Friday, June 15, 2018

Milwaukee Brewers sign Pitcher Jolon Zhao 趙倫(Not Official), Other Baseball News Update!

(Picture from MLB Weibo)

I posted about Jolon early last year when he pitched in the U18 Asia-Pacific Tournament. Now, he has become the 4th player from the China MLB Development Center to sign with a MLB team. According to this Instagram post, Jolon has signed with the Milwaukee Brewers. There's been a lot of hype going around about him because of Rob Friedman's twitter post showing Jolon throw 95 MPH. That's really fast for a 16 year old! He's been playing for the Alexander Aces of the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League. There hasn't been any official announcement yet from the Chinese media, but they did post about him on Weibo last week.

It seems like Jolon is more highly touted than the other players, but 2/3 of them hasn't even started playing yet. I believe Jolon will pitch in the U18 Asia Baseball Championship in August. Can't wait to see how he does!

UPDATE: No official signing as of it. We'll just keep it as a rumor for now.


  • Speaking of MLB China players, Itchy Xu has been promoted to Short-A and will play for the Aberdeen Ironbirds! He is the first Chinese player from the developmental center (and only...) to reach this high! Maybe I can make a trip down there to watch him play! 
  • If you haven't heard by now, a few players from the China national baseball team joined the Texas Airhogs of the American Association Independent Baseball League. This means the China Baseball League will not likely be played again this year (sucks...I know). As of right now, the Airhogs are dead last with a 5-20 record.  
  • There are two players with Chinese descent that were selected in this years MLB draft. Pitcher Jake Wong was selected in the 3rd round by San Francisco Giants and OF Steven Kwan was selected in the 5th round by the Cleveland Indians. I believe Jake's paternal side is Chinese. I am not so sure about Steven ---  could be Korean? Still, we root for Asians here! 
  • There's a YouTube channel by the name Super Jake. There's a couple of videos of MLB developmental players taking batting practice. Check it out!

That's it for now! Hopefully in a few years these players will help Team China qualify for a spot in the 2021 WBC since they got knocked out last year. A few years ago, I couldn't even imagine how many Chinese or Chinese American/Hybrid Chinese would be playing in the minor league system. Thanks for reading and have a great night! Greatness awaits!

Monday, April 16, 2018

2018 China Baseball Update!

Hello everybody! I haven't updated in a long time. Not a lot of news coming from the East, but I'll give a short update!

Here are the list of events for China Baseball in 2018:

  • It looks like China Baseball League will start around May. Just a pessimistic reminder that the league did not take place last year. There hasn't been any post about the match ups yet too. 
  • China will also participate in the WBSC U15 World Cup. Some people on Reddit are upset about this decision because China replaced other more deserving countries. As for me, I am definitely okay with this! 
  • MLB also signed a deal with Tencent Inc. to stream live games in China. Tencent is a BIG company in China with over 960 million monthly "live" users. As long as its accessible to people, baseball will gain a bit popularity(I hope).
  • The three musketeers of China baseball Itchy Xu, Gong Haicheng and Justin Qiangba did not play in any minor league games yet. They will probably remain in Rookie league. Here's a nice Chinese article about them. 
That's all for now. The good thing is that baseball has been reinstated at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics which has renewed China's interest in strengthening baseball. Hopefully CBL won't be canceled again this year. Isn't 2018 going by really fast? 

Also, for those who e-mail me, I apologize for not responding, but I am still around. Thanks for reading and have a nice day!  

Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Boston Redsox Sign Tibetan Baseball Player - 强巴仁增 Qian Ba Ren Zeng

The Boston Redsox have signed their first China born baseball player - 强巴仁增. He will be the third player from the MLB China Baseball Developmental Center to come play in the United States. Not a lot of information about him, but here is the rundown:

强巴仁增 - Qian Ba Ren Zeng (Justin)

  • Born in 01/01/2001 - He is from Tibet! Hence the long Chinese name!
  • Listed at 180 cm and 78 kg
  • He plays Shortstop and Catcher - I heard he has more offensive and defensive skill than Xu Gui Yuan 
  • He is from the Nanjing MLB academy and is currently preparing for the Annual 11th Asian Youth Baseball Championship. 
  • Will join the Gulf Coast League Redsox in August. 
  • Very attractive young man and I'm not stroking egos!
Weibo Blog - more photos of the signing here

Once there is more information about Zeng, I will update ASAP! This is very exciting time to be a fan of Chinese Baseball (I'm full of it)!

