Monday, January 31, 2011

Ku-Pao: 2011 Elite Cup Champs

HS Baseball:
Finals (1/31):
*Ku-Pao won the 2011 Elite Cup championship with a 9-2 win over Shi-Yuan.    Ping-Hsueh Chen came on in relief to pick up the W for Ku-Pao.  Chen threw 8.1 innings, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits, while K'ing 13.  Ku-Pao won its first Elite Cup since 2006 and in the process, earned 500 K NT.   Runner-Up Shi-Yuan earned 300 K NT.

*Ping-Zhen earned 3rd in the tourney with a 10-0 victory over Mei-Ho.  Ping-Zhen HS picked up 200 K NT in prize money.

*Tourney Awards - a Ku-Pao Sweep

PH Chen

MVP: Ping-Hsueh Chen (Ku-Pao)
Top Pitcher: Ping-Hsueh Chen (Ku-Pao) - 2 W's, 15.1 IP, 0 ER, 25 K's

HS Yang
HR King: Hung-Sheng Yang (Ku-Pao)  - 1

CY Lin

Top BA:  Chih-Yu Lin (Ku-Pao) - .500
RBI King:  Chih-Yu Lin (Ku-Pao) - 7

Semifinals (1/30):
*Ku-Pao held on to defeat Ping-Zhen 9-8 in 10 innings in one semifinal.   Ku-Pao slugger Hung-Sheng Yang led the way by cracking a 2-run home run in the 2nd inning and was 2-4 with 3 RBI.

*Shi-Yuan moved on to the finals by shutting out Mei-Ho 4-0.  Shi-Yuan starter Chih-Wei Hu was the star with a CG 3 hit shutout.  Hu K'd 9 and walked 6 while topping out at 143 kph.

WBC Update:
Taiwan will host the 2013 WBC Qualifying Round in November of next year.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Elite Cup: Final Four Finalized

HS Baseball:
*Mei-Ho defeated San-Hsin 4-1 to move on the semifinals of the Elite Cup.

*In a highly anticipated match up of traditional HS power houses, Ku-Pao routed Nan-Ying 10-0 behind starter Ping-Hsueh Chen.  Chen threw 7 shutout innings, allowing only 3 hits, while K'ing 12.     Nan-Ying ace Chia-Hao Sung was roughed up for 7 runs (6 earned) on 12 hits in 6+ innings.      Chen touched 91 mph (146 kph).
Some other top guns in the tourney:
1)Kuo-Hua Lo (San-Hsin)  144 kph
2)Ming-Hung Lin (Cheng-Kung)  144 kph
3)Chih-Wei Hu (Shi-Yuan)  143 kph

*Shi-Yuan beat Cheng-Kung 6-2 to advance in the tourney.

*Ping-Zhen won 8-2 over San-Min HS.

Tomorrow's semifinal matchups include:
Ping-Zhen vs. Ku-Pao
Mei-Ho vs. Shi-Yuan

Chin-Lung Hu was officially introduced by the Mets.  There is a large Taiwanese contingency in nearby Flushing, NY.   The NY Media labeled Hu as a "4A" player, a label that befell Chin-Feng Chen.

The Asia Series will resume this year in Taiwan - Nov. 11th to be specific.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Elite Cup Update...

HS Baseball: Elite Cup 
-Action from the 25th:
*San-Min eliminated Kao-Yuan 2-1 in extra innings to move on to the Elite Eight.  Yi-Hsiang Lin started for San-Min (6.2 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 9 K's, 1 BB) and had the GW sacrifice hit in the bottom of the 10th.   Ren-He Tseng closed out the game for San-Min (3.2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 6 K's, 2 BB's).    For Kao-Yuan, Tzu-Wei Lin was 2-4 with a BB.

* Nan-Ying also moved on to the Elite Eight with a 7-0 win over Da-Li HS.  Nan-Ying starter Po-Hsien Hsieh was dominant, throwing a CG shutout.  He allowed only 1 hit, while K'ing 4 and walking 2.

*Ku-Pao is also in the final 8 after shutting out Hsin-She HS 7-0.   Ku-Pao coach Tsai noted that P Chun-Lung Chang has an opportunity to play overseas in Japan.   Also, two-way player Shao-Ching Chiang has a strong desire to play in the US.  Chiang closed out the game for Ku-Pao, throwing one perfect inning, and was 3-4 at the plate with a 2B, BB, and 2 RBI.

*Chang-Yi defeated Ren-Yi HS 6-4.

*Ping-Zhen advanced with a 7-1 victory over Tung-Shih HS. 

