Sunday, December 30, 2007

Jumping Ship....

CSMG, a sports management conglomerate that represents most of the top Taiwanese baseball players in the US, will be representing Chin-Hui Tsao. Tsao's former agent was Scott Boras.
Tsao made some more news when it was announced that he signed a 2008 minor league contract with the KC Royals.

To help pass the time, I've added a few more player site links. Check 'em out.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

CPBL Draft and Other News...

(22 y.o. DOB:11/11/85 - 6'0", 180 pounds - B:L - T:R)

(24 y.o. DOB: 1/2/83 - 5'10", 165 pounds - B:L - T:L)

(23 y.o. DOB: 12/21/84 - 5'10", 157 pounds - LHP)

(20 y.o. DOB: 2/25/87 - 6'0", 168 pounds - RHP)

(22 y.o. DOB: 4/10/85 - 6'0", 175 pounds - RHP)

(22 y.o. DOB: 11/26/85 - 6'0", 182 pounds - LHP)

The CPBL held its annual draft and as expected, IF Yi-Chuan Lin was selected by the Sinon Bulls with the #1 overall pick. The Macoto Cobras, who had the #2 pick selected OF Chih-Yao Chan. The Chinatrust Whales chose P Chia-Chun Tang with the #3 pick. The Elephants with the 4th pick selected P Chia-Rui Mai. The #5 pick by the La New Bears was P Ming-Chieh Hsu. The President Lions picked last in the first round and selected P Wei-Hua Lee.

Other notables:
OF Ying-Chieh Liao was selected by the Sinon Bulls with their 2nd round pick.

The Lions selected OF Chien-Yu Kuo with their 2nd round pick.

P Yi-Che Huang was selected by the Bears with their 3rd pick.

Read more about the draft and the pending acquistion of the Cobras by DMedia here.

In the spirit of Christmas giving, Mariners farmhand Yao-Wen Chang bought jerseys for the entire Li-Hsin Little League baseball team (the same school that represented Taiwan in Williamsport in 2007). Chang is an alumni of the Li-Hsin LL team.

Red Sox minor leaguer Che-Hsuan Lin purchased $200,000 NT worth of wood bats for his alma mater: Nan-Ying HS.

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Names May Change......

The school doesn't have to rebuild its program; it reloads. With only roughly 1/3 of the team returning from last year, Ku-Pao continued its winning ways by capturing the 2007 National HS Wood Bat Tourney in impressive fashion on Friday. Ku-Pao won game 2 over Da-Li to win the best of 3 series. Ku-Pao ace Rong-Hao Hsieh threw a CG, K'ing 12, as his team won 7-1. Sweet vindication for RH Hsieh & KP.

2007 In Review.....

Compared to last year, 2007 was a tough year for Taiwanese baseball. The NT's poor showing in the WC and OQ's, the President Lions' third place finish in the K Cup, multiple injuries to key players in the US and Japan, and several other low-lights helped to define this past year. However, here's a few highlights (of mine) from this past year:

1)The Yankees' CMW won 19 more games, putting him at the top of MLB's cumulative list with 38 wins in the past 2 years.

2)When given the opportunity to play everyday and prior to injuring his shoulder, Hanshin Tigers OF Wei-Chu Lin was having a career year. He ended the season with a .292 BA, 15 HR's, and 58 RBI's in 418 AB's. It is the best performance by a Taiwanese hitter in the NPB since Yasuaki Taiho's .341 BA/18 HR/39 RBI performance with the Chunichi Dragons in 1999.

3)Chin-Lung Hu of the LA Dodgers tore up the minors, earned himself a September call-up to LA (5th Taiwanese ML'er), and won several awards this past season including these two gems: Dodgers 2007 Minor League POY and MVP of the 2007 Futures Game.

4)The junior NT won the 2007 Asian Junior Championships and was undefeated this past summer.

5)LHP HC Kuo became the first Taiwanese player to hit a HR in the Majors.

6)In the US minors aside from Hu, two guys made memorable impressions this past year. Che-Hsuan Lin impressed many baseball personnel with his tools in his first year in the US while Kuo-Hui Lo had a break-out year and set a Taiwanese MILB SB record.

