Monday, August 25, 2008

Silver Lining.....

It's been a tough summer - no championships in major amateur events and a crash & burn showing in the Olympics. However, no matter the results, you can always find a positive in all of the negativity surrounding the lack of success.

First off, the junior National Team: MLB signees: RHP Yao-Wen Chang (10/31/90), C Meng-Hsiu Tsai (5/13/90), RHP Wei-Chen Huang (3/6/1990), RHP Hsin-Hong Tsai (4/24/90) & NPB signee RHP Yi-Hao Lin (1/2/91) were all age-eligible prospects who were not on the junior NT roster. Several other prominent names were also left off of the junior NT - you can thank the Ku-Pao HS coach for his selections (9 of the 20 kids selected were from Ku-Pao while 8 other selections were from the teams that placed 2nd - 4th at the 2008 Yu-Shan Cup). It would've been nice (and made more sense) if the selection process for the junior NT was similar to the model the USA follows. Still the team only had one blowout loss and lost to the eventual champs by 1 run - all this despite the much hyped Rong-Hao Hsieh ('06 youth NT, '07 junior NT) being a major disappointment. RHP Che-Ming Su, OF Yen-Ju Chen, IF Yu-Hsiang Chen, and IF Fu-Lin Kuo ('06 youth NT) all performed well. FL Kuo (who's game is similar to Reds prospect Yen-Wen Kuo) may be the team's best pro-prospect. Heralded youngster - IF Wei-Chen Wang ('07 youth NT) had a rough go as a 17 year old on the international stage.

Fu-Lin Kuo

Regarding the Pony Baseball Organization, despite failing to win a championship this summer, all three reps from Taiwan earned the runner-up position in their respective World Series. Several kids have established themselves as names to remember for the future and will hopefully follow in the footsteps of those before them.

At the Palomino World Series: prospects Wei-Da Su, RHP's Cheng-Hao Wang & Po-Cheng Chi (side-arm release, 91 mph fb) headlined the team from Taichung.

At the Pony World Series: last year's two Little League stars Chao-Min Wang and Chi-Yuan Chen made the jump up a level. CY Chen looked impressive at the plate (he's corrected that Eric Davis-like awkward batting stance he used last year), showed good speed on the basepaths, and flashed nice range and a strong arm at SS. Nonetheless, the team was also led by slugger Li-Jen Chu (physically mature for his age) and staff ace Lee-Wei Chiang (tall and very projectable - he's Yu-Hung Lee's little brother).

Chen & Wang

Lee-Jen Chu

Much like last year's LL dynamic duo of Wang and Chen, the Bronco World Series reps were led by two promising youngsters: Chia-Ming Tu and Kuan-Yi Lee.

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