*Chung-Dao defeated Chiayi HS 5-4 in extra innings.

-Action from the 26th:
*San-Hsin defeated Chung-Dao 6-3 to advance.  Kuo-Hua Lo picked up the W for San-Hsin.

*Mei-Ho shut out Chang-Yi 4-0 to advance to the Elite Eight.

*Cheng-Kung beat Shan-Hua 5-0 to continue in the tourney.

*Shi-Yuan advanced with a 7-4 victory over Hualien PE.

-The quarterfinals of the tourney will take place on the 29th: 
Mei-Ho vs. San-Hsin
Ku-Pao vs. Nan-Ying
Shi-Yuan vs. Cheng-Kung
San-Min vs. Ping-Zhen

*Sung-Wei Tseng may be the opening day starter for the Elephants.

*RHP En-Yu Lin's recovery has been slow; his shoulder still doesn't feel well after throwing at 35 M.

*C Kun-Sheng Lin has reported to the Bulls' camp.

*Dragons lefty Wei-Yin Chen received a hefty raise for 2011.  He'll receive 170 million yen (~2.07 million USD) in 2011, plus the opportunity to bonus an additional 50 million yen based on performance incentives.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Cultural Divide?

*A journalist from UDN, Lou (Chin-Pin Lo) has voiced his displeasure with some of the "foreign" scouts at the recently completed Wood Bat Tourney.   Lo noted that some of the foreign scouts parked themselves inside the VIP boxes and were inconsiderate, noting that one foreign scout was smoking inside the VIP box while scouting the HS games.   Read more here.

-Mei-Ho HS advanced to the Sweet 16 after defeating Taitung PE 6-4.  Mei-Ho OF Chan-Chia Liu hit well in the game and got rave reviews from Indians' coaches (Bruce Fields and Gary Thurman).   Liu was on the 2008 NT that represented the country at the 5th Junior Nankyu Baseball World Championships.  Liu won the most outstanding player award in the tourney and hit a HR in helping lead the NT to the title.

-Cheng-Kung HS eliminated Yang-Ming HS with a 5-2 victory.  Yang-Ming HS head coach Tu-Hung  Lee has stated his wishes for better recruits while Cheng-Kung's head coach Kao has complained of a lack of budget for the baseball program.

-HS Wood Bat Champs Kao-Yuan advanced to the field of 16 with a 12-2 win over Yang-Der HS.  Tzu-Wei Lin (double, triple) and Tzu-Hao Chen (3 hits, 3 RBI) led the way for Kao-Yuan.

-Other winners on the day included Shi-Yuan, Tung-Shih, Ping-Zhen, Hualien PE, & Shan-Hua.

News and Notes....

HS Baseball:
*Kao-Yuan won the HS Wood Bat Tourney, winning 2 out of 3 against Ping-Zhen HS.  The championship was Kao-Yuan's first Wood Bat championship (KY HS had won 5 previous tourneys when aluminum bats were still being used).

Kao-Yuan beat Ping-Zhen in game 1 5-2.  Kao-Yuan starter RHP Wei-Chieh Huang didn't become an official roster player until this tourney; he was a non-scholarship/practice squad player previously.

Ping-Zhen won game 2 behind starter LHP Ming-Chieh Lu's 8 K's (1 R, 7.1 IP).

In the third and decisive game, Kao-Yuan came out on top with a 1-0 win over Ping-Zhen.  Kuo-Lin Lo had the game-winning hit while Tzu-Wei Lin preserved the win, closing out the game with 3.1 scoreless innings.  After last summer's spectacular showing in the World Junior Championships, Tzu-Wei Lin has found better success on the mound than at the plate since his return to home from Canada. 

*Ku-Pao beat San-Hsin 3-0 for the bronze medal in the WBT.  San-Hsin ace RHP Kuo-Hua Lo (5 IP- 7 hits) didn't pitch well;   Ku-Pao RHP Chun-Lung Chang pitched well (CG - 12 K's, 0 BB's) but did not show good velocity, stating that he was focusing on his control.  Chang had also been losing weight (from 98kg to 85kg over a period of several months), leading some scouts to attribute that to his drop in velocity (topped out at 138-140 kph in 3rd place game, was previously consistently over 145 kph).

*Nan-Ying defeated Shi-Yuan 3-1 to earn 5th in the tourney.  Nan-Ying RHP Chia-Hao Sung K'd 5 in 3 IP

of relief.   Shi-Yuan starter RHP Chih-Wei Hu 8 IP K'd 5 walked 1 in the loss.

*Hsin-She earned 7th place after a 3-0 win over San-Min.