7)A record 9 kids jumped at the opportunity to play in the US in 2007: Sheng-An Kuo (Rockies), Tzu-Kai Chiu (Reds), Hong-Wen Chen (Cubs), Che-Hsuan Lin (Red Sox), Chih-Hsiang Wen (Cubs), Yen-Wen Kuo (Reds), Chun-Hsiu Chen (Indians), Chia-Chu Chen (Red Sox), & Yao-Wen Chang (Mariners).

8)WL Pan and KC Kao had outstanding seasons in the CPBL, but CFC was still "The Man." CFC put up ridiculous numbers in the CPBL, then followed that up with a Herculean effort in the 2007 Taiwan Series, a solid WC, and then starred in the OQ's. CFC is still the best bat Taiwan has to offer.

Feel free to add any highlights that you feel should be on the list in the comments section.
Happy Holidays and here's to hoping that we'll have lots to cheer about in 2008!

Ku-Pao One Win Away....

2007 WBT 12/20 Scoreboard:

Championship Series Game 1 (Best of 3): Ku-Pao 1
- Da-Li 0
3rd Place: Kao-Yuan 5 - San-Min 0: Yi-Sa Weng for KY HS hit the tourney's 2nd HR
5th Place: Gao-Nong 3 - Shi-Yuan 1
7th Place: Nan-Ying 4 - San-Hsin 0

Ku-Pao will try and win it all tomorrow in game 2 of the championship series.

Other News:

La New Bears HC Yi-Chung Hung is the NT's new coach. Read more here.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The One and Only......

Well, we finally have our first HR of the 2007 HS Wood Bat Tourney. Yu-Hsien Chu (#13) of Da-Li HS cracked a solo shot in the 7th inning against San-Min HS on Wed. The power outage isn't surprising considering the fact that these kids are using wood bats and most pitchers don't throw that hard (while overutilizing their breaking pitches).

Top Guns & Their Reps.....

In the 2007 National HS Wood Bat Tourney, these are the guys who've registered the top readings (from scouts' guns) this past month:

1)Cheng-Hao Wang (Gao-Nong HS/JR) RHP: 91 mph
Agent: WMG/CTBA & Gao-Nong HS Head Coach Lee

2)Rong-Hao Hsieh (Ku-Pao HS/SR) RHP: 89 mph
Agent: CSMG

3)Wen-Hao Cheng (Mei-Ho HS/JR) RHP: 89 mph
Agent: Don Nomura/KDN Sports Agency

4)Wei-Chen Huang (Nan-Ying HS/SR) RHP: 89 mph
Agent: Bros Sports

5)Yi-Shan Deng (Kao-Yuan HS/SR) RHP: 87 mph
Agent: Chi-Sheng Tsai & Kao-Yuan HS Head Coach Chen

*All pics from Apple Daily

Championship Series Set....

WBT Scoreboard:
1)Ku-Pao 1 - Kao-Yuan 0:
Rong-Hao Hsieh started for Ku-Pao, picking up the crucial win. He K'd 5.

2)Da-Li 8 - San-Min 4

Ku-Pao has some unfinished business (runner-up in the last WBT, 2nd in the 2007 Elite HS Tourney) and will look to defeat Da-Li, which is making its first ever appearance in the WBT championship series (best of 3).*Edited*

Other matchups:
7th Place - Nan-Ying vs. San-Hsin
5th Place - Gao-Nong vs. Shi-Yuan
3rd Place - Kao-Yuan vs. San-Min

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Final Four...

12/18 WBT Scoreboard:

1)San-Min 9 - Shi-Yuan 8 (10 innings)

2)Da-Li 2 - Nan-Ying 0:

YT Kao

In one of the biggest upsets of the tourney, Da-Li knocked off previously undefeated Nan-Ying on Tues. to advance to the semifinals. Sophomore Yao-Tso Kao threw a CG shutout to pick up the win for Da-Li. Kao scattered 7 hits and K'd 8.

