Tuesday, August 15, 2006

When Talent and $$$$ Collide......Yi-Hao Lin

Lin pictured with dad and JR. High School Coach Wu-Hsiung Huang

Lin with Huang

Lin with Yomiuri Giants Rep

This is the story of uber-prospect Yi-Hao Lin. The 15 year old who's fastball has already been clocked at 93 mph is part of an ongoing trend of underhanded deals that send some of Taiwan's best players to Japan. A well-documented case of this practice occurred in the early 80's when the Blue Jays tried to sign Taiwanese legend Tai-Yuan Kuo. Despite securing a verbal agreement with Kuo, the Jays ultimately ended up losing Kuo to the NPB Seibu Lions when Kuo's brother made an under-the-table deal with financial incentives to secure Kuo's rights with the Lions.
Moving on to the present - Lin was signed, sealed and delivered to the Yomiuri Giants with his parents' blessings and the guidance of his junior HS coach Wu-Hsiung Huang and WBC head coach Hua-Wei Lin. Here's where things start to get a little gray. First of all, Lin is only 15 years old. Even in the MLB, there's a rule that kids have to be at least 16 years of age to sign with a ball club. The fact that Lin is already off the market table with his "commitment" to the Yomiuri Giants is compounded by the rumor that both W.H. Huang and H.W. Lin were compensated for helping to deliver Y.H. Lin to the Giants. Also, consider this: W.H. Huang and H.W. Lin were staunch advocates against Taiwanese HS kids signing with Major League clubs until after their graduation. This philosophy contradicts their stance with Lin. Did Huang and Lin really have Lin's best interest at heart, or were they merely looking out for themselves? I dunno, I just merely present the info so that you can come to your own conclusion.

As for Lin, he is currenty on the under 16 NT that will be playing in Indonesia from September 3rd through the 10th, competing for the title of Asia's best in the youth category. He will be joined by fellow top prospect, Rong-Hao Hsieh, a 16 year old pitcher with good mound presence and a fastball in the upper 80's.


Anonymous said...

Waah, a 15 year old throwing a 93 mph fastball. thats impressive! isnt that faster than mystery kid Wen-Hao Cheng?

Anonymous said...

these kids have to start panning out in the mlb. i hate how they got to japan instead of playing ball in taiwan.

TheTaiwaneseTerror said...

Lin is raw, but he is a bonafide phenom!