Elite Cup:
*The tourney kicked off yesterday (23rd) with a record 32 teams participating.  The Elite Cup, based on its single elimination format, will award the champions 500 K NT.

*Nan-Ying eliminated Taichung Gao-Nong 4-2 behind RHP Chia-Hao Sung's CG (5 H, K'd 8).  Sung said that he's tired - he's had 4 CG since late December.

*Ku-Pao won behind RHP Yu-Fan Wen, who became a side-armer not long ago, to move on to the Sweet 16.

*The Atlanta Braves worked out San-Min HS LHP Yi-Hsiang Lin

*The A's are interested in RHP Ren-He Tseng (tops 140 kph) per San-Min HS head coach Che-Sheng Chen.

*The Sinon Bulls are trying not to have any foreign players this year; RHP Chien-Fu Yang turned down

a tryout with Chunichi.

*Bears/Monkeys C Hung-Yu Lin has been working on his ability to throw out baserunners.

*Former NPB'er Sheng-Hsiung Chuang has been working with the Bears/Monkeys pitchers.

MLB/MILB:*Che-Hsuan Lin is scheduled to return to the US on the 31st of this month to attend the Red Sox spring training camp.

*Chia-Jen Lo will report to mini-camp on February 20th.

*The Indians are high on C Chun-Hsiu Chen; he's been in camp since mid-January.

NPB:*Shen-Fu Tsai is on his way to Japan.  Despite not receiving a signing bonus from the Marines, Tsai's contract is incentive laden (his ikusei contract is reported to be worth 2.4 million yen).   He will wear the number 125.

*Giants RHP Kai-Wen Cheng has been practicing at home with the Lions, alongside other overseas ballplayers - Ching-Lung Lo and fellow Nan-Ying alumni: Che-Hsuan Lin, Fu-Lin Kuo, and Yen-Wen Kuo.

*All three Taiwanese Hanshin Tigers players (Wei-Chu Lin, Kai-Wen Cheng, Yi-Chieh Hsiao) are on the team's first team squad for spring training.
*The Yokohama Baystar are interested in playing exhibition games in Taiwan.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Hong-Chih Kuo Set to Be Highest Paid Taiwanese Player in 2011...

*HC Kuo has been offered a one year contract for $2.55 million by the Dodgers;  he's asking for $3.075 million.   Regardless, he'll receive a well-deserved raise in 2011.
Dragons RHP Wei-Yin Chen is expected to make ~ 150 million yen ($1.8 million USD) in 2011 with his club.

*Astros GM Wade has said that CJ Lo is behind progress in his development.   Lo was out for much of last year after suffering a partial tear of his UCL.

*The Monkeys and slugger Chih-Sheng Lin have agreed to a 5 year deal worth 24.12 million NT (~$830,000) with an additional 5.88 million NT (~$202,000) in bonus incentives.  The contract is the third richest in CPBL history (behind CFC's 2 three year contracts - '06-'08 worth 30 million NT, and '09-'11 worth 30.03 million NT).

*The Lions are expecting the presence of Yung-Chi Chen to boost attendance for the upcoming year.

*The Elephants are currently looking for a foreign pitcher.

*Several Dodgers minor league coaches are assisting the Bulls during their ST.

*The government's amateur city teams (industrial league) have significant financial issues and may fold.

*Taitung Agricultural HS will build a dorm on the baseball field.

*In a bit of good news, the way the junior NT is selected may be overhauled.   Rather than utilizing the current method of having tourney winners make up the majority of the NT roster, the new selection process will include a trial process in which all potential players will be evaluated during games/training.

Quarterfinals - 
*RHP Kuo-Hua Lo helped lead San-Hsin into the final four.
*IF Tzu-Wei Lin had a double and a triple in leading Kao-Yuan into the final 4.
*Ku-Pao RHP Shao-Ching Chiang was impressive in relief as he touched 91 mph and also had 2 triples in leading his team to final 4.  A lot of scouts were on hand to check out the quarterfinal matchup between San-Min LHP Yi-Hsiang Lin vs Ku-Pao RHP Ping-Hsueh Chen.   Lin touched 87 mph while RHP Chen topped out at 91 mph.

*Kao-Yuan defeated San-Hsin 8-5 to move on to the finals.
*Ping-Zhen upset the defending champs - Ku-Pao 3-1 behind RHP Keng-Sheng Lee, on the '09 youth NT, in the other semi.   Ku-pao also had several defensive lapses, committing four errors in the field.