So the semi's are set for tomorrow: Da-Li vs. San-Min & Ku-Pao vs. Kao-Yuan.
Classification matches to help determine places 5-8 will also take place tomorrow with Nan-Ying taking on Shi-Yuan and Gao-Nong vs. San-Hsin.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Two of the Final Four Determined....

1)Ku-Pao 4 - San-Hsin 0:
Ku-Pao SP Wei-Yu Lin threw 7 innings, picking up the win. He allowed 5 hits to go along with 8 K's. Losing for San-Hsin was 6'5" junior Tzu-An Wang (tallest kid in the tourney). Ku-Pao, last year's WBT runner-up advances to the final 4.

2)Gao-Nong 3 - Kao-Yuan 4:
Kao-Yuan locked up a final 4 spot by ousting the defending WBT champs in a close hard-fought game. Picking up the win for KY was Yi-Shan Deng, who threw a CG while K'ing 10.

Tuesday's matchups:
Nan-Ying vs. Da-Li
Shi-Yuan vs. San-Min

Sunday, December 16, 2007

12/16 Scoreboard.....

1)Da-Li 7 - Qiang-Shu 6 (10 innings)

2)San-Min 6 - Cheng-Kung 2:
16 year old San-Min HS soph. Chun-Po Wang picked up the win for his team. The righty who stands a shade under 5'8" and weighs ~ 123 pounds needed only 99 pitches over 9 innings. Wang, who was clocked in the low 70's was a former LL star and played on the 2004 LLWS team that hailed from Kaohsiung.

The final eight HS teams have been set (Gao-Nong, Ku-Pao, Da-Li, San-Min, Kao-Yuan, Nan-Ying, Shi-Yuan, & San-Hsin). Tomorrow's first set of games will match up:
1)San-Hsin vs. Ku-Pao
2)Gao-Nong vs. Kao-Yuan

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Sat. News

12/15 WBT Scores:

1)Yi-Feng 0 - Ku-Pao 9
2)Kao-Yuan 1 - Mei-Ho 0: The tough-luck loser for Mei-Ho was Wen-Hao Cheng. He threw a CG, allowing 1 run on 5 hits. Cheng was clocked at a high of 88 mph. Combining on the shutout for Kao-Yuan were Chun-Wei Hu and young ace Yi-Shan Deng (on the 2006 Youth NT).

Gao-Nong, Nan-Ying, Shi-Yuan, & San-Hsin HS by virtue of finishing first in their respective groups are automatically guaranteed a spot in the quarterfinals.

*Wei-Chu Lin had surgery on his ailing right shoulder today.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Coach K Resigns....

The NT is in search of a new HC after Tai-Yuan Kuo's recent resignation. In light of the NT's struggles at the WC and the OQ's as well as some questionable coaching calls on the field, this move was a step in the right direction for the NT.

No one can question the legacy of Kuo's tremendous playing career in Japan, however Kuo's success as a player did not translate well in his transition to being a head coach. Even in 2005 when he coached the Macoto Cobras to the CPBL championship series, he drew some criticism when his team got swept by the Sinon Bulls. He retired from coaching shortly afterwards.

As the NT coach this year, Kuo also failed to reign in his players. Several NT members were publicly seen out drinking the night before competitions. Coach Kuo was also rumored to have been present with the players during their nights out about town. A lack of leadership definitely undermined the ability of the NT to perform up to its true potential.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Chen-Nan Lee Update.....

Chen-Nan Lee is back in the news. The one-time former junior NT star is now an Elephant. He's pictured above (in the middle - # 18)) along with new teammates P Chia-Ming Cheng (L) and SS Sheng-Wei Wang (R). Lee won't be pitching as he will be roaming the OF in the CPBL.

*In a vote of confidence from teammate Andy Pettitte, CMW received high praise from the veteran:
"I think Wang is an absolute stud. I think he is an ace."

A Big Pay Day on the Horizon?

Chien-Ming Wang is set to get a significant raise ($489,500 salary in 2007) as the Yankees are set to extend a contract offer to him today.

From and author Dennis Nosco, a brief writeup on Chun-Hsiu Chen during his time in the fall instructional league:

"Chun-Hsiu Chen: Our new Taiwanese catcher. Brian Juhl indicated that he had good bat speed but was still pretty raw behind the plate. John Mirabelli indicated in a previous interview that he was a good catch and throw guy."

