Tuesday, September 28, 2010

News Briefs....

*Hong-Chih Kuo is 2 games away from reaching a $25,000 bonus incentive (pitch in 55 games).  Including today,  there are 5 games remaining on the Dodgers' regular season schedule.

*A's scout Adam Hislop was rumored to have expressed interest in Ku-Pao HS INF Po-Rong (Jung) Wang (#7 pictured above).  The 17 year old was an All-Star INF at the 2010 Taiwan Cup that Ku-Pao won.

*The Kansas City Royals reportedly offered $100 K to Cultural University C Kuan-Wei Yang.

*In preparation for the Intercontinental Cup, the senior NT will play 3 warm-up games at Tien Mu Stadium in Taipei:
Oct. 18th vs. Cuba
Oct. 19th vs. the Netherlands
Oct. 20th vs. Japan

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Family Affair....National Team Roster Finalized....

Some news briefs:
*Marines nigun RHP Yen-Feng Lin had surgery (near the end of August) for a broken bone in his right wrist after being struck by a hit ball.

*News brief on CC Lin coming to the US.

*A Name to Remember for Next Year - CH Chen.

*CH Lin won the Red Sox minor league DPOY award. - he also had 15 OF assists this year.

*The CPBL and KBO champs will face off in November for a 2 game tilt.

*Amateur player Chia-Ming Cheng (playing for Taiwan Coop. Bank) has a torn ligament in his throwing elbow.   The ace pitcher is a former Little League star (selected the top national pitcher in '94/was also selected tourney MVP of the '97 world youth "AA" championships and one of the top pitchers in the '98 world youth "AA" championships) who helped lead TCB to a 2nd place finish in the recently completed 2010 Association Cup (Taipei City won the tourney).   Cheng hit 4th in the lineup and batted .384 (good for 7th in the tourney).    To continue his career as a pitcher, Cheng will require Tommy John surgery.

*The Dodgers will allow IF Chin-Lung Hu to play in the Asian Games only (Hu will not play in the Intercontinental Cup).   As expected, Hong-Chih Kuo will not be representing his country in either competition. 

*The 24-man final senior national team roster has been announced for the upcoming Asian Games:
1)Hung-Wen Chen (Cubs)
2)Yao-Hsun Yang (Hawks)
3)Chih-Lung Huang (Giants)
4)Yi-Hao Lin (Giants)
5)Ming-Chieh Hsu (Lions)
6)Yi-Chieh Hsiao (Tigers)
7)Chien-Fu Yang (Bulls)
8)Ying-Chieh Lin (Bulls)
9)Wei-Lun Pan (Lions)
10)Kuan-Yu Chen (Amateur - Taiwan Beer)

1)Chun-Hsiu Chen (Indians)
2)Chih-Kang Kao (Lions)
3)Kun-Sheng Lin (Amateur)

1)Chin-Lung Hu (Dodgers)
2)Yung-Chi Chen (Pirates)
3)Tu-Hsuan Lee (Hawks)
4)Cheng-Min Peng (Elephants)
5)Yi-Chuan Lin (Bulls)
6)Tai-Shan Chang (Bulls)
7)Chih-Sheng Lin (Bears)

1)Che-Hsuan Lin (Red Sox)
2)Kuo-Hui Lo (Mariners)
3)Dai-Kang Yang (Fighters)
4)Chien-Ming Chang (Bulls)

The South Korean contingent has been finalized and includes MLB standout Shin-Soo Choo.

*Yi Chang, is a 16 year old IF/RHP playing in Japan.  He's currently playing at Fukuoka Daiichi HS.  Sounds familiar?    Chang is following in the footsteps of his cousin - Dai-Kang Yang (formerly known as Chung-Shou Yang) by attempting to trace his career path (Taiwanese middle school>Japanese HS>NPB?) at Yang's alma mater.  
Chang belongs to an exclusive baseball family with good bloodlines.  
His cousins include:
-brothers -Dai-Kang Yang (Fighters), Yao-Hsun Yang (Hawks), Yao-Hua Yang (Nagasaki Saints)
-brothers - Chih-Yuan Chen (Ex-Elephants), Chih-Peng Chen (Elephants)
-Hua-Wei Tseng (Ex-Bulls)
-Hua Yang (2009 Lions' 10th round draft pick)
-Chia-Min Tseng (Ex-Elephants)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Junior NT Retro Look......

