Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Hu DNP today, but Baseball America has a little piece on Hu's struggles in the AFL - not only at the plate but surprisingly in the field as well.
"He tries to do too much," a scout from an NL club said. "He has first-step quickness, he has some explosiveness defensively, but he's not fundamentally sound. He's not the guy you want the ball hit to when it means something. Ivan DeJesus(Dodgers 2005 second-round pick) is such a much better prospect for them at that position."
Wow, those are some harsh words on Hu - something you wouldn't expect given Hu's reputation as a defensive whiz. I question the scout's take when he states that Hu is not fundamentally sound. Fundamentals are the name of the game when it comes to amateur baseball in Taiwan.
"He's not the guy you want the ball hit to when it means something." - Hu committed the fewest errors this past season in all of AA at the SS position (considering only an everyday player who played a full season). In 125 game appearances in the Southern League, he committed only 11 errors. Also, despite hitting only .254 this past year, Hu was recognized as a Southern League All-Star - so obviously his glove got him that recognition.
Monday, October 30, 2006
1)11/1 - vs. LA New Bears
2)11/2 - vs. LA New Bears
3)11/4 - vs. Italian NT
4)11/5 - vs. Australian NT
5)11/6 - vs. Cuban NT
***Hu was 1-5 today with 2 runs scored and a SB. Mesa won 14-4 in the AFL. Box
***Well as Maos stated earlier, En-Yu Lin is now the newest member of the Rakuten Eagles. His signing bonus is rumored to be in the ballpark of around $600 K to $750 K. If that amount is correct, then the Eagles obviously feel that E.Y. Lin's upside is greater than that of Y.C. Lin, who got around $400K when he signed with the Eagles last year.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
***In the HWBL, Lo got lit up yesterday as he pitched 3 innings, gave up 5 runs on 4 hits (one of them a 2 run shot), to go along with 3 walks and 3 K's. Despite the shaky outing, Lo earned a ND. Box
***The field is set for the Konami Cup. The LA New Bears will face off against the Nippon Ham Fighters, the Samsung Lions, and the CBA All-Star team.
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Catching up on the last couple of days, Hu was 0-4 on 10/26 versus the Javelinas.
On 10/27, Hu participated in the inaugural AFL Rising Stars Game. Playing for the Eastern squad, Hu was 2-4 as his team won 3-1.
Today, Hu was 2-3 with a RBI double and a run scored. Mesa won 5-3.
Hu's latest journal entry is also available at this time.
Looks like the future of professional baseball in Taiwan is up in the air - it's hard to keep a business afloat when you lose money. Read more here.
Things are becoming a 'lil clearer for the LA New Bears: the Nippon Ham Fighters will represent the NPB in the Konami Cup. The Samsung Lions still lead their KBO opponent 3-1, with rain delaying the series.
Intercontinental Cup Roster Shuffle:
Replacing the 5 LA New Bears: Chin-Feng Chen, Si-Yo Wu, Feng-Min Chen, Chih-Sheng Lin, and Chih-Wei Shih will be:
1)P Cheng-Lung Lo - Amateur
2)C Yi-Wei Lee - Amateur
3)IF Yi-Chuan Lin - Amateur
4)IF Tsung-Nan Lin - CPBL
5)OF Guan-Ren Chen - CPBL
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
As BigD and Maos alluded to earlier, the LA New Bears claimed the CPBL crown by sweeping the President Lions on Wednesday. Although the final score was 7-3, the game was kept close thanks to a solid start from Lions star Wei-Lun Pan. Pan, who pitched into the 6th inning, found himself with a 3-0 lead heading into the 5th inning. The Bears would then start to chip away at the lead by scoring a run in the 5th before Chin-Feng Chen's 2 run bomb in the 6th inning would tie things up and ultimately knock Pan out of the game. The Bears would then go on to wrap up the series by putting up 4 runs in the top of the 9th inning for the final score.
Notable Game Stats:
Wei-Lun Pan 5.2IP 7H/3ER 4K's/1BB
Chin-Feng Chen 1-4 1HR 2RBI's
Chih-Sheng Lin 2-5 1R scored
Next up for the Bears - the Konami Cup - pitting the pro championship teams from South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and an all-star team from China against one another. The K-Cup will take place in November, from the 9th to the 12th - coinciding with the Intercontinental Cup which will occur on Nov. 9th thru the 19th. I'm sure some roster adjustments will have to be made for the I-Cup as 5 NT members will be representing the Bears. Even though the NPB and KBO champs will be favored to repeat last year's 1-2 standing, you have to like the Bears chances this year. C.F. Chen is the great equalizer for the Bears - make a mistake and he'll make you pay - he also has a great track record against some of the better professional pitchers in the NPB and KBO.
