Best Performing Scout of the Year: Steve Wilson (Cubs) - Ever since he changed organizations from the Phillies to the Cubs, he's been extremely active in signing top talent from both Taiwan and South Korea and hence providing opportunities for young Asian players. 2009 was no different; Wilson signed 3 of the better amateur players from Taiwan - INF Ping-Chieh Chen, RHP Tzu-An Wang, and RHP Yao-Lin Wang. Athletic INF Chen was the top positional amateur player in Taiwan in '09. RHP TA Wang, with his projectable size, has tremendous upside. RHP YL Wang was one of the hardest throwers in his HS class.
To help ease the kids' transition to the US, Wilson hired trainer/interpreter Keith Chiang (former ball player) and assistant/interpreter Wayne Wang.
By establishing a good peripheral support network for the kids and by inking some of the top youngsters in Taiwan, Wilson earns the '09 Taiwanese scout of the year.
Runner Up: Allen Lin (Tigers) - Lin helped the Tigers to ink 2 players from Taiwan in '09, including LHP Fu-Te Ni who made an impact on the Tigers' big league club in '09. Lin deserves a tremendous amount of credit for convincing Ni to leave the CPBL for only $170K (signing bonus). Lin's other signing - LHP Hua-Wei Lo has a decent arm but is still raw at pitching. He needs some improvement on his mechanics, but all things considered, he's a lefty that can touch 91 mph.
Worst Performing Scout of the Year: Jeremy Chou (Braves) - His first signing (RHP Cheng-En Hung), who was proclaimed the next Chien-Ming Wang, was released in spring training after years of poor performance and a shoulder injury. His latest signing - C Meng-Hsiu Tsai spent another year playing in Australia. He reportedly showed poor work ethic and had some character issues.
In addition, it is rumored that he encouraged the Octagon agency to go after Chunichi Dragons LHP Wei-Yin Chen and recently offered Taichung Gao-Nong HS INF/C Chin-De Chang $400 K during the reent National HS Wood Bat Tourney without getting approval from his supervisor.
Runner Up: Paul Hsu (Phillies) - A rookie scout with a background in the financial industry, he was able to secure the position for the Phillies upon a recommendation from the Yankees' scout Ken Su. He created quite a stir locally with the rumor of establishing a baseball agency with the name of JPR (in addition to his scouting duties). The "P" in JPR stands for his own name - Paul while the "J" stands for Joseph Tsai (from the wealthy Cathay Group). In fact, JPR just had Twins minor league coach Jack Mauer putting on a clinic in Taiwan. Paul was the main rep from JPR - check out the photo below of Paul (wearing his Phillies gear) with Mauer:
*The gambling scandal involving the CPBL continues to unearth new names, including Elephants star OF Chih-Yuan Chen, former Elephants star Feng-An Tsai, and former La New Bears P Andrew Lorraine.