Other Updates:
  • Xu Gui Yuan played a few games this season and hasn't had the opportunity to play everyday. What gives man?! Here are his stats so far Baseball-Reference
  • Gong Hai Cheng has been official listed on the GCL Pirates website, but is currently inactive. Also, I found out his contract is only about $10,000 USD. 
  • Still no update about this year's China Baseball League schedule - I hope it's not canceled...

Anyway, thanks for reading and have a great morning! I can't sleep!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Pittsburgh Pirates Sign Chinese Pitcher Gong Hai Cheng 宫海成

Rick Dell and Ray Chang says hello!

Say hello to the savior of Chinese Baseball, Mr. Gong Hai Cheng 宫海成. The 18 year old that we've been drooling about this past year has been officially signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates for an undisclosed amount of money. He is the second player from the MLB China Baseball Developmental Center to be signed by a MLB team, first being Xu Gui Yuan by Baltimore Orioles in 2015. Let's take a look at his recent outings:

  • Pitched in the 2016 U18 Asia Baseball Championship against Taiwan. He threw over 100 plus pitches and six plus innings. Looked impressive for a raw Chinese talent. Fast ball was around low to mid 80s
  • Pitched 0.1 innings against Japan in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. His fastball was around 87 mph
  • He pitched 4 innings yesterday against Shanghai in the National Games Preliminaries and gave up 4 runs. 
Overall, Hai Cheng is not like any super prospect from Latin America, but is considered a pretty decent talent out of China (I'm no scout). Let me remind you that there are currently NO MLB players from China. Having two players with decent talent in the minors is already a "Great Leap Forward." He can probably add a few MPH to his fastball as he advances through the minors. I wish the best of luck to Hai Cheng. Now we have TWO players to follow! Yay!

MLB has been in China since 2003. They have definitely come a long way to produce some serious talent. They have also spend a lot of money marketing baseball in China:
  • They have four developmental centers: Wuxi, Changzhou, Nanjing and the most recent one in Chengdu just a couple of days ago. They integrate baseball with schools and provide them with education. The center houses teenagers from ages 12-18. 
  • They have a program called MLB Play Ball. They attract young children to participate in baseball activities and hold little league competitions around China. They also host reality TV shows where fans can win a trip to US to watch a game. 
  • Last year MLB struck a deal with live sports streaming channel LeSports. This allows many people to watch live games in China. 
  • Wang Peng has replaced Leon Xie as the new director of MLB China. He's been making headlines recently such as the new developmental center in Chengdu. 
People might think that fourteen years in China and they only produced two minor league talents?! What farce! But let's remember in Chinese culture that a lot of parents do not emphasize being a professional athlete as having a stable career. They want professions where their kids can make a decent living while being productive to society! nonetheless, this is a start though in paving way for more Chinese players to be signed by MLB teams. I can't wait to watch this year's U18 Asia Baseball Championship. China will definitely showcase their new talent!

Let's talk about Pittsburgh Pirates for a moment. They have a pretty decent track record of signing international players from around the world. They are truly trying to globalize the game by taking risks! Here are some notable international players(Non-Latin American) they have signed in recent years:

  • Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel - Two Indian pitchers who won the Million Dollar Arm contest back in 2008. Singh last pitched in 2016 and pretty much battled many injuries in his career. Patel called it quits back in 2010.
  • Marek Minarik - Pitcher from Czech Republic. Last pitched in 2015. 
  • Dovydas Neverauskas - Pitcher from Lithuania. He made his MLB debut earlier this year. 
  • Gift Ngoepe - First player from South African who also made his MLB debut earlier this year.
  • Jin De Jhang - Taiwanese catcher. He's been out of action so far with an oblique injury. There were many Taiwanese players before him too.
  • Let's not forget Jung Ho Kang from South Korea. They sent him special pitching machines in Korea while he is dealing with legal troubles. 
That's all for now! Today is the start of Gong Hai Cheng! I won't make any stupid predictions this time. Thanks for reading and have a great night!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

