Monday, December 27, 2010

Fresh Start for Hu and Chang...

*The LA Dodgers traded Chin-Lung Hu to the NY Mets.

*The President Lions acquired Tarzan from the Bulls for ~ $83 K USD.   The team also reassigned
their GM within the corporation.

*One time star RHP Chung-Nan Tsai is now the Sinon Bulls' pitching coach.

*At the Asian LL Championships, the NT defeated South Korea 2-1 to move on to the championship game against Japan.  Japan beat China 7-6 in the other semifinal.

*Shi-Yuan Junior HS won the Taipei International Junior HS tourney, winning 11-4 in the championship game.   Chun-Jen Cheng, despite arm pain, logged another 5 innings to pick up the W and threw 398 pitches over 4 days!  Cheng was easily the MVP of the tourney with 3 W's.

CJ Cheng

SW Liu

Shao-Wei Liu from Taipei County has created the most buzz in the tourney with his 84-85 mph fastball.  He won the tourney batting title with a .541 BA. The 14 year old already stands in at 6"1".   Liu was on the 2008 LL NT team that won the Asian Championships.   See below vid:

*Taiwan's legislators are pushing forward an attempt to put a halt to fixing pro games.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Amateur Tourney Updates...

*The LL NT is currently 3-0 in Japan at the Asian LL Championships.   The team squeaked by China in its first game, 4-3, before defeating Thailand 16-0 in game 2.  The NT moved on to the semifinals after defeating Indonesia 20-0 in its last group game.   
The boys will face South Korea in one semifinal, while Japan plays China in the other semi.

*Some news on the current Taipei International Junior HS Tournament :
1)Hsin-Ming RHP Chuan-Yu Hsu from Taoyuan County has pitched well, topping out at 78 mph.
2)Shi-Yuan RHP Chun-Jen Cheng has thrown 2 CG's in 3 days (300 pitches!) to help his team enter the semifinals.

*In the College Cup, Chinese Culture University won the title with an 11-1 victory on Friday.   SP Chen-Hua Lin started the game, pitched a CG (7 innings) to pick up the W (1 unearned run on 5 hits, 8 K's, 1 BB).  Lin was elected the top pitcher in the tourney (0.00 ERA, 7.1 IP, 1 W).
On the losing end was SP Kuan-Yu Chen (0.1 IP, 3 R, 4 H).   KY Chen is still suffering from some confidence issues since getting hammered against South Korea in the Asian Games.
Fu-Jen University won third with a 7-1 victory over Taipei Sports College.

*CPBL News:   The President Lions signed their second round draft pick: RHP Wen-Yang Liao to a  2.5 million NT signing bonus, 100K NT/month salary.

Speaking of the Lions, veteran star slugger Tarzan (Tai-Shan Chang) has been linked to the club.

*Other:  Interesting read on Genji Kaku's son in Japan  - looks like the apple didn't fall too far from the tree.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

News Briefs...

*The Asian Little League Championships (12 and under) will kick off tomorrow in Kurashiki, Japan.   Taiwan earned the easier draw as it was grouped with China, Indonesia, and Thailand.   Group B consists of Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Pakistan.
The LL NT will play:
12/24 vs. China
12/25 vs. Thailand
12/26 vs. Indonesia
The top 2 teams from each group will play on the 27th (1 vs. 2 format), with the semifinal winners meeting in the championship game on the 28th.

*Speaking of little league baseball, the Chu-Lo Mountain Cup LL Tourney in Chiayi has a record number of teams participating (120 total with 12 teams coming from other countries - 7 from Japan) this year.   Last year, 117 teams were involved in the tourney.  To help protect young arms, a pitch count restriction will be implemented.

*CPBL News: 
The Elephants have released a total of 9 players from this past season's roster to help make room for some of their new draft picks.

The Bears inked last year's top pick, RHP Chu-Kuan Lee to a 2.5 million NT signing bonus (~$84 K USD).

The President Lions hired new hitting (Terushi Nakajima) & pitching (Makoto Kito) coaches from Japan.

*Amateur lefty Kuan-Yu Chen had a tryout on Tuesday with the Yokohama BayStars.  He topped out at 84 mph.