*In the consolation matches:
Shi-Yuan beat San-Min 4-2 while Nan-Ying defeated Hsin-She 5-4.  Shi-Yuan and Nan-Ying will play each other for 5th place while San-Min and Hsin-She will duke it out for 7th place.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

WBT: Power Surge and the Elite Eight...

HS Wood Bat Tourney:
*The final field of 8 HS squads has been determined.
In the Quarterfinals:
Ping-Zhen plays Shi-Yuan
San-Hsin plays Nan-Ying
Ku-Pao plays San-Min
Kao-Yuan plays Hsin-She

*Chia-Ming Cheng of Shi-Yuan HS will focus exclusively on pitching.  The lefty was on the 2009 youth NT as an IF.

*IF Hung-Sheng Yang of Ku-Pao leads the tourney with 2 home runs.  This comes as no surprise as Yang was a member of the 2010 world junior championship squad.   He led the world junior tourney with 12 RBI while also leading the team with 2 HR while hitting at a .346 clip.  He was the tourney All-Star selection at 2B.     Yang's well-scouted teammate Po-Rong (Jung) Wang, has also cracked a HR in the tourney.

There's been 9 home runs hit in the tourney so far, 8 of which came in the same park (Chung Cheng University ballpark in Chiayi), leading some to argue that the wind has had something to do with the power surge.

CPBL:*Former Lions 2B Sen Yang is considering legal action to try and get back his salary. 

Other:Where have you gone Chia-An Huang?    

Friday, January 14, 2011

Shen-Fu Tsai to the Lotte Marines...

*IF Shen-Fu Tsai has signed with the Chiba Lotte Marine(s).   Tsai had worked out with the team back in November.  Tsai will join fellow Taiwanese player Yen-Feng Lin in Chiba.

-In a media interview with NYY scout Ken Su, Su noted that progress is being made in the amateur ranks, especially at the HS level.   The progress was attributed to the special camps/training with MLB personnel over these past few years.   Currently in the HS Wood Bat Tourney (the field has been narrowed down to 16 teams), 4 home runs have been hit in the preliminary matches.   In the past two wood bat tourneys, no home runs had left the yard. 

Remember Chia-An Huang?   Well, his younger brother (#25) is currently making  a name for himself after a nice outing against Kao-Yuan HS.  Sheng-Chieh Huang, despite taking the loss against Kao-Yuan, K'd 7 in 5.2 innings and was clocked around ~ 87 mph.  The 17 year old, who stands in at 6'1" attends Ta-Cheng HS in Miaoli.*Edited

-Gao-Nong slugger Chin-De Chang is likely to sign after HS.  Aside from Chang, RHP Kuo-Hua Lo of San-Hsin HS is the other top name in the tourney.   Both are expected to garner MLB signing bonus offers in the 150-200 K range per media speculation.  Other names mentioned as ones to keep an eye on included:  San-Min HS LHP Yi-Hsiang Lin, Ku-Pao HS INF Po-Rong (Jung) Wang, Gao-Nong HS RHP 6'5" Che-Wei Kao, and Kao-Yuan HS RHP/OF Kuo-Lin Lo, the younger brother of Mariners farmhand Kuo-Hui Lo.

CW Kao


*CPBL News:
-Chih-Sheng Lin is not in good standings with his CPBL club.

-CPBL ST is underway.

-Former Red Sox farmhand Chia-Chu Chen is now training with the Lamigo Monkeys; he will serve  in the military this summer and then make himself eligible for the CPBL draft after finishing his military service.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Amateur Updates..

*C Tse-Yang Peng from Ping-Zhen HS and IF Sung-Yuan Niu of Shi-Yuan HS both hit HR's in the current HS Wood Bat Tourney.   Peng was the 2006 Bronco League World Series HR derby champ; while Niu (pictured below from '08) was on the 2008 Pony League World Series NT squad.

*Also from the tourney, Ku-Pao HS RHP Ping-Hsueh Chen topped out at 91 mph and RHP Shao-Ching Chiang was consistently at 90-91 mph.

*The NYY are pursuing Ku-Pao HS INF Po-Rong (Jung) Wang, who is an above average runner

*Shi-Yuan HS RHP Lee-Wei Chiang is still nursing an arm injury; he has been heavily pursued by the NYY since he was in JR HS.

CPBL:*Lions RHP Wei-Lun Pan's new salary will be 530 K NT/month ($18,150 USD/month); the contract is just pending his signature.
*Elephants Manager Chen is encouraging LHP Fu-Te Ni to return to the CPBL.   Chen feels that Ni's fastball and breaking pitches won't be effective vs. MLB hitters.   Ni is a non-roster invitee to the Tigers' ST camp.
*There's been some drastic measures passed to help curb the rigging of games in Taiwan.  A player could get up to 10 years in jail.

