen in 5 plate appearances had a single and a RBI
Hu in 5 plate appearances had 2 hits - (single,double) and a SB
Lo in 5 plate appearances had 2 hits -(single, double), a SB, and 2 RBI's
Kuo in 5 plate appearances had 4 hits - all singles
In an interesting note, Kuo-Hui Lo has DH'd in all of the games and has not played defensively in the OF.
Friday, September 09, 2005
Yung-Chi Chen had a good game, going 2-4 with a BB and a RBI
Ching-Lung Hu was 1-4
Kuo-Hui Lo was 1-4
Chun-Yu Kuo was 1-4
Click here for game boxscore.
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
Po-Hsuan Keng pitched an efficient 4 1/3 innings, but had some control issues - walking 3 batters, which led to him getting pulled early. Keng had 3 K's/gave up 3 hits - one of which was a HR/and left the game in a 1-1 tie. Like the Puerto Rico game, Taiwan's relief pitchers could not hold down the opposing batters.
Bouncing back from a tough game yesterday, Ching-Lung Hu went 2-4 at the plate.
Yung-Chi Chen was 1-5.
Kuo-Hui Lo was 0-3 with 2 SO's.
Chun-Yu Kuo went 0-2 with 2 SO's, with 2 BB's.
Taiwan has an off day tomorrow, but is currently sitting in the 5th spot in it's pool. Taiwan has 4 games remaining, and faces a scenario where it might have to win 3/4 to advance to the next round. That could prove to be a tough task, as Australia is no pushover, while the US and Nicaragua are currently undefeated.
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
Japan, led by it's own super pitching prospect - Tsujiuchi Takanobu, beat South Korea 5-4 in the championship game. Tsujiuchi, a LHP, led Osaka Toin HS to the semifinals in the 2005 Koshien Tournament - the Japanese HS national championships, where it lost to the eventual champs - Komadai, this past year. Tsujiuchi (clocked at 95 mph) has been recorded to be the hardest throwing southpaw ever in Koshien Tournament history. Tsujiuchi was named the best LHP in the Asian AAA tourney.
Taiwan managed to have 2 kids named to the Asian AAA All star team:
Chun-Lin Chen - best RHP
Chao-Ting Tang - best LF
Overall, this has been a tremendous showing of young Asian pitching talent, with South Korea's Han Ki-Joo and Japan's Tsujiuchi Takanobu headlining the cream of the crop.
A brief synopsis of how some of the young guys did for Taiwan:
1)Yung-Chi Chen: 2-4 1 HR, 1 RBI
2)Ching-Lung Hu: 0-4
3)Kuo-Hui Lo: 1-2 BB, caught stealing once
4)Chun-Yu Kuo: 1-3 1 HR, 3 RBI's
5)Chi-Hung Cheng: Starting pitcher, went 5 innings, gave up 3 ER's/1 HR, with 4K's/2BB's
Chun-Yu Kuo has blasted 3 HR's in the past 2 games.
Well, the current crop of junior pitching talent in Taiwan has been a big disappointment to me. However, it wasn't too long ago that several prominent pitchers from the high school class of 2003 ascended into the spotlight.
Semi-quoting an R. Kelly song, " '85 was a very good year, if you know what i mean my dear......"
1985 was the birth year for these 5 young pitchers:
1)Chien-Ming Chiang (Yomiuri Giants) 5/27/85
2)Chi-Hung Cheng (Toronto Blue Jays) 6/20/85
3)Wei-Yin Chen (Chunichi Dragons) 7/21/85
4)Ching-Lung Lo (Colorado Rockies) 8/20/85
5)Chia-An Huang (Seattle Mariners) 11/11/85
The development of premium young arms is vital to Taiwan's continued success on the international baseball stage.
Monday, September 05, 2005
In the Asian AAA Championships, the junior NT lost to South Korea in one semifinal 5-4. The kids from Taiwan faced the top South Korean high school pitcher, Han Ki-Joo - who inkedthe highest signing bonus in the history of the KBO. Han has been clocked as high as 152 kmph, but was consistently around 145 to 148 kmph in the game against Taiwan. Hitting stars for Taiwan were: Chih-Hsien Chiang with 3 hits, and Kun-Sheng Lin with 2 hits. Kai-Wen Cheng, pitched a tough game, going 7 1/3 innings, giving up 3 runs.