Da-Li HS was forced to forfeit their game to Mei-Ho HS today after they were discovered using illegal bats. Despite their forfeiture, Da-Li advanced to the final round along with Mei-Ho.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

12/11 Scoreboard

Ku-Pao 13 - San-Min 2
Nan-Ying 7 - Taitung PE 2
Shi-Yuan 6 - Mei-Ho 2
Da-Li 6 - Hualien PE 0
Qiang-Shu 5 - Tainan Marine Vocational 2
Gao-Nong 8 - Yi-Feng 4
Cheng-Kung 2 - Taoyuan 1
Kao-Yuan 8 - San-Hsin 1

Mei-Ho and Da-Li will play tomorrow (makeup game for 12/9) to determine 2nd place in their group. The loser of the game will have the same record as Hualien PE (1-2) in Group B and a tiebreaker may have to be implemented to determine who advances to the final round.

Teams in Bold have cemented their status in the final field of 12. The final round of play will begin 12/15 and will run through 12/22.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Past Star HS Alums.....

The top HS teams in Taiwan have a winning track record. However they also produce some of the top talent in the country. Here's a list of the schools and some of the top players that they have cranked out recently:

1)Nan-Ying: Hong-Chih Kuo (Dodgers), Chin-Lung Hu (Dodgers), Che-Hsuan Lin (Red Sox), Yen-Wen Kuo (Reds)
CH Lin

YW Kuo

2)Ku-Pao: Chih-Chia Chang (ex-Lion), En-Yu Lin (Eagles), Chih-Kang Kao (Lions), Chia-Chu Chen (Red Sox), Chih-Lung Huang

CC Chen

CL Huang

3)Kao-Yuan: Chin-Hui Tsao (ex-Dodger/ex-CR), Ching-Lung Lo (Rockies), Kuo-Hui Lo (Mariners), Yung-Chi Chen (Mariners), Wei-Yin Chen (Dragons), Chi-Hung Cheng (Blue Jays), Ying-Chieh Lin (Eagles), Chien-Fu Yang (Bulls) *Updated*

CH Cheng

WY Chen


CH Tsao


4)San-Min: Chih-Hsien Chiang (Red Sox), Chih-Hsiang Huang (Red Sox), Chen-En Hung (Braves), Chao-Kuan Wu (ex-Mariner), Kevin Huang (ex-Red Sox/Bears), Yueh-Ping Lin (Lions), Hong-Wen Chen (Cubs)

CH Chiang

HW Chen

CE Hung

CH Huang

5)Gao-Nong: Wang-Wei Lin (Twins), Wang-Yi Lin (Red Sox)

WY Lin

WW Lin

6)Hualien PE: Chun-Hsiu Chen (Indians)

CH Chen

7)Taitung PE: Chia-An Huang (Mariners)

CA Huang

8)Shi-Yuan: Tzu-Kai Chiu (Reds)

TK Chiu

Rong-Hao Hsieh's Time to Shine...

12/10 HS WBT Scoreboard:
Ku-Pao 2 - Taitung PE 0
Nan-Ying 10 - San-Min 0
Mei-Ho 2 - Hualien PE 0
Shi-Yuan 3 - Da-Li 0
Gao-Nong 10 - Qiang-Shu 0
Yi-Feng 2 - Tainan Marine Vocational 1
Kao-Yuan 10 - Taoyuan 0
San-Hsin 6 - Cheng-Kung 5

Ku-Pao's ace Rong-Hao Hsieh made his first appearance of the tourney. The country's best HS SR pitching prospect was impressive as he helped his team win its first game of the tourney. Hsieh pitched a CG shutout, allowing only 2 hits, while K'ing 10 and giving up no walks. He was clocked at a high of 88 mph. Hsieh, who was the losing starter in the 2007 Yu-Shan Cup and Elite HS Tourney Championships as a JR, will attempt to right the ship and lead his HS to the promised land in this tourney.*Edited*

