Monday, January 11, 2016

Chinese/Taiwanese Players in MLB/MiLB 2015


Itchy Xu 許桂源 - 1B/OF Baltimore Orioles
DOB:  01/29/96 Height: 6’0” Weight: 188 lb
Y’all remember Itchy who was signed by the Orioles back in July last year? Well, he’s itching to play…He is the first player to be signed from the China MLB developmental baseball academy. It looks like he will start in Rookie League sometime this year in June. Itchy is considered a low-risk signing, but has a lot of upside…because he can potentially make baseball explode in China. Let’s hope he does well enough to earn a promotion which won’t happen until 4-5 years from now. Go Itchy!

MLB PLAYERS FROM TAIWAN

Wei-Yin Chen 陳偉殷 - LHP Baltimore Orioles - Free Agent 2016
DOB: 07/21/85 Height: 6’0” Weight: 195 lb
Year
Team
W
L
G
GS
ERA
S
IP
ER
BB
SO
WHIP
2015
BAL
11
8
31
31
3.34
0
191.1
71
41
153
1.218
Ever since coming to MLB from NPB, Chen has been phenomenal especially pitching in the AL East. He compiled a 46-32 W-L record, 3.72 ERA and 547 strikeouts over four years with the Baltimore Orioles. Now that he’s a free agent, he can make bank with the way he pitched last year. He’s letting Chien Ming Wang know that his days are over and should retire while he can because Wei is the top dawg now. 100 million dollars guaranteed!

Chen Chang Lee 李振昌 - RHP Cleveland Indians
DOB: 10/21/86 Height: 5’11” Weight: 190 lb
Year
Team
W
L
G
GS
ERA
S
IP
ER
BB
SO
WHIP
2015
CLE
0
0
2
0
5.40
0
1.2
1
1
3
3.000
C.C Lee was originally signed by the Cleveland Indians back in 2008. He spent a few good years in the minors before debuting in 2013. He didn’t get much of a chance last year. He always had a great fastball around 94-97 MPH, but had some weird arm slot action that didn’t quite work out for him.  He signed with the Seibu Lions of the Nippon Professional Baseball League and won’t be back this year. C.C. see you later…

Chin Hui Tsao 曹锦辉 - RHP Los Angeles Dodgers
DOB: 02/06/81 Height: 6’1” Weight: 210 lb
Year
Team
W
L
G
GS
ERA
S
IP
ER
BB
SO
WHIP
2015
LAD
1
1
5
0
10.29
0
7.0
8
3
7
2.571
Oh Mr. Tsao, how we’ve missed you. Tsao was a highly touted prospect who was originally signed by the Colorado Rockies back in 1999. He literally had an explosive arm, as in firing 100 MPH fastballs and needing Tommy John surgery every so often. He was the first Taiwanese player to debut in 2003, the first to pitch and the first to get a hit. After having more arm troubles, he decided to go back to Taiwan and pitch in the CPBL. He was later banned from playing baseball because of a gambling scandal. The Dodgers, neglecting what he had done in Taiwan, signed him last year to a minor league deal. He pitched well enough to earn a call up, but didn't stay long as he got bombed. I wouldn’t bet on him getting promoted this year, but Kudos to Tsao!

MILB PLAYERS FROM TAIWAN

Chien Ming Wang 王建民 - RHP Seattle Mariners/Atlanta Braves - Kansas City Royals 2016
DOB: 03/31/80 Height: 6’4” Weight: 225 lb
Year
Team
W
L
G
GS
ERA
S
IP
ER
BB
SO
WHIP
2015
AAA
6
11
22
20
5.88
0
130.0
85
35
51
1.692
Wang was my favorite player when he was with the Yankees. He was one of the best ground ball pitchers in the American League until that one fateful night in 2008 where he didn’t run the bases properly. That changed everything for him, including a shoulder injury that probably robbed him of his great sinker. He hasn’t thrown a pitch in the show since 2013 with the Toronto Blue jays.  Last year, he pitched horribly for the Mariners and the Braves and ended his year with an Independent League baseball team. Luckily, he was by the generous Kansas City Royals a few days ago. I doubt he will make it back to the bigs, but I’ll never stop rooting for him.

Wei Chung Wang 王維中 – LHP Milwaukee Brewers
DOB: 04/25/92 Height: 6’2” Weight: 185 lb
Year
Team
W
L
G
GS
ERA
S
IP
ER
BB
SO
WHIP
2015
A+/AAA
11
6
26
26
3.40
0
145.2
55
39
96
1.297
Wang had a wonderful story in 2014. He made the team out of spring training not because of something called the Rule 5 Draft, but because he pitched like a stud. However, he was terribly overmatched and only pitched during blow out games. He returned to the minors last year and pitched his way up to AAA. Let’s hope he returns to the majors with some more Wei Chung Wang dancing

Jin De Jhang 張進德 C – Pittsburgh Pirates
DOB: 05/17/93 Height: 5’11” Weight: 220 lb
Year
Team
G
AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
SO
AVG
OBP
SLG
2015
A+
99
370
45
108
16
1
5
41
22
43
.292
.332
.381
Jhang had a breakout season last year. He was originally signed out of Taiwan by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2011. He would be the first Taiwanese catcher to make it to the bigs, that is, if I didn’t jynx him. He will probably start the year in Double A.