In previewing possible opponents for the Bears, here's a brief rundown on the possible representatives from the KBO (Samsung up 2-1 in the series) and NPB (Fighters up 3-1 in the series).
Hu was 0-3 as Mesa lost 7-5 today. Box
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Monday, October 23, 2006
In the AFL, Mesa lost 3-2 today. Hu was 1-4 with a SB and a run scored. Box
Sunday, October 22, 2006
The pivotal game 3 will take place Tuesday, as the Bears seek to stake a commanding lead in the series. Rookie Ying-Feng Tsai is expected to start for the Bears on Tuesday.
Great news for amateur baseball in Kaohsiung, Taiwan: The city's mayor pledged more money to help fund baseball programs in the area. I guess we can thank Chien-Ming Wang for helping to make this possible!
Saturday, October 21, 2006
The LA New Bears won Game One of the Championship Series 4-3 over the President Lions. A clutch hit by Chih-Wei Shih scored Chin-Feng Chen in the bottom of the 11th inning to give the Bears the series lead. Chen was 2-3 with 2 walks and 2 SB's. As for the starting pitching, the matchup between Wu and Pan did not live up to the pregame hype. Wu pitched 3 innings for the Bears, giving up 3 runs on 4 hits. He had 2 K's and 2 walks allowed. Pan fared better as he threw 6 innings, giving up 3 runs on 6 hits, to go along with 5 K's and 3 walks. Both starters earned a ND.
Game 2 takes place tomorrow.
Friday, October 20, 2006
Hu was 0-4 with a walk and a run scored as Mesa won 6-3. Box
A new entry from Hu's player journal.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Yesterday in the HWBL, Lo earned a ND in which he gave up 3 runs on 3 hits in 4 innings. Lo struggled with his command, throwing only 38 strikes out of 69 pitches. Box
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
A good friend passed on a series of awesome video footage of past and current Taiwanese baseball stars. The 5 part series can be found on youtube.com - I'll try to link the videos to the blog - the only thing is that the vids are in Chinese.
Monday, October 16, 2006
Ping-Yen Lee have come to an agreement (sign-on bonus of around $335,000) and his signing was officially announced today. Lee will join fellow Taiwanese prospect, pitcher Yao-Hsun Yang on the nigun team. Despite standing only 5'9", Lee cranked out 53 HR's and hit above .500 over his 3 year HS career. Lee also has decent speed as he was clocked at 6.3 seconds over 50 meters.
1)Chien-Fu Yang - CPBL
2)Wei-Lun Pan - CPBL
3)En-Yu Lin- CPBL
4)Yueh-Ping Lin - CPBL
5)Si-Yo Wu - CPBL
6)Po-Hsuan Keng - Blue Jays
7)Sung-Wei Tseng - Indians
8)Yao-Hsun Yang - Hawks
9)Chen-Chang Lee - Amateur
10)Ko-Chien Lin - Amateur
1)Chun-Chang Yeh - CPBL
2)Chih-Kang Kao - CPBL
3)Feng-Min Chen - CPBL
1)Chuan-Chia Wang - CPBL
2)Tai-Shan Chang - CPBL
3)Chih-Wei Shih - CPBL
4)Chih-Sheng Lin - CPBL
5)Yung-Chi Chen - Mariners
6)Chung-Shou Yang - Fighters
1)Chin-Feng Chen - CPBL
2)Chia-Hsien Hsieh - CPBL
3)Chien-Ming Chang - CPBL
4)Yu-Hsien Ming - CPBL
5)Chih-Yao Chan - Amateur
President Lions in a 7 game series beginning October 21st. Should be interesting as some of the top domestic talent will be competing against one another - C.F. Chen, S.Y. Wu, W.L. Pan, and Y.P. Lin. Also the Chen brothers will be fighting for family bragging rights.
Friday, October 13, 2006
As for Hu, the AFL site has a player journal entry of Hu. Email him and wish him well!