In a previous post, we've looked at past junior national teams and their rosters/results.  One interesting thing to note is that the success of the junior NT has not always correlated with the amount of talent (based on overseas signings) on the team.
(Bold # -overseas signees/team final ranking)

2000(2/5th World)
2001(5/1st Asia)
2002(5/2nd World)
2003(6/2nd Asia)

2004(8 -see below/5th World)
2005(5 -see below/3rd Asia)
2006(6 -see below/5th World)
2007(2 -see below/1st Asia) 

-To update the list:

1)the 2004 junior NT also included three more recent signees: Chia-Jen Lo (Astros), Chen-Chang Lee (Indians), and Kai-Wen Cheng (Tigers) to up the total of junior NT members to sign abroad to 8.

2)An update to the 2005 junior NT includes: Kai-Wen Cheng (Tigers) and Chao-Ting Tang (Tigers) to up the total to 5 (MLB/NPB signees).

3)The 2006 junior NT also saw Kai-Wen Cheng (Tigers) and Chih-Lung Huang (Giants) sign abroad - to up the total to 6 (MLB/NPB signees).

4)From the 2007 junior NT, Chih-Lung Huang (Giants) and Chia-Chu Chen (Red Sox) signed abroad (2 total).

-The 2008 junior NT finished 5th in the world.  To date only one player has signed abroad - Fu-Lin Kuo (Yankees).

-The 2009 junior NT placed 2nd to South Korea in Asia.   Three players signed overseas: Yao-Lin Wang (Cubs), Fu-Lin Kuo (Yankees), and Pin-Chieh Chen (Cubs).

-And of course, the 2010 junior NT made us all proud with a world title.   OF Chia-Ching Lin has already signed with the Indians and RHP Hung-Yi Chen is a Minnesota Twins signee.  IF Tzu-Wei Lin is a sure bet to sign somewhere when all's said and done with his HS career.

Prior to 2000, there were several outstanding junior NT's, however we'll only look back to 1994 as that was the year the current elder statesman overseas (MC Hsu) was on a junior NT roster:

1)1994 (1/3rd Asia - 0/3rd World) - The junior NT sent two squads to participate in both tourneys.  RHP Ming-Chieh Hsu (Lions) was on the Asian junior NT.  Ex-Elephants great Chih-Yuan Chen played on both junior NT squads.

2)1995 (2/2nd World) - Chin-Feng Chen (Dodgers/Bears) and Chia-Chia (Elephants) headlined this squad. P Wen-Ping Yu played briefly overseas in the NPB (Orix Blue Wave).

3)1996 (1/2nd Asia - 0/2nd World) - CFC (Dodgers/Bears) was on the Asian junior NT.  Chia-Chia (Elephants) and Kuo-Ching Kao (Lions) played on the world squad.

4)1997 (2/2nd World) - Chien-Ming Wang (Yankees/Nats) and Chin-Hui Tsao (Rockies/Dodgers/Elephants) were future major leaguers on this squad.

5)1998 (3/2nd Asia) - Chih-Chia Chang (Lions/Bears), Chien-Ming Wang (Yanks/Nats), and Hong-Chih Kuo (Dodgers) headlined this junior NT.

6)1999 (3/2nd World) - Chin-Hui Tsao (Rockies/Dodgers/Elephants), Ying-Chieh Lin (Cobras/Eagles/Bulls), and Chi-Hung Cheng (Jays/Pirates) were some of the power arms on this squad.   Hong-Chih Kuo was supposed to be on this team, until he was booted for signing with the Dodgers prior to his HS graduation.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Tung-Kao Cup...

