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.
BRUCE CHEN - 陳用彩, LHP
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!
KUN CHEN - 陳坤, RHP
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.
ANDREW CHIN, LHP
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.
QUAN GAN - 甘泉, RHP
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)
HEIGHT: N/A WEIGHT: N/A
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.
KWON JU - 朱権, RHP
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 lbsTEAM: 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!
DOB: 09/15/1991 (25 years old)
HEIGHT: 6'0" WEIGHT: 167 lbsTEAM: 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.
CHAO LU - 魯超, RHP
DOB: 10/09/1988 (28 years old)
HEIGHT: N/A WEIGHT: N/ATEAM: 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!
YU SONG LU - 逯宇松, RHP
DOB: 02/06/1992 (25 years old)
HEIGHT: N/A WEIGHT: N/ATEAM: Henan Elephants 河南吉象
Not much information about Yu. This will be his first WBC.
XIA LUO - 羅夏, RHP
DOB: 05/10/1992 (24 years old)
HEIGHT: 5'10" WEIGHT: 165 lbsTEAM: 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!
JI PING QI - 奇済平, RHP
DOB: 12/05/1995 (21 years old)
HEIGHT: N/A WEIGHT: N/ATEAM: Shanghai Golden Eagles 上海金鹰
Ji is the ace of Shanghai Golden Eagles. This will be his first WBC
MENG HAO WANG - 王蒙豪, RHP
DOB: 09/25/1992 (24 years old)
HEIGHT: N/A WEIGHT: N/ATEAM: Sichuan Dragons 四川蛟龍
Not much Information about Meng. This will be his first WBC.
CHAO QUN ZHENG - 鄭超群, RHP
DOB: 02/09/1993 (24 years old)
HEIGHT: 6'0" WEIGHT: 198 lbsTEAM: Jiangsu Pegasus 江蘇鉅馬
Another player with little information. I need to write something new. This will also be his first WBC!
DOB: 11/12/1994 (22 years old)
HEIGHT: 6'1" WEIGHT: 187 lbsTEAM: 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.
WEI QIANG MENG - 孟偉強, C - R/R
DOB: 05/31/1989 (27 years old)
HEIGHT: 6'1" WEIGHT: 188 lbsTEAM: 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 lbsTEAM: 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!
INFIELDERSRAY CHANG - 張宝樹, SS, R/R
DOB: 08/24/1983 (33 years old)
HEIGHT: 6'1" WEIGHT: 195 lbsTEAM: 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!
DOB: 09/10/1989 (27 years old)
HEIGHT: 6'1" WEIGHT: 195 lbsTEAM: 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.
DOB: 05/25/1990 (26 years old)
HEIGHT: 5'11" WEIGHT: 159 lbsTEAM: 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 lbsTEAM: 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.
JOEY WONG, SS, L/R
DOB: 04/12/1988 (28 years old)
HEIGHT: 5'10" WEIGHT: 185 lbsTEAM: 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 lbsTEAM: 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.
YANG PENG CHEN (AARON) - 陈燕鹏, OF, R/R
DOB: 03/26/1996 (20 years old)
HEIGHT: 5'8" WEIGHT: 185 lbsTEAM: 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.
ZHEN HONG LU - 陸振洪, OF, L/R
DOB: 04/15/1991 (29 years old)
HEIGHT: 5'9" WEIGHT: 155 lbsTEAM: Jiangsu Pegasus 江蘇鉅馬
Zhen has been in the CBL since 2011. This will be his second WBC.
CHUANG NA - 那闖, OF, L/L
DOB: 03/15/1987 (29 years old)
HEIGHT: 6'1" WEIGHT: 198 lbsTEAM: 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 lbsTEAM: 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!