Tzu Wei Lin 林子偉 OF – Boston Redsox
DOB: 02/15/94 Height: 5’9” Weight: 155 lb
Year
Team
G
AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
SO
AVG
OBP
SLG
2015
A+ /AA
119
457
58
114
17
6
2
48
38
59
.251
.307
.328
Lin was a highly regarded prospect in high school and was signed by the Boston Redsox in 2012. He was known for his speed, ability to hit for average and defensive capabilities. Turns out that the 2 million signing bonus has not panned out the way Redsox had hope for. Lin struggled in his first 3 years. Last year, he had an outbreak season in Advance A, but didn’t play too well in Double A. He’s still 21 so there’s still hope for Lin.

Jen Ho Tseng 曾仁和  - RHP Chicago Cubs
DOB: 10/03/94 Height: 6’1” Weight: 195 lb
Year
Team
W
L
G
GS
ERA
S
IP
ER
BB
SO
WHIP
2015
A+
7
7
22
22
3.55
0
119.0
47
30
87
1.218
Tseng is another one of those highly touted prospect from high school and was signed by the Chicago Cubs in 2013. He has a decent fastball with impeccable control with plus secondary pitches. Like with many Taiwanese pitching prospects, Tommy John often shows with an open invitation to his house, the surgical room. Hopefully, Tseng will turn out differently and reach the majors without any type of shoulder/arm trouble.

Chih Wei Hu 胡智為 RHP Tampa Bay Rays
DOB: 11/04/93 Height: 6’1” Weight: 210 lb
Year
Team
W
L
G
GS
ERA
S
IP
ER
BB
SO
WHIP
2015
A+/AAA
6
6
21
20
3.22
1
109.0
39
31
99
1.239
Chih Wei Hu caught attention last year because of this magical change-up pitch he throws called the “palm ball.” Apparently, not a lot of players use it anymore. He was traded mid-season from the Minnesota Twins to the Tampa Bay Rays. He struggled a bit after the trade, but he should be in Double A this year. Note: That one start in AAA was a spot start.

AMERICAN BORN CHINESE PLAYERS/HYBRID?

Kolten Wong -  2B St. Louis Cardinals
DOB: 10/10/90 Height: 5’9” Weight: 185 lb
Year
Team
G
AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
SO
AVG
OBP
SLG
2015
STL
150
557
71
146
28
4
11
61
36
95
.262
.321
.386
Kolten was a first round draft pick by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2011 and made his debut in 2013. I read somewhere that Kolten’s grandfather was Chinese, but he looks more like a Hawaiian or a Pacific Islander. Still, I consider him a part of Chinese baseball no matter how he looks. He didn’t have a great year, but I think he’s due for a breakout year! Also, his brother Kean Wong plays in the Tampa Bay Rays organization,

Vance Worley – RHP Baltimore Orioles
DOB: 09/25/87 Height: 6’2” Weight: 250 lb
Year
Team
W
L
G
GS
ERA
S
IP
ER
BB
SO
WHIP
2015
PIT
4
6
23
8
4.02
0
71.2
32
21
49
1.423
Vance is half-Chinese from his mother’s side (Hong Kong according to Wiki). He had a great season in 2014, but couldn’t repeat it last year. He was demoted to the bullpen and then selected off waivers by the Baltimore Orioles. There’s no guarantee that he will get a rotation spot, but let’s hope the “Vanimal” can bounce back!  

Raymond Chang 张宝树 - IF/OF Cincinnati Reds
DOB: 08/24/83 Height: 6’1” Weight: 195 lb
Year
Team
G
AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
SO
AVG
OBP
SLG
2015
AA
87
240
32
68
16
1
1
28
31
37
.283
.366
.371
Lastly, how can we forget Ray Chang? A minor league journeyman his whole career and still waiting for a call up to the show. Chances are getting slimmer as he turns 33 this year. He did make some headline last year by playing all 9 positions during a game. If anyone from the Reds organization or whatever team he will be playing for, PLEASE give him a chance! Thank you!



Some of you might notice that this isn’t the full list of players, but I will update that in the Players Page. There are a lot more players in the minors from Taiwan. Anyway, before I go goof off, here are some notes about real Chinese baseball news:
  • It seems like CBA will implement an amateur draft this year. Not sure if more teams or games will be added this season, but its encouraging news. Source is in Chinese. 
  • Also, MLB reaches a deal to stream baseball in China. More games will be broadcasted by Le Sports. Does that mean more people will start watching baseball? Maybe. Maybe not, but more media is never a bad thing.
  • No news this year about Chinese players participating in Australian Baseball League. Well, if I did miss it, can anyone inform me? 


I will be working on a new page about China Baseball League. It will include the history, teams, league format and notable players. It’ll be finished before I go back to school! Anyway, I hope you’ve all enjoyed my terrible formatted blog. I might change some things, but nothing concrete yet. Thanks for reading and have a lovely night! 

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