*The Tung-Kao Cup (HS Baseball) kicked off yesterday.   Tzu-Wei Lin (pictured above) helped lead Kao-Yuan HS to a 4-3 win today in a two-way role (He was brought in to close out the game, K'ing the only batter he faced to end the game).

*TW Lin's junior national teammates Chia-Ching Lin (pictured above L) and Hung-Yi Chen (pictured above R) are US bound.   Chia-Ching Lin (Indians) will head to the US this month in preparation for the Fall Instructional League.  Chen (Twins) will train in Taiwan this winter and then head to the US some time in February.

*Indians prospect Chun-Hsiu Chen is back in Taiwan with the NT in preparation for the upcoming Asian Games.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Labor Day News Briefs.....

*More trouble looming for Tsao?    Chin-Hui Tsao went to a tryout for some Indy League team in Texas, and in the process of trying to obtain a work visa in the US, was taken down when he entered Taiwan at immigrations. The court had ordered him twice to attend court sessions as a possible witness to provide further "insider info" related to the game-fixing scandals, but he was a no-show both times.  Hence, he was taken into custody and then subsequently released after he was given a warning that if he is a no-show again, he'll be fined 30K NT. Tsao listed "cousin--Kelvin Lee" on his contact info to which Tsao explained that K. Lee is not his cousin but his agent instead.

*Chin-Lung Hu was recalled by the DodgersHu was hitting .317 with 4 HR's and 25 RBI in AAA despite missing 2 months recovering from a broken left thumb.

Minor League Run Down (as of 9/5):
-The last of the 7 figure signing bonus recipients - RHP Ching-Lung Lo is now in AAA.
-RHP Hung-Wen Chen has found sledding in AAA pretty tough (3-3, 6.04 ERA). He was an AA All-Star earlier this season.
-Since being sent down earlier in the season, lefty Fu-Te Ni has also struggled in AAA (7.94 ERA).

-IF Yung-Chi Chen is hitting .205 on the year at the AA level between two organizations.
-OF Chih-Hsien Chiang's season is over due to a sore wrist, but he hit .260 with 11 HR's and 65 RBI in AA ball.  Check out his progression over the past few months (April .117 BA, May .212 BA, June .272 BA, July .320 BA, August .322 BA).  Heralded teammate OF Che-Hsuan Lin was hitting .275 with 2 HR's and 26 SB in AA.  He also had an impressive 72 BB/63 SO ratio.
-RHP Chen-Chang Lee has had an impressive season in AA - with a >1:1 K/IP ratio (82/72.2) and a 3.22 ERA.  Lee will be playing in the AFL this fall.
-RHP Chia-Jen Lo has missed most of the season with a partial tear of his UCL, but he started the year in AA ball.

-After starting the year in AA ball, OF Kuo-Hui Lo was demoted to A+ ball and has actually fared worse, hitting only .224 with 0 HR's (.233/ 4 HR's - season total).
-In contrast, C Chun-Hsiu Chen was promoted to A+ ball and has been tearing the cover off of the ball - .321, 6 HR's, .976 OPS at Kinston (.316, 12 HR's, 69 RBI - season total).

-Reliever Sheng-An Kuo is third in the SAL (A ball) with 20 saves.   He was a midseason All-Star.
-OF Wang-Wei Lin hit .231 with 1 HR and 11 SB's in A ball.
-RHP Tzu-Kai Chiu is 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA in A ball (2-0, 1.69 ERA - season total).

