Thursday, October 11, 2007

Kuo-Ching Kao.....

Pictured on Right - Uni. #4 then - # 68 today

When you take a look at the offensive leaders in the CPBL, CFC, Chia-Chia, Tarzan, and CH Hsieh are all household names who are established stars in the league. KC Kao has quickly added himself to the above list of homegrown offensive talent. Kao had a storied amateur career, representing the country on several NT rosters. Kao participated in the 1999 and 2001 World Port Tournaments, the 2002 Haarlem Baseball Week Tourney & the 2002 World University Baseball Championships. However his most memorable amateur moment came in the 2001 Asian Baseball Championships when he helped lead Taiwan to the gold medal that year. Kao was named the tourney MVP, collecting 2 HR's including a key 2-run shot that helped beat Japan 3-1, and was selected to the all-tourney team at first base.

The President Lions' 4th year player is the hands on favorite to win the 2007 CPBL MVP award. Kao, who turned 29 recently (DOB 10/6/1978), stands 6'2" and weighs 205 pounds according to CPBL stats. The first baseman had a career year, smashing the league record (143) for most hits in a season with 152. He was the only player to rank in the top 5 other than Chin-Feng Chen in the triple crown categories. Kao's .358 BA, 20 HR's, and 89 RBI's (all career highs)- are numbers good enough to qualify for the triple crown in most years (see last year's CPBL leaders here and here). Here's a look at the progression of Kao's career with the Lions:
1)2004 - .239 BA 301 AB's 72 Hits 16 Doubles 2 Triples 12 HR's 34 RBI's
2)2005 - .313 BA 358 AB's 112 Hits 26 Doubles 0 Triples 5 HR's 52 RBI's
3)2006 - .282 BA 291 AB's 82 Hits 16 Doubles 2 Triples 3 HR's 26 RBI's
4)2007 - .358 BA 425 AB's 152 Hits 24 Doubles 1 Triple 20 HR's 89 RBI's

Here's a vid of highlights from his rookie year:

It was a record-breaking year for the Lions: aside from Kao's own record for hits, his teammate Tilson Brito set the league single season mark for HR's at 33 (breaking the former record of 31 held by Luis Iglesias of the now defunct Mercury Tigers in 1996 and the Brother Elephants' Jay Kirkpatrick in 1998); SP Wei-Lun Pan won 16 consecutive decisions without a loss - also a league record. *edited


maos said...

kao mentioned a few times that the change in team management gave him more freedom as a player. he credits a portion of his batting performance to that.

TTT said...

I think I remember reading in the Taipei Times about Kao also crediting his success to the off season work he did with a Japanese instructor.