*RHP Chun-Lin Kuo was clocked at ~92 mph recently in the collegiate tourney (12/22 loss vs. CCU).  Kuo, who currently plays for Taiwan Sports University, was a member of the 2010 world champion junior NT.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

2010 CPBL Draft Results

Read more here.

Team:          Lions                      Bears                    Bulls                     Elephants
Round1:  Yung-Chi Chen      Yen-Wen Kuo        Chih-Pei Huang      Sung-Wei Tseng
Round2:  Wen-Yang Liao      Cheng-Hao Tseng   Hung-Cheng Lai     Chi-Hung Cheng
Round3:  Ying-Shan Wang     Te-Lung Yu            Wen-Cheng Hsu    Chun-Wei Chiu
Round4:  Wan-Lin Tsai          Wei-Jen Wang        Kun-Sheng Lin       Ta-Yuan Kuan
Round5:  En-Tse Huang         Yueh-Teng Hsu       Kai-Lun Chen        Hsiao-Jung Shih
Round6: Yu-Kang Fu             Ko-Yao Weng       Chia-Chu Lee         Chia-Wei Yen
Round7:  Na-Yao Fang         Chun-Yi Wu           Liu-Ching Huang    Chun-Sheng Huang

For the rest of the draft, go to the official CPBL site.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Yung-Chi Chen to the Lions....

*The President Lions will select IF Yung-Chi Chen with the 1st overall pick in the CPBL draft tomorrow (December 21st).  Chen will receive a multi-year deal (3 years) worth 300 K NT/month (~10 K USD/month)+ additional bonus incentives.  This is the second highest rookie salary in Lions team history (Genji Kaku, better known as Yuen-Chih Kuo earned 500 K NT/month in '97 with the Lions).

The Bears have the # 2 pick and will most likely select IF Yen-Wen Kuo.   The Bulls have the third overall pick and are expected to go with a positional player - perhaps C Kun-Sheng Lin.   The Elephants will choose last in the first round and are expected to select RHP Sung-Wei Tseng. 
RHP Wen-Yang Liao is a wild card to be selected in the first round and is the top amateur pitcher available in the draft.

*Taiwan Coop Bank 19 year old RHP Wei-Hua Wu was clocked at a high of 92 mph in the recently completed winter amateur tourney.  He threw a CG shutout on the 19th, giving up only 3 hits in his team's 5-0 win over Tai-Power.  Wu also started on 12/11 against Tai-Power, picking up the W after throwing 7 shutout innings, K'ing 5, walking none, while allowing only 3 hits.
Taiwan Coop bank won the tourney.
Po-Yu Lin (formerly with the White Sox organization) ended up winning the top pitcher award in the tourney (2 W's, 0.15 ERA)
*Negotiations haven't gone too well with Octagon and Chunichi regarding Wei-Yin Chen's desire to play in the US.  Chen was seeking to have his status changed to that of a foreign player.   The club currently views him as a domestic/Japanese player.   In order for Chen to play overseas, he'll either have to be 1) posted by his NPB club  or 2) wait till he's 31 years old, when he becomes an international free agent (with 9 years of service - this is defined as being active for 145 days on the team's top roster for nine seasons. Time missed for injuries during these years does not count).

Friday, December 17, 2010

Rumored Signing: Min-Tzu Chen

The Seattle Mariners are rumored to have signed RHP Min-Tzu Chen (tops out at 94 mph, but has had a history of elbow problems) for $150 K.
It's good to see the Mariners continue to sign players in Taiwan despite their lack of success (Chao-Kuan Wu, Yung-Chi Chen, Chia-An Huang, Kuo-Hui Lo, Yao-Wen Chang). 

*CMW has rejoined the Nationals, agreeing to a one year $1 million guaranteed deal (worth up to $5 million with incentives).    This news comes on the heels of the awkward public display put on by CMW's reps Octagon and the CPBL.  (The CPBL blasted Octagon for communicating with the league through the media rather than directly with the league and giving false facts to the public.)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

2010 CPBL Draft News

The 2010 CPBL draft will have some big names available for the 4 CPBL clubs.    Yung-Chi Chen, Sung-Wei Tseng, Yen-Wen Kuo, and Chi-Hung Cheng are former US minor leaguers who will make things interesting as to who the Lions will select with the first overall pick.  Yung-Chi Chen is still seeking an opportunity to play in the US while the Lions are looking to avoid the same fate the Elephants suffered in '08 when they selected Fu-Te Ni with their first round pick.  Ni never pitched an inning for the pachyderms as he ended up signing with the Detroit Tigers.