2017 Draft Prospect: Conner Wong

(Vype website)

Connor Wong: Wong Sun-Han
DOB: 05/19/1996 (20 years old)
Height: 6'0"   Weight: 180 lbs
Position: C/INF
Hometown: Pearland, Texas

I thought it would be nice to talk about Mr. Conner Wong. First off, I don't know if he's full Chinese or a mix (looks mixed to me), but his last name is Wong, so..he's one of us! And second, he's an amazing talent who will most likely be drafted in the first couple of rounds in the 2017 MLB amateur draft. I'm no scout, but Conner is doing pretty great this year for the University of Houston Cougars baseball team. He is also ranked 81 in Baseball America's top 100 MLB draft prospects. If you want to know more about him, I found some videos and links:

I hope nothing but the best for Conner. My prediction: He will be drafted in the 2nd round. 

Many people are asking about the 2017 CBL schedule, but they haven't released any information yet. I will update as soon as there's information! Have a great night!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

World Baseball Classic Follow Up

Sorry for the late post, I was in Asia for 2 weeks! I had a chance to experience Koshien and it was amazing!

Anyway, lets talk about Team China in WBC...

  • March 8, 2017 - China 0, Cuba 6 - BOXSCORE
  • March 9, 2017 - Australia 11, China 0 - BOXSCORE
  • March 10, 2017 - China 1, Japan 7 - BOXSCORE
Despite having the strongest lineup in team history, Team China had the weakest team in the whole tournament and like everyone predicted, they got served. Not only did they lose all three games, they lost a spot in the next WBC in 2021. They need to win in the qualifying rounds in 2020 to get back in the main tournament. 

I'm not going to dwell over it. This year's WBC was awesome and congratulations to AMERICA for winning the 4th edition! They didn't even have a parade for it?! Oh come on...

Few notes:

  • China didn't get manhandled by Cuba and Japan. They got pummeled by Australia! Oh boy was I wrong about my predictions. Australia has a really strong team. They played a tight game with Cuba and almost advanced to the second round. Kudos to Australia!
  • If you watched every game, Team China's infield was pretty slick. SS Joey Wong made a couple of great defensive plays and 2B Xiao Lei Du was also pretty nifty. Unfortunately, the outfielders had the most problem during the tournament. They misjudged and mishandled a lot of balls which ultimately cost the team. 
  • The only person that drove in a run for China was none other than Ray Chang
  • Wei Qiang Meng who is a catcher, pitched 4 innings against Japan and only gave up 2 unearned runs. You can check out his video HERE.
  • Overall, I thought the tournament was entertaining, but with a lot of flaws. I am not a fan of the extra inning rules. That completely killed momentum for some of the games. 
  • And lastly, WBC is here to stay whether you're a fan or not. IT MATTERS! #TEAMWBC
Here are few clips of Itchy Xu playing in the WBC. I thought he did a pretty good job and is definitely a patient hitter: 

Also, if you are intrigued about Gong Hai Cheng, the 18 year old from the MLB China development academy, he pitched 1/3 of an inning against Japan. His fastball was around 84-87 MPH. Here's a clip of him:

Other News:

Here's a clip of Chris Park giving a conference about MLB development in China and partnering with LeSports:

Well...there you have it! What are your thoughts about WBC and what can be improved? There's still a big mountain to climb for China, but they will reach the top one day! Thanks for reading and have a great night!

Never Give Up - John Cena

Saturday, February 11, 2017

2017 World Baseball Classic: Team China Roster

The full WBC rosters were released a couple of days ago. Oh boy am I excited! WBC is just around the corner. Let me give a quick rundown of the roster:

  • 28 players in total 
  • 20 players are from the China Baseball League - Sichuan 4, Beijing 3, Guangdong 3, Shanghai 3, Jiangsu 4, Tianjin 2, Henan 1)
  • 5 players from MLB/MiLB - including foreign players and free agents 
  • 2 players from the China MLB Developmental Center
  • 1 player from Korean Baseball Organization


John is a former MiLB player and a MLB manager. He managed the Seattle Mariners 2007-2008 and Washington Nationals in 2011. He replaced Terry Collins as the manager for Team China. This will be his second time managing Team China in WBC. 