Sunday, December 09, 2007

2007 HS WBT 2nd Round Action....

Nan-Ying 6 - Ku-Pao 5
San-Hsin 8 - Taoyuan 0
San-Min 3 - Taitung PE 2
Hualien PE 2 - Shi-Yuan 0
Gao-Nong 3 - Tainan Marine Vocational 0
Qiang-Shu 7 - Yi-Feng 0
Cheng-Kung 9 - Kao-Yuan 0

Despite losing the game, Taitung PE HS Sr. RHP Chien-Chih Fang was clocked consistently over 87 mph and topped out at 92 mph. The last star player to come out of Taitung PE HS was Chia-An Huang. Here's a flashback to 2004 when Huang's star was still bright - he's facing San-Min HS.

2007 HS Wooden Bat Tourney....

There are currently 28 HS's participating in the 2007 National Wooden Bat Tourney that began 12/2. Here's a list of the participating HS's and their current record after the first round of play:

1)Mei-Ho HS (Pingtung) 4-0
2)Yi-Feng HS (Yunlin) 4-0
3)Taitung PE HS (Taitung) 3-1
4)Cheng-Kung HS (Taitung) 3-1
5)Tainan Marine Vocational HS (Tainan) 3-1
6)Shi-Yuan HS (Taichung) 3-1
7)Taoyuan HS (Taoyuan) 3-1
8)San-Min HS (Kaohsiung) 3-1
9)Yang-Ming HS (Taipei) 2-2
10)Taitung JC (Taitung) 2-2
11)Chung-Dao HS (Yilan) 2-2
12)Da-Tung HS (Pingtung) 2-2
13)Chiayi HS (Chiayi) 2-2
14)Hsiu-Feng HS (Taipei) 1-3
15)Hsin-She HS (Taichung) 1-3
16)Yeang-Der HS (Hsinchu) 1-3
17)Tung-Shih HS (Chiayi) 1-3
18)Shan-Hua HS (Tainan) 0-4
19)Pingtung HS (Pingtung) 0-4
20)Ping-Zhen HS (Taoyuan) 0-4

Eight other HS teams got a bye in the first round (due to their 2006 final rankings - finishing in the top 8 in last year's tourney) and will compete in the second round - facing the top 8 teams from the above list, beginning today. Those 8 teams are:

1)Gao-Nong HS (Taichung) - Defending '06 WBT Champs
2)Qiang-Shu HS (Taipei)
3)Da-Li HS (Taipei)
4)Ku-Pao HS (Taipei) - '06 WBT Runner-Up
5)Nan-Ying HS (Tainan)
6)Hualien PE HS (Hualien)
7)San-Hsin HS (Kaohsiung)
8)Kao-Yuan HS (Kaohsiung)

Today's (12/9) most anticipated game is a match up between traditional powerhouses Ku-Pao and Nan-Ying. The top 12 teams (determined by the top 3 teams from 4 groupings) from the second round of play will advance to the final round of play.

Friday, December 07, 2007

The Insider's Scoop on WH Cheng....

During yesterday's appearance, WH Cheng topped out at 91 mph. His fb sat typically in the 85 -87 mph range. Cheng is allegedly being "advised" by agent Don Nomura & his KDN Sports Agency. Nomura, whose known for representing past star NPB clients Hideo Nomo and Hideki Irabu, is also rumored to charge an outlandish 15-25% commission in Taiwan - most sports agencies charge ~ 5-8% commission. Nomura is currently representing one Taiwanese player - Si-Yo Wu of the Chiba Lotte Marines. *Edited

Per WH Cheng's coach, Nomura told Cheng that the Cubs had an $800 K offer for Cheng. If that offer is true, that would be shocking to me. The last HS junior to sign with a MLB club was RHP Yao-Wen Chang - and he had a 93 mph fb as well as a projectable 6'3" frame. Chang was reported to have received ~ $400 K bonus. Despite being only a HS junior, Cheng will have to fight the stigma that Chih-Lung Huang faced - the owner of a low 90's fb whose projectability is questionable because of his 5'9" stature.

Speaking of the Cubs, I dug up this pic (& Chinese article) of Cubs minor leaguer Chih-Hsiang Wen.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Wen-Hao Cheng K's 14.....