-C Chia-Chu Chen had his problems at the plate this year in A-ss ball (.171 BA, 1 HR, 6 RBI).
-Earlier this season, 22 year old OF Chao-Ting Tang was demoted from A+ ball to the NYPL (A-ss) and has still been unable to find his stroke - .197 BA, 0 HR's (.200 BA, 0 HR's - season total).
-IF Pin-Chieh Chen was rewarded with a promotion to A-ss ball after a nice debut in the AZL (R).  (.295 BA, 0 HR's, 10 SB - season total)

-19 year old RHP Yao-Wen Chang continued to struggle in his 3rd year of pro ball with Pulaski (R) -10.07 ERA, batters hit .360 off of him.
-C Meng-Hsiu Tsai made his US minor league debut this year in the GCL (R), but was hitless in 4 AB's.
-After starting the season in A-ss, RHP Yao-Lin Wang has had a nice first season in the AZL (R) - 2.12 ERA, 19 K's/17 IP - (1-3, 4.06 ERA, 29 K's, 31 IP - season total).
-The Pirates trio of Ping-Hung Chi, Chih-Wei Hsu, and Sheng-Cin Hong found life difficult in their US debut at the R level.
OF Chi hit .138 with 23 K's in 58 AB.  IF Hsu hit .154 with 16 K's in 39 AB.  RHP Hong allowed 4 HR's in 13.1 IP and had an ERA of 14.18.
-RHP Tzu-An Wang was 0-2 with a 7.32 ERA (19 K's/19.2 IP) in his US debut in R ball.
-In his first year stateside, IF Fu-Lin Kuo hit .243 with 4 HR's and 23 RBI in the GCL (R).
-RHP Po-Cheng Chi was 1-0 with a 5.02 ERA in his US debut in the AZL (R) -
although command was an issue: 5 K's, 17 BB's, 14.1 IP
-Last but not least, IF Zhi-Fang Pan - the most recent signee to make his debut in the US, had an excellent first season at the plate - .331 BA in 157 AB in the AZL (R).

*NT developments - Three Up, Three Down - OF Kuo-Hui Lo, IF Yung-Chi Chen, and P Ming-Chieh Hsu have been cleared by their organizations to participate with the NT.   Top lefties - Wei-Yin Chen and Fu-Te Ni, as well as Chen-Chang Lee will not be available for NT services.   Replacing them on the 45 man preliminary roster are amateur players: LHP Hung-Cheng Lai, RHP Chen-Hua Lin, and BayStars RHP Yi-Cheng Wang.

The Intercontinental Cup kicks off in October (23-31) and will be hosted by Taiwan.
The NT will then play in the 2010 Asian Games, taking place in Guangzhou, China - November 13-19.

*CPBL Update - Lions SP Ching-Ming Wang - CPBL ROY?  Wang was the Lions top pick in the '08 CPBL draft.  Wang's 9 wins are good for 3rd in the league, while his 3.74 ERA (13th) and 75 K's (9th) also are among league leaders.  His main competition may come from Bears slugger - Hung-Yu Lin (.311, 8 HR's, 60 RBI).

Other league leaders:
BA: Yi-Chuan Lin (.350), Chia Chia (.347), Chih-Sheng Lin (.311), Hung-Yu Lin (.311), Chao-Hsing Cheng (.310), Tarzan (.307)
HR: Chih-Sheng Lin (17), Tarzan (15), Cheng-Yu Chung (9), Yi-Chuan Lin (8), Hung-Yu Lin (8), Tai-Chi Kuo (8)   (Chia Chia and CFC both have 7)
RBI: Tarzan (69), Chih-Sheng Lin (67), Hung-Yu Lin (60), Cheng-Yu Chung (60), Chia Chia (58)  (Yi-Chuan Lin has 49)
SB: Da-Hung Cheng (23), Fu-Hao Liu (23), Chia Chia (19), Sheng-Wei Wang (19), Yen-Feng Chen (16)
Wins: Carlos Castillo (11), Orlando Roman (11), Chien-Fu Yang (10), Chris Mason (10), Jim Magrane (10)
ERA: Carlos Castillo (2.10), Ken Ray (2.31), Chien-Fu Yang (2.42), Ying-Chieh Lin (2.43), Chris Mason (2.51)
K's: Orlando Roman (123), Ken Ray (118), Jim Magrane (106), Ying-Chieh Lin (93), Shoda Itsuki (91)
Saves: Ryan Cullen (27), Takatsu Shingo (23), Yueh-Ping Lin (14), Po-Hsuen Keng (9), Ming-Chieh Hsu (7)