DOB: 06/19/1977 (39 years old)
HEIGHT: 6'2"     WEIGHT: 215 lbs
TEAM: Retired - 1998-2015 MLB

FINALLY, THE BRUCE HAS COME BACK TO CHINA!!! Good old Bruce Chen been wanting to pitch for China since the last WBC and will finally get his chance this time. Wait a minute...How is he eligible to pitch for China if he's from Panama? Bruce's grandfather immigrated to Panama; therefore, he is eligible as long as he had shown proof. It's exciting to see Bruce pitch for China! Except, he's been retired for 2 years now and his fastball was around 83 mph (probably less now). Still, it's great to see an established pitcher trying to help Team China in advancing out of the first round. Here's one for Bruce! Good luck!

DOB: 03/05/1980 (36 years old)
HEIGHT: 6'1"     WEIGHT:190 lbs
TEAM: Sichuan Dragons 四川蛟龍

Kun Chen is a veteran of China Baseball League. He has pitched in every edition of WBC since 2006 and in most of the international tournaments. His fastball was around 94 mph, but that was in 2009 WBC. 

DOB: 09/22/1992
HEIGHT: 6'1"     WEIGHT: 180 lbs
TEAM: Free Agent - Last pitched for the New York Yankees minor league system

Andrew being in the roster caught me by surprised. He was selected by the Yankees in the 15th round of the 2014 MLB draft from Boston College. He was released in 2015 and it doesn't look like he has signed with any other team after that. Still, he is pretty young and can open some eyes during this tournament. He pitches in the high 80s with a sinking fastball and some decent secondary pitches. 

DOB: 06/17/1996 (20 years old)
HEIGHT: 6'1"     WEIGHT: 180 lbs
TEAM: Sichuan Dragons 四川蛟龍

Not much is known about Quan Gan. He played in the Cross Strait Tournament last year against Taiwanese teams. This will be his first WBC. 

DOB: 12/28/1998 (18 years old)
TEAM: MLB Developmental Center

Hai Cheng Gong is one of the pitchers I talked about before from the MLB Developmental Center. He pitched for China in the U18 Asia Baseball Championship last year and pitched pretty good (he threw over 100 pitches that game). His fastball is around high 80s to 90 mph. He is probably the most advance pitcher from the developmental center right now. I can't wait to see how he pitches in his first WBC tournament. 

DOB: 05/31/1995 (21 years old)
HEIGHT: 5'11"     WEIGHT: 180 lbs
TEAM: Kt Wiz (Korean Baseball Organization)

Ju is one of the crown jewels pitching for Team China. He is originally from Jilin, China and is a ethnic Korean, but moved to South Korea when he was a teenager. He originally declined to pitch in December, but John Mclaren probably made him an offer he couldn't refuse...Anyway, he is the best pitcher by far in Team China. His stats weren't all that amazing last year for the Kt Wiz. He pitched 134 innings with a 6-8 W-L record and a 5.10 ERA. He is brilliant on some days and lousy on the rest. He's only 21 and turning 22 this year. Plenty of time for him to improve and become a great pitcher in KBO. Can't wait to see him pitch. 

XIN LI - 李鑫, LHP
DOB: 04/17/1992 (24 years old)
HEIGHT: 6'1"     WEIGHT: 165 lbs
TEAM: Tianjin Lions 天津雄獅

Xin Li is one of the top pitchers in CBL. He's been around since 2009 and has pitched in many international tournaments. This will be his second WBC. He got hammered by Cuba in 2013, but he can get some redemption this time around!

YU LIU - 劉宇, RHP
DOB: 09/15/1991 (25 years old)
HEIGHT: 6'0"     WEIGHT: 167 lbs
TEAM: Beijing Tigers 北京猛虎

Yu is also a top pitcher in CBL. He has played in many international tournaments as well. He pitched in the 2013 WBC and also got bombed by Cuba. 

