Sunday, March 05, 2006

3rd in Asia.....

Well, considering the level of pitching that they faced against SK and Japan, I'd say that I'm pretty proud of the Taiwanese ball-players. Taiwan finally got their bats going against inferior pitching, crushing China 12-3. It was an important statement game for Taiwan vs. their political nemesis, as Taiwan had narrowly beaten China 3-1 in the 2003 Asian Games.

More impressively, US minor leaguers - Hu and Chen got their bats going as they collected nearly half (7) of the team's 15 hits. Chen hit a key grand slam, the first in WBC history, in the 4th inning to break open a close game at the time. Check here for boxscore and recap.

19 year old Yang has a bright future ahead of him; he was obviously overmatched this time around, but the kid has a great frame to build upon and is a good athlete. If he learns to hit the breaking ball, watch out.

Looking at the future of this ballclub, I'm pretty excited. The next WBC is going to be held in 2009. Defensively, the majority of the IF is set. 3B Chen and SS Hu are both only 22. 2B Yang is only 19. 1B Lin is the old man of the group at 24. In addition to playing great defense, these guys have the ability to contribute on the offensive side of the field.
The OF's if healthy should be in their prime in 3 years. C.F. Chen is 28, W.T. Lin is 27, and C.M. Peng is 27 as well.
Veterans Chang and Hsieh, who provided offensive firepower this year, could serve as DH's in the near future.
Pitching wise, a healthy Wang, Tsao, and Kuo would form a potent 1-2-3 combo. If Chih-Chia Chang ever returns to his old form, he'd be another important starter. En-Yu Lin showed why he is the top young arm in the CPBL. He clearly outshined the other 2 recent NPB signees - Y.C. Lin of the Eagles and Y.H. Yang of the Hawks. The key here would be the development of more quality arms in the next 2-3 years to give the team more depth.

Good luck to Japan and South Korea as they advance to the 2nd round in the WBC. Represent Asia well!!

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