As an interesting side note to the draft, CMW and his agent attempted to register for the CPBL draft but had issues with CPBL draft rules, which are similar to the KBO and NPB.

*In a stark contrast of Eastern/Western philosophies regarding how to train young arms, the Yomiuri Giants Yi-Hao Lin recently completed a 150 pitch bullpen.  The Yomiuri Giants pitching coach said "he's young, he needs to pitch a lot."!!

Monday, December 06, 2010

Wei-Lun Pan to the SK Wyverns

WL Pan (L), CH Lin (R) - 2010 Intercontinental Cup All-Stars

Per Korean news reports, the 2010 KBO champs - SK Wyverns have signed CPBL RHP Wei-Lun Pan.   The signing would make Pan the first CPBL player to jump ship to the KBO, completing the trifecta (En-Yu Lin was the last player to jump from the CPBL to the NPB; Fu-Te Ni was the first and only player from the CPBL to play in the Majors).

*Update on CMW

Sunday, December 05, 2010

HS Pitcher Catches Hibbard's Attention...

Pei-Yuan Huang, a 17 year old senior at Tung-Shih HS, impressed Indians personnel Greg Hibbard in a scrimmage yesterday during a select HS elite training camp.   Huang started the game and threw 5 shutout/hitless innings while K'ing 6.   He was clocked at a high of 88 mph.  Hibbard mentioned that Huang would be a player worth following and that if he was in the US, he would be sought after by collegiate teams.

Friday, December 03, 2010

CPBL Vets Gathering Attention....

*Star CPBL veterans Chih-Sheng Lin and Wei-Lun Pan are some of the new crop of eligible CPBL free agents (Chien-Fu Yang and Cheng-Min Peng are two other names that come to mind) gathering some attention from overseas teams.  Lions stalwart RHP Wei-Lun Pan is rumored to have gathered some interest from KBO teams. 

Bears IF Chih-Sheng Lin worked out for MLB teams today (12/3) in Taichung (see above pic).  The Twins, Tigers, Indians, A's, and Pirates had scouts present at the work out.   Two factors working against Lin (and other CPBL vets) are:
1) his age - he turns 29 in January. 
2) the cost to sign him could be a deterrent:   Lin currently makes 350,000 NT/month, which is roughly $11,500 USD/month.   The Bears would ask for a transfer fee equivalent to 2.5x his current wages for this year - that would amount to ~$346,600 USD/year.    For the second year of services, the Bears would ask for a transfer fee of no less than 1.5x his current wages - equating to ~$208K USD/year.

Korean KBO teams are also interested in Lin and would have no problem paying him a salary of ~ $300 K USD/year, however, when you factor in his transfer fee of ~ $550 K USD over 2 years, one can see why there would be a hesitancy to invest in a perennial CPBL All-Star.

Recently released Pirates farmhands IF Chih-Wei Hsu and RHP Shen-Cin Hong were also trying to impress scouting personnel at the workout.    Hong was seeking another opportunity to return to the US with the Indians.   Greg Hibbard, a pitching coach in the Indians organization, is currently in Taiwan.  While performing a HS pitching clinic recently, Hibbard was shocked to hear that most youth pitchers threw 80-100 pitches daily in practice.   To help protect these young arms, Hibbard advocated for the "less is more" concept, where pitchers throw no more than 3x/week and no more than 50 pitches each session.

*Speaking of clinics, Chin-Lung Hu, Jim Lefebvre, and Rick Dell put on a hitting clinic in Taiwan.

*Chien-Ming Wang was non-tendered by the Nationals, signaling that the team did not want to pay the $1.6 million/year minimum that Wang would have earned in arbitration.      On the other hand, Hong-Chih Kuo is expected to get a hefty raise after an outstanding year - the early estimates point to a ball park figure of $2 million+/year.

*Former MLB farmhands Sung-Wei Tseng and Chia-Chu Chen alongside amateur standouts P Wen-Yang Liao and C Kun-Sheng Lin are expected to make themselves available for the upcoming CPBL draft.