*Taiwan is willing to host the Asian Series this year in an effort to revive the tournament.
*Lamigo Monkeys slugger Chih-Sheng Lin still hasn't reported to ST camp;  he's waiting to hear back from the Cleveland Indians.

*Sinon Bulls RHP Chien-Fu Yang may get a tryout with the Chunichi Dragons.

*The Bulls signed their 4th round pick: C Kun-Sheng Lin to a ~ 2.5 million NT signing bonus (~$86 K USD).

MLB:Mets GM Sandy Alderson on Chin-Lung Hu:
With the remainder of the bench, I presumed -- I believe correctly -- that Chin-lung Hu’s role would be as a backup middle infielder, not directly in the second base competition. Is that correct?

“I think that’s the likely result. I think we view him as a very capable defensive shortstop, and provides us some insurance there, as well as at second base -- maybe late-inning defense at second, given what we have there at the moment, and foreseeably what we will have there at beginning of spring training. I think that’s the likely role for him. We’ll let spring training play out.”

Sunday, January 09, 2011

KY Chen Links Self with Yokohama.....

Here's a pic of Kuan-Yu Chen acknowledging his signing with Yokohama, courtesy of Chen's FB page.

*The La New Bears are now the Lamigo Monkeys.

*The Bears/Monkeys signed their first round pick - IF Yen-Wen Kuo.  Kuo will make 130 K NT/month (~$4,400 USD/month) with the potential to earn nearly 1 million NT in bonus incentives. 

*The SK Wyverns have supposedly cooled on RHP Wei-Lun Pan.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Kuan-Yu Chen To Sign With BayStars...

*Here's some more details about Chen's contract with the BayStars.   He will receive a ~ $210K signing bonus and earn $60K USD annually.
Per his agent, Ku-Pao HS head coach Ming-Tang Tsai, Chen's contract states 2 things:  1)his team can't modify his delivery unless Chen agrees and 2)anytime the national team needs him, the BayStars must let him participate.

*Hong-Chih Kuo is expected to earn ~ $2.1 to 2.5 million for this upcoming season.

*A baseball player from Taoyuan Agricultural HS was booted off the team after testing positive (via urine analysis) for the drug ketamine.


*Softbank Hawks LHP Yao-Hsun Yang is also seeking a similar path to the US ala Wei-Yin Chen of the Dragons.  Yang wants to be a free agent so that he can have the opportunity to play on the world's biggest stage, in the majors.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Lefty Kuan-Yu Chen to the BayStars?

*Amateur lefty Kuan-Yu Chen is likely to sign with the Yokohama BayStars.   His signing bonus would approach ~ $300 K.     Chen had worked out for Yokohama not too long ago and was being pursued by the Yomiuri Giants & Chunichi Dragons.
The BayStars were also interested in Chen's amateur teammate Yu-Ching Lin.

*In other NPB news, the Orix BlueWave are interested in CPBL veteran star Bulls RHP Chien-Fu Yang.  Yang was the most impressive NT pitcher at the Asian Games.

*In the final poll for 2010, the IBAF has Taiwan in the 5th spot, behind world leaders: Cuba, US, South Korea, and Japan. 

*Taiwan defended its Asian "A" little league level championship (5-peat) with a 4-1 win over Japan in the championship game.  Chun-An Wu cracked a HR for the NT.

*A team from Kyoto, Japan won the Chu-Lo Cup (12 and under) tourney in Taiwan.

*Former Taiwanese little league star, Tung-Jung Wu (now at National Physical Ed U. in Taiwan) has a partial ligament tear in his elbow.

-The President Lions released IF Sen Yang and P Yi-Cheng Tsai.
-The Elephants will pay CPBL rookies Sung-Wei Tseng 160 K NT/month and Chi-Hung Cheng 135 K NT/month.
-The Sinon Bulls may be sold to the Ta-Rong Cargo Delivery/Moving Corp?
-Lions C Chih-Kang Kao and Elephants C Chun-Chang Yeh are spending their own money to train at the Indians' ST camp beginning 1/17 for a month.

*Here's a great series on Taiwanese HS players in Japan with the aim of playing in the sacred Koshien Tournament:

*Life After Baseball?
-Former pitcher Shih-Kui Huang, who is now the pitching coach at Chinese Cultural University, is the only coach with a PhD degree from the US currently in Taiwanese baseball.
-At 25, former Yomiuri Giant and NT RHP Chien-Ming Chiang is out of baseball and currently working in a jewelry store.