DOB: 10/09/1988 (28 years old)
TEAM: Guangdong Leopards 廣東獵豹

Not much information on Chao except that he has the same name as a Qing Dynasty politician and a China Basketball League player. He's got a reputation to live up to!

DOB: 02/06/1992 (25 years old)
TEAM: Henan Elephants 河南吉象

Not much information about Yu. This will be his first WBC.

DOB: 05/10/1992 (24 years old)
HEIGHT: 5'10"     WEIGHT: 165 lbs
TEAM: Sichuan Dragons 四川蛟龍

This will be Xia's second time in the WBC. He pitched against Japan in 2013 and did amazingly well (amazing as in not getting torched by the opposing team). Here's a clip of him pitching. His fastball was around 85 mph. His name in English translation is Rorschach! 

DOB: 12/05/1995 (21 years old)
TEAM: Shanghai Golden Eagles 上海金鹰

Ji is the ace of Shanghai Golden Eagles. This will be his first WBC

DOB: 09/25/1992 (24 years old)
TEAM: Sichuan Dragons 四川蛟龍

Not much Information about Meng. This will be his first WBC.

DOB: 02/09/1993 (24 years old)
HEIGHT: 6'0"     WEIGHT: 198 lbs
TEAM: Jiangsu Pegasus 江蘇鉅馬

Another player with little information. I need to write something new. This will also be his first WBC!


NING LI - 李寧, C - R/R
DOB: 11/12/1994 (22 years old)
HEIGHT: 6'1"     WEIGHT: 187 lbs
TEAM: Shanghai Golden Eagles 上海金鹰

Ning is the youngest catcher in the group. He also has the same name of an Olympic gold medalist. 

DOB: 05/31/1989 (27 years old)
HEIGHT: 6'1"     WEIGHT: 188 lbs
TEAM: Guangdong Leopards 廣東獵豹

Wei is a young veteran of CBL and has been around since 2009. This will be his second time in WBC. 

WEI WANG - 王偉, C - R/R
DOB: 12/25/1978 (38 years old)
HEIGHT: 6'1"     WEIGHT: 180 lbs
TEAM: Beijing Tigers 北京猛虎

Wei Wang, the old guard of China baseball, the captain, and probably the best known player from CBL. He has been around for a long time and will probably coach after he retires. If you don't remember, Wei was one of the players signed by a MLB baseball team along with 3 other players back in 2008. He never played a single game in the minors, but did play some games in the Arizona Fall League. He was also known as the guy who got injured by Matt LaPorta during the 2008 Summer Olympic games. This will probably be Wei's final WBC. He will get a big hit for China!


RAY CHANG - 張宝樹, SS, R/R
DOB: 08/24/1983 (33 years old)
HEIGHT: 6'1"     WEIGHT: 195 lbs
TEAM: Free Agent - Minor Leaguer (AAA)

If you don't know who Ray Chang is then you're not a Chinese Baseball fan! Ray is a career minor leaguer who reached AAA, but never made it to the show. He was signed as an undrafted free agent by the San Diego Padres in 2005 and last played for the Cincinnati Reds last year. He was also the hero who helped beat Taiwan in 2009 WBC and Brazil in 2013. Because of this guy Team China did not need to qualify for a spot in 2017 WBC. Sadly, this will be Ray's last WBC. Earlier this year he announced that he is retiring from baseball after WBC and will help with the development of baseball in China. I can't wait to see what he'll do this year. Ray will have a glorious farewell! 

FU JIA CHU - 褚夫佳, 1B, L/L
DOB: 09/10/1989 (27 years old)
HEIGHT: 6'1"     WEIGHT: 195 lbs
TEAM: Jiangsu Pegasus 江蘇鉅馬

Other than having the same last name as me, Fu is a solid player from CBL. He is considered a power hitter. This will be his third WBC. Here's a clip of him getting speared by a Taiwanese player. 