In game 1, the Lions beat the Bulls 8-4. Game MVP honors went to NT member - and reliever Yueh-Ping Lin (pictured above). Read more on the series matchup.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Ching-Lung Hu made his debut last night with the Mesa Solar Sox in the AFL. Hu was 0-3 in last night's 3-0 loss to Phoenix. Box
Hu was 1-1 with a RBI in tonight's matchup, prior to leaving the game in the 5th inning when he was hit by a pitch on the wrist. Hopefully nothing too serious here. Box
Chen's other competitors for ROY include:
1)Chih-Tsung Chiang (2B - LA New Bears) - age: 23 6'2"/195 pounds
BA .307 2 HR's 23 RBI's
***Older brother of Red Sox prospect Chih-Hsien Chiang
2)Hsien-Chih Chang (P - Macoto Cobras) - age: 22 5'8"/167 pounds
ERA 3.26 12 Wins - 10 Losses 165.2 IP/96K's
3)Ying-Feng Tsai (P - LA New Bears) - age: 23 6'0/172 pounds
ERA 3.37 11 Wins - 5 Losses 109.2 IP/47K's
***Had the opportunity to watch him pitch for the NT last summer - was the ace of the staff during the Southern California tour
As for the league MVP award, the 3 guys mentioned yesterday have to be the top 3 candidates. If it was based on stats, En-Yu Lin would be the clear favorite, with his impressive trifecta - ala Johan Santana. However, if they give the MVP to a guy on a winning team, then Chen and Chang have to be mentioned as well.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Notable League Leaders:Tai-Shan Chang (Bulls) hit the most HR's: 24 - he also hit .349 with 72 RBI's
Chin-Feng Chen (Bears) had the most RBI's: 81 - he also hit .317 with 21 HR's
En-Yu Lin (Cobras) won the triple crown in pitching with the most wins: 17 - tied with Si-Yo Wu, lowest ERA: 1.74, and most K's: 209 - which set a single season record. What a season for the young man!
Chien-Ming Chiang earned a ND today as his Giants lost 9-3 to the CL Champs - the Chunichi Dragons in extra innings. Chiang's only mistake of the game was a 3 run shot given up to Tyrone Woods in the 4th inning. Those were the only runs Chiang would give up as he threw 7.1 innings, giving up 6 hits to go along with 2 walks and 2 K's. Chiang left the game with the score all knotted up at 3 in the 8th inning. Box
On Sunday, Wei-Chu Lin was 0-1 in a pinch hit appearance for the Hanshin Tigers. The Tigers lost to the Yomiuri Giants 5-1. Box
As for teenage prodigy Chung-Shou Yang, his first year with the Fighters organization is officially over. Yang hit .276 in 352 AB's - he had 9 HR's and 36 RBI's with the nigun team. Not too shabby a campaign for the 19 year old as he garnered All-Star recognition and picked up the August minor league player of the month award.
Friday, October 06, 2006
Wow, what has happened to the vaunted Yankees offense?! The Bronx Bombers find themselves down 2 games to 1 and facing early elimination in the ALDS. Jaret Wright will pitch tomorrow in a crucial game 4 for the Yanks. If the Yankees win, Wang would be the probable starter for game 5 in NYC on Sunday.
More articles on Kuo....at least people now know his name.
Ching-Lung Lo pitched on Wednesday in the HWB and took the loss for the Waikiki BeachBoys. Check box score here.
Thursday, October 05, 2006
The Dodgers lost to the Mets 4-1 tonight. Kuo pitched 4.1 innings, giving up 2 earned runs on 4 hits. All in all despite the loss, I thought that Kuo was solid tonight. Mets skipper Willie Randolph had this to say about Kuo, "He was tough again. We just made him pitch a little bit. We had some AB's where we taxed him a little bit."
Kuo, who was clocked in the low 90's/topping out at 94 mph - was hurt by a bout of wildness in the 3rd and 5th innings . A WP by Kuo in the 3rd inning and a leadoff walk in the 5th inning both led to runs scored for the Mets. Grady Little pulled Kuo in the 5th with the bases loaded and trailing 1-0 - he simply couldn't afford to give up any more runs thanks to a dominant performance by 40 year old veteran Tom Glavine (he threw 6 shutout innings). As for Kuo, he had 2 walks (1 intentional to load the bases in the 5th) to go along with 4 K's. Considering the fact that this was Kuo's 6th career ML start in an away game during the postseason with his team down 1-0 in the series - you have to chalk this one up as a valuable learning experience for Kuo. If Kuo can stay healthy, it'll be very exciting to see what kinda numbers he can post as a starter over a full season.