In the 2007 National Wooden Bat HS Tourney, Wen-Hao Cheng backed up his rep (92 mph fastball) with a dominant performance for Mei-Ho HS. Cheng, facing a HS from Taipei, K'd 14 batters over 7 innings. He combined with a reliever to no-hit the other team as his HS won 4-0.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Hu #3.........

*Baseball America has CL Hu ranked as the #3 prospect in the LAD system. Hu was also selected as the best defensive infielder in the Dodgers' system. For a further look into Hu's scouting report, be sure to pick up BA's 2008 Prospect Handbook, which will have an in depth look at quite a few Taiwanese minor leaguers as well as the top 30 prospects for each MLB club. It'll def. make a great stocking-stuffer for the Holidays.

*Chien-Ming Wang who is eligible for arbitration and has stated his desire to remain a Yankee for life, was seeking a long term deal with the Yanks. Wang (MLB experience 3), who is eligible to be a FA after 2011, made $489,500 in 2007.

Here's some other 2007 salary numbers for players with MLB and NPB experience:

1)Chin-Hui Tsao $425,000 (MLB experience 4)
2)Hong-Chih Kuo $384,000 (MLB experience 3)
3)Ming-Chieh Hsu ~$362,000 (NPB experience 8)
4)Chin-Lung Hu $328,000 (MLB experience 1)
5)Ying-Chieh Lin ~$271,400 (NPB experience 2)
6)En-Yu Lin ~$181,000 (NPB experience 1)
7)Wei-Chu Lin ~$163,000 (NPB experience 4)
8)Chung-Shou Yang ~$90,500 (NPB experience 1)
9)Chien-Ming Chiang ~$77,000 (NPB experience 2)
10)Yao-Hsun Yang ~$72,400 (NPB experience 1)
11)Wei-Yin Chen ~$36,200 (NPB experience 1)

Others (NPB-nigun):
1)Si-Yo Wu ~$271,400 ( NPB experience 0)
2)Ping-Yen Lee ~$48,900 (NPB experience 0)
3)Yi-Hao Lin ~$21,700 (NPB experience 0)

(MILB players yearly salaries are pretty standard - the minimum salary for a US minor leaguer was $30,000 in 2007)

Monday, December 03, 2007

Tsao's K's.....

While he doesn't have the same zip (up to 101 mph) he once had, Chin-Hui Tsao still managed 4 K's in his 2.2 innings of work against Japan. Here's a look at the 8th inning, when Tsao struck out the side.

CFC's blast vs. Yu Darvish.

Japan Secures Olympic Berth....

Well, the best team won on Monday. The Japanese NT defeated the NT 10-2 to secure a berth in next year's Olympic Games. South Korea and Taiwan will get another shot to qualify for the Olympics in March as the top three teams from a pool of 8 will advance to Beijing. England, Spain, and South Africa should be chalked up as easy wins. However South Korea, Mexico, Australia, Canada, and Taiwan will be fighting for the 3 remaining spots. Taiwan will have the home field advantage once again in '08, although playing at home hasn't been kind to the NT this year. (8th at the World Cup/3rd at the Asian Championships).

CFC was the only bright spot on offense for the NT. You can now add Yu Darvish to the list of top SP's in Asia that he's hit roundtrippers off of - including Chan-Ho Park ('98 Asian Games) and Koji Uehara ('04 Olympics). CFC's 2-run bomb in the 6th inning put the NT briefly ahead 2-1 heading into the 7th inning. That was the only mistake of the game for Yu Darvish as he allowed only 3 hits and the 2 ER's over 7 IP.

The catalyst for the Japanese NT was Takahiro Arai whose 3 hits (including a HR) and 4 RBI's led the way. Taiwan's SP Chien-Fu Yang pitched well, keeping his team in the ball game through 6+ innings. Po-Hsuan Keng would come on in relief of Yang in the 7th with the score 2-1 in favor of Taiwan and the bases loaded with no outs. He would promptly allow 2 runs to score before he was pulled for lefty Fu-Te Ni. Ni would also give up a run and leave the bases loaded before Coach Kuo decided to put in the team's top closer - Chin-Hui Tsao. Unfortunately for Tsao, he couldn't stop the bleeding as Japan would tack on 3 more runs for a 6-run 7th inning rally. Tsao would give up a 2-run HR to T. Arai in the 9th and allow one more run in the final frame to give us our final score.