XIAO LEI DU - 杜暁磊, 2B, R/R
DOB: 05/25/1990 (26 years old)
HEIGHT: 5'11"     WEIGHT: 159 lbs
TEAM: Jiangsu Pegasus 江蘇鉅馬

Xiao is another solid infielder from CBL. He was named the 2015 CBL Championship MVP. This will be his first WBC.  

ZE YUAN LI - 李澤源, 3B, R/R
DOB: 04/23/1986 (30 years old)
HEIGHT: 6'1"     WEIGHT: 198 lbs
TEAM: Beijing Tigers 北京猛虎

Ze played in the Shikoku Island League Plus, an independent Japanese baseball league back in 2009. Since then he has rejoined Beijing Tigers. This will be his first WBC. 

DOB: 04/12/1988 (28 years old)
HEIGHT: 5'10"     WEIGHT: 185 lbs
TEAM: Colorado Rockies AAA

I'm not sure what the full story is with Joey, but he has a Chinese last name so he's in! Joey was selected by the Colorado Rockies in the 24th round of the 2009 MLB draft. He has made it all the way to AAA, but has never reached the majors. He is a pretty good defensive player. He also plays for Perth Heat in the Australian Baseball League. Here's an interview he did with Minor League Ball about his baseball background. This will be Joey's first roundabout for Team China. 

GUI YUAN XU (ITCHY) - 許桂源, 1B, L/L

DOB: 01/29/1996 (21 years old)
HEIGHT: 6'0"     WEIGHT: 188 lbs
TEAM: Baltimore Orioles - RK

Itchy is one of the first players from the China MLB developmental center to be signed by a MLB team. Baltimore Orioles signed him in 2015 for a mere $30,000. It's considered a low risk/high reward signing. Last year, Itchy made his debut in Rookie League and didn't play as well as we expected. He was often on the bench because of a big roster. He did not really get a chance to play everyday and I hope that did not hinder his development. Still, I'm very excited about Itchy and I hope he will at least advance through the minors if not the majors. This will be his first WBC. We will finally get to see his televised debut. 


DOB: 03/26/1996 (20 years old)
HEIGHT: 5'8"     WEIGHT: 185 lbs
TEAM: MLB Developmental Center 

Aaron is the second player from the MLB developmental center to join the WBC squad. We first heard about him in 2015 when he played for the Canberra Calvary in the Australian Baseball League. The other player with him was Liwi Huang 黃立威, but he did not make the roster this year. Since then, he has not played another game or been signed by any team. Hopefully, he can impress some scouts out there. 

DOB: 04/15/1991 (29 years old)
HEIGHT: 5'9"     WEIGHT: 155 lbs
TEAM: Jiangsu Pegasus 江蘇鉅馬

Zhen has been in the CBL since 2011. This will be his second WBC. 

DOB: 03/15/1987 (29 years old)
HEIGHT: 6'1"     WEIGHT: 198 lbs
TEAM: Guangdong Leopards 廣東獵豹

Chuang was a former pitcher. He's been around in CBL since 2005. This will be his first WBC. 

DOB: 01/01/1993 (29 years old)
HEIGHT: 6'2"     WEIGHT: 165 lbs
TEAM: Tianjin Lions 天津雄獅

Shun is one speedy player. He was crowned the 2016 CBL stolen base king. This will be his first WBC.  


This is the best team China has ever constructed, but they are up against Japan, Cuba, and Australia. Their best chance is against Australia, but their roster ain't no chump either. When you compare Team China players to others, they just look malnourished and undersized. I am going to be optimistic and say China will be eliminated first round, but will qualify for the next WBC by beating Australia. 

  • The official roster from the WBC website has an extra player on the page, Yang Yong Yang. He's not on the list in other Chinese sources. 
  • No Bu Tao, Wang Chao or Zhu Da Wei this year - these are notable players from CBL. 
  • Chien Ming Wang, Taiwanese legend, will pitch for Taiwan. I hope he has some gas left in the tank. 
  • Shohei Otani, the hot stuff from Japan, will not pitch for Team Japan because of an ankle injury. Still, China's chance against them is slim...

Well there you have it. The 2017 World Baseball Classic Team China's roster! If anyone has more information about some players, please feel free to tell me. Thanks for reading and have a great night!