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
On ESPN tonight, Eric Byrnes - OF for the Arizona Diamonbacks was a guest anchor along with Vernon Wells. Eric had a lot of high praise for Kuo saying, "I won't lose any sleep if I never face that guy again.....He is probably the last lefthander in the game that I'd want to face right now...He throws a hard mid 90's fastball - he cuts it inside, every now and then he'll keep you honest and will 2 seam it away, (he has) a big looping curveball.....this guy has got some of the best stuff I've ever seen."
ESPN baseball analyst Tim Kurkjian went on to say that in a conversation with one time Mariner/Yankee Tino Martinez, Tino was so impressed by Kuo's last start against the Mets that he was quoted saying, "How is anybody gonna swing against this guy. I'd put him in the rotation right now for the post season." Someone in the Dodgers organization must've been listening to Tino.
Hopefully Kuo can help even things up for the Dodgers tomorrow night after today's close loss. The fact that Kuo is still pitching today is a testament to Dan Evans.
Hanshin won 4-2. Lin made an appearance in the game but had no stats.
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Fox TV has a nice little blurb on Wang and Kuo hailing from the same hometown of Tainan, Taiwan. It seems that a lot of the top baseball talent in Taiwan come from southern Taiwan.
Kuo will pitch Thursday night. Let's go Kuo!
Monday, October 02, 2006
As for the card listed above, all of his parallel inserts from the 2006 Bowman Chrome product are commanding a premium on Ebay. Check out some of the auctions here.
Sunday, October 01, 2006
Chien-Ming Wang will pitch game 1 of the ALDS against the Tiger's Nate Robertson. Read more on the pitching and positional player matchup analysis for both teams. Wang was 1-0 this season against Detroit. Game 1 will take place Tuesday at 5:00 Pacific and will be televised by Fox.
The Dodgers advanced to the NL playoffs by winning the NL wildcard. Hong-Chih Kuo is tentatively scheduled to pitch game 2 of the NLDS against the NY Mets. If Kuo is a go on Thursday, then he would be set to face Tom Glavine. In 3 appearances against the Mets this year, Kuo is 1-0. Game time is set at 5:00 Pacific and will be broadcast by Fox.
The Seibu Lions released Chih-Chia Chang on Friday. Chang, the one time phenom who also starred on the Taiwanese NT, was never able to fully recover from numerous injuries to his throwing shoulder, elbow, and back - losing nearly 10 mph off of his fastball. The sad thing about this move is the fact that Chang is only 26 years old - the same age as Chien-Ming Wang. Chang, who caught the attention of Japanese scouts in 2001 when he beat a team of Japanese pros at the World Cup, was one of the top rookies in the NPB in 2002 when he won a career high 10 games. During his prime, Chang was widely considered to be one of the best pitchers out of Taiwan - bar none. Even though his peers all suffered serious injuries early in their professional careers (Wang - shoulder/Tsao - elbow & shoulder/Kuo - elbow), two of them are now starring in the US - with the jury still out on Tsao's recovery (although Tsao did fully recover from Tommy John surgery).
Here's where I feel there is one significant advantage to playing in the US versus Japan. The US has the best sports medicine in the world - the orthopedic surgeons, the athletic trainers, etc. all play a huge hand in helping injured players return to their previous abilities. Chang, who probably needed surgical intervention, did not get this same quality of care in Japan. When you look at all the Taiwanese pitching prospects who have gone over to Japan, it is startling to see how many guys have suffered injuries while in the NPB: Tai-Yuan Kuo, Chung-Yang Tsao, Ming-Chieh Hsu, Chien-Ming Chiang, Chih-Chia Chang, Wei-Yin Chen, Ying-Chieh Lin.......I'm sure there's more, but you get the picture. The only guy who perfomed well despite suffering an injury was Tai-Yuan Kuo. I can only pray that young Yi-Hao Lin has good people watching out for his precocious arm.
It's pretty obvious where I stand on where our young prospects should go when choosing between the US and Japan.
Moving on to scores in Japan:
Lin was o-1 in a pinch hit appearance as Hanshin lost 7-1.
Chiang lost his second game of the season despite pitching well. The Giants got shutout 3-0 as Chiang lasted 8 innings, giving up 1 run on 6 hits.
Kuo sounds iffy for the Asian Games coming up in December. Read more here.