Over in Holland, the senior NT got their bats going against Spain. Taiwan won 12-2. The hitting parade was led by:
1)Yung-Chi Chen: 2-5, 1 double, 1 RBI
2)Ching-Lung Hu: 3-5, 1 double, 1 triple, 2 RBI
3)Kuo-Hui Lo: 4-4, 1 double, 1 RBI, 1 SB
4)Chih-Yao Chan: 4-5, 1 RBI
5)Chun-Yu Kuo: 2-3, 2 HR's, 4 RBI, 2 BB
Sunday, September 04, 2005
In World Cup action, Taiwan defeated the Czech. Republic in their opening game 10-1. As expected, Chung-Yi Chen and Ching-Lung Hu provided instant offense to the senior NT. Chen was 3-5 with a double, while Hu was 2-5 with a triple. Kuo Hui Lo managed to muster up a base-hit. Based on the official team rosters, Taiwan has the youngest team in the tourney. We'll see if youth is served in this competition. The first real test for Taiwan should be against Puerto Rico on Tuesday.
Thursday, September 01, 2005
Taiwan is in group A with Japan and South Korea. The other bracket B features China, Mongolia, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka.
Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea are guaranteed spots in the semifinals. Only the top team from group B will advance to play the top team from Group A in one semifinal, while the runner up in Group A will play the 3rd place finisher of Goup A.
Kids to keep an eye out for Taiwan are:
P Kai-Wen Cheng
P Chu-Kuan Li
1B Chih-Hsien Chiang
DH Shen-Fu Tsai
Taiwan will play it's first game 9/3/05 - Sat. against the Czech Republic. The rest of it's preliminary schedule is listed below:
9/5 vs Spain
9/6 vs Puerto Rico
9/7 vs Japan
9/9 vs Colombia
9/10 vs Australia
9/12 vs Nicaragua
9/13 vs USA
Based on the competition, Taiwan would have to finish in the top 4 of it's bracket to continue on to the quarterfinals. That could be a tough task because Taiwan is struggling right now to find people who can consistently hit and produce runs. OF Chih Yao Chan, DH/OF Kuo Hui Lo, and 1B Chun Yu Kuo have been the only guys who have proven they can hit international pitching. Also, there has been no dominant pitcher for Taiwan in pre-World Cup action.
That could all change with a couple of guys who've been playing in the US and Japan joining the team recently. P's Cheng(BlueJays) and Chiang (Yomiuri) are key editions to the team. I see those two guys essentially being the aces of the pitching staff. If Taiwan wants to do well, those 2 kids will have to pitch well and keep the scoring low. Hu(Dodgers) and Chen(Mariners) should help the IF defensively and provide a much needed boost to an anemic offense.
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
Cuba will be the prohibitive favorite to win the tourney and defend their title. They should have the best overall talent going into World Cup play, as other nations assemble mostly minor league players as well as players from their country's respective domestic leagues/universities.
Monday, August 29, 2005
Sunday, August 28, 2005
Over in Italy, Taiwan's senior NT LOST to China 3-2. I know this is a tuneup for the World Cup, but 2 losses to Italy and China does not forbode well for Taiwan's chances of medaling in the September competition when it faces much tougher competition.
Friday, August 26, 2005
The good news for the team is that the reinforcements are coming - Chin-Lung Hu, Yung-Chi Chen, Po-Hsuan Keng, and Chi-Hung Cheng will be leaving their respective US minor league clubs shortly to join the rest of the team in Europe.
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
You can follow the USA-Taiwan game here on Friday. May the best team win!
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
On September 1st, the team will travel to Holland for the World Cup. The good news for Taiwan is that it has been grouped in a different pool from Cuba; the bad news is that Taiwan is in the same group as the US, Japan, Puerto Rico, and Australia.