Game Recap/Box Score/Play-By-Play

Lefty Ying-Chieh Lin was selected the best pitcher in the '07 Asian Championships - he had good stats but let's not forget that it was against the Philippines.

Tourney Leaders

Interesting note on YC Chen's outlook for next year in the organization - from Larry Larue of The News Tribune:

"And they’re determined to get more offense from second base, although that might not necessitate a deal.

“We have to get better at second base,” Bavasi said. “We either make Jose Lopez better or get someone else.”

Someone else could be 24-year-old Yung Chi Chen, a Taiwanese player whose Arizona Fall League game intrigued the Mariners, who first signed him in 2004.

“Chen’s a guy that has fought his way back to prominence,” Bavasi said. “I’m not sure he fits at the start of this year, maybe somewhere during the season.”

Clearly, the Mariners are unhappy with Lopez, who batted .284 with seven home runs and 47 RBI before the All-Star break in 2007 – then .213 with three home runs and 10 RBI after it.

“Jose is still a young kid (24) feeling his way,” Bavasi said. “He’s got the ability to hit, it’s more a focus issue than anything else.”"


Today's Hearsay....

The Seibu Lions are reportedly interested in Chin-Hui Tsao. This would give Tsao, who was clocked ~ 90 mph in his outing against the Philippines, some more options as he is currently an unsigned free agent.

OQ UPDATE: South Korea defeated the Philippines 13-1 on Monday.

Did you Know?
Potential CPBL draftee Cheng-Chi Huang was a former 2-way player in HS. At the 2000 junior World Baseball Championships, he logged 5.1 innings in 2 games as a LHP; however a 13.50 ERA must've convinced him otherwise that his bat would be his ticket to a brighter future. The summer after his HS graduation, Huang became the first Taiwanese player to ever participate in the Area Code Baseball Games. While Huang did merit enough attention to elicit a $30K offer from the Toronto Blue Jays, it was a $$$ figure that fell far below the $1.5 to 2 million that he, his family, and his agent (Jerry Sung) were seeking at the time.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

M.I. IV.....

Well, thanks to a close 4-3 Japanese victory over South Korea, Taiwan still has a slight chance to advance to Beijing. Taiwan must do two things: defeat Japan tomorrow to put the teams in a three-way tie (Korea will win against the Philippines). Then with IBAF tiebreaker rules in place (first one being head-to-head record), Taiwan's pitching staff would have to shut down Japan's lineup since the second tiebreaker rule calls into play: runs against per innings played on defense in the games between the tied teams to decide rankings. So essentially, in order to win the 2007 Asian Championships, Taiwan (5 RA/9Innings) would have to beat Japan (3 RA/9 Innings) by more than 2 runs and hold Japan scoreless over 9 innings to take the tiebreaker over SK (6 RA/ 18 Innings). In the event that Taiwan wins, but the RA/Innings is still tied for any two (or more) teams, a third tiebreaker would be evoked: The tied teams shall be ranked in the standings according to fewest earned runs allowed divided by the number of innings (including partial innings) played in defense in the games in that Round between the teams tied. Finally, Taiwan has to hope that the Philippines can score some runs against SK.

With all that said, it is against all odds that Taiwan will be able to meet those criteria, let alone beat Japan. The Japanese NT saved the ace of the staff, Yu Darvish (2007 NPB Sawamura Winner) to face Taiwan. Despite his youth (22 years of age), Darvish has some international experience against Taiwanese competition. In 2004, as the ace of the Japanese junior NT, Darvish started against the Taiwanese NT - although he earned a ND (4.2 IP - 2 ER, 6 H, 6 K's, 1BB), Japan ultimately won the game 6-3. Last year, Darvish faced the La New Bears in the Konami Cup and made Taiwan's best offensive hