Saturday, December 09, 2006
Baseball America recently released it's 2007 top 10 prospects for the Mariners. Chen was named the # 9 prospect in the system - and tools-wise was selected as the guy with the potential to best hit for average.
After a solid year in the minors, Chen didn't get much time to rest as he joined the NT and participated in the Intercontinental Cup and the Asian Games. On a roster-full of CPBL stars and young prospects at the I-Cup, Chen led the team in BA (.472) and RBI's (9). He also hit a key grand slam against South Korea that began a surprising power-surge that continued through the Asian Games. Chen was the only selected All-Star representative from Taiwan at the I-Cup. At the Asian Games, Chen's hot hitting continued as he was second on the team (# 7 overall) in BA - .450, #2 overall in slugging - 1.050, tops overall in HR's - 3, # 5 overall in RBI's - 7. Here are vids of Chen's 3 HR's at the Asian Games: 1)vs. South Korea 2)vs. South Korea 3) vs. the Philippines
One thing Chen has improved upon throughout this year is his ability to produce runs and hit for power. This was evident as he hit 3rd in the lineup for parts of the last month in AA ball and at the I-Cup and Asian Games. This marked a stark contrast from the WBC where Chen was utilized as a leadoff hitter or during the early part of the minor league season (in A-ball/AA) where he was the #2 hitter in the lineup.
The 23 year old will be one to watch out for next year as he will probably be the next Taiwanese Major Leaguer. Although most project him as a utility IF at the ML's, that is a pretty good return on a guy who signed for only $210,000.
-Bo Sox farm hand Chih-Hsiang Huang bounced back from a rough first season in the US with a nice showing the Fall Instructional League. Huang hit .370, flashing some of that raw potential that the Red Sox were enamored with when they signed him.
-For their gold medal efforts in Doha, each member of the 2006 NT received $92,800 for their winning efforts. Sweetness!