Group A: (1)Mexico 4-0 (2)USA 3-0 (3)Japan 2-2 (4)Netherlands 1-2 (5)Russia 1-2 (6)South Africa 0-4
Group B: (1)Cuba 3-0 (2)Chinese Taipei 1-1 (3)Australia 1-1 (4)Brazil 1-1 (5)Czechoslovakia 0-3
The individual group round robin games go through today and finish tomorrow 8/24/05. The top 4 teams from each group will play each other: Group A #1 vs Group B #4, Group B #2 vs Group A #3, etc. The winners advance to the semifinals on Saturday, August 27th. The Gold medal and Bronze medal games will be played the following day 8/28/05, to conclude the tourney and crown a new world youth champion. Team USA has won the past 3 world championships. USA is off to a hot start with tremendous starting pitching. Robert Stock has been as advertised, with a dominating 15K, 1 hit, 7 inning shutout performance vs. the Netherlands. Mexico and USA will clash on Thursday to determine first place in their group, while Taiwan and Australia will duke it out on Thursday to determine the runner-up to Cuba in Group B preliminary play.
Saturday, August 20, 2005
Thursday, August 18, 2005
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
Team Taiwan with fans - I'm in the upper right hand corner :)
Sunday, August 14, 2005
Thursday, August 11, 2005
Tentatively the roster is as follows:
Coach - Chih-Shien Yeh
Asst Coach - Jung-Tang Kung
Asst Coach - Wu-Hsiung Huang
Asst Coach - Kun-Han Lin
Asst Coach - Gilbert Rondon
There are initially 10 pitchers selected:
7)Chien-Ming Chiang - YOMIURI GIANTS
8)Po-Hsuan Keng - TORONTO BLUE JAYS
9) Chi-Hung Cheng - TORONTO BLUE JAYS
10) Sung-Wei Tseng - played for the Anchorage Bucs this past summer
16) Chiang-Ho Chen
17) Yin-Chuan Lin
18)Sheng-Wei Wang - played for the Anchorage Bucs this past summer
19)Yung-Chi Chen - SEATTLE MARINERS
20)Chin-Lung Hu - LOS ANGELES DODGERS
22)Kuo-Hui Lo - SEATTLE MARINERS
*Players in blue demarcate those who played in the So Cal - US tour this past summer.
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
1) Chen (Dodgers) - 1990 Little League World Series Champs
2) Cheng (Blue Jays) - 1996 Little League World Series Champs
3) Wu (Mariners) - 1996 Little League World Series Champs
4) Lo (Rockies) - 2000 Pony League World Series Champs
Several other players have also participated in these youth competitions and gone on to pro careers in Taiwan's domestic league as well as in Japan.
Essentially, many of these games are previews of Taiwan's future baseball stars.
For a list of Taiwanese baseball players here in the US, check out this site run by Frank. He also has a complete list of all Asian baseball players here in the US.
In Pony baseball action (a youth baseball organization separate from Little League) , the Chinese Taipei representatives lost in the Bronco age division (11-12 year olds) in the championship game versus Puerto Rico 2-1. Game results can be found here. Chinese Taipei's roster and photo can be found here.
In the Palomino age division (17-18 year olds) of Pony baseball, Chinese Taipei lost in the semifinals to the eventual champions - Santa Clara, CA 3-2.
Chinese Taipei will have one last shot at winning a world championship in the Pony division (13-14 year olds) World Series beginning August 13th. Be sure to follow all the action here.
Sunday, August 07, 2005
This picture was taken by a fellow Chinese Taipei baseball fan who goes by Citybear.
Lo is listed as 6'2" and 182 pounds. That sounds about right, cuz I'm 5'9" and 162 pounds.
Big props to Citybear for taking this photo. For those of you interested in more pics of Friday's game, check out Citybear's pics at his site. He's got a much better camera than I have.
I'm gonna frame this baby!
Saturday, August 06, 2005
Lo (52) practicing bunting, Chen (99) - starting pitcher in center of pictureLiao (11) - starting OF warming up Lin (25) IF
Starting catcher Chen (22)