Sunday, August 27, 2006
Ok, let's take a quick look at how Chiang did in his first season in the US. In the GCL, on a loaded ball club, Chiang managed a .287 BA in 122 AB's. Of his 35 hits, 8 went for doubles, 2 were triples, and 1 was a roundtripper - for a slugging percentage of .410. Chiang drove in 12 runs and scored 12 runs, hitting mostly out of the top or bottom of the lineup. While he only walked 4 times during the season, he also only struck out 11 times as well, exhibiting his best attribute - his Ichiro-like hand-eye coordination. Chiang did commit 10 errors on the season at 2B, but I full expect Chiang to steadily improve in this department over the next few years due to his athleticism and work ethic.
Chiang will get a few more AB's this year with the Lowell Spinners before he moves on to the instructional league in the fall. While his numbers weren't spectacular, let's not forget that he's 18, learning a new language and spending his first extended time away from home. Also, prior to coming to the US, Chiang hadn't played in a baseball game since March of 2006. The 3 month layoff may have contributed to Chiang's slow start in the GCL.
Another note on Chiang is the fact that he was diagnosed with diabetes in the past year, which was made public recently. Rumors that the ailment scared off teams from signing are not true. In fact, Chiang was offered $500 K by the Yakult Swallows and the Atlanta Braves, had he not already signed with the Red Sox. The kid likes the Red Sox and took less money to play for the organization - you gotta love his loyalty. Although having diabetes is no laughing matter, it is a disease that can be managed effectively with today's advances in medical technology. Many famous baseball players are diabetics, although most of us wouldn't know unless we witnessed an insulin injection. Bottom line - diabetes won't hold Chiang back from climbing the Sox organizational ladder. The depth at 2B - middle infield is thin in the organization. Assuming he starts the season next year in Greenville, I look foward to seeing him fullfill his vast potential in the future.
Ok, it looks like Wang will start Tuesday against the Tigers Nate Robertson per the NYY official site. Wang will be gunning for win # 16 and try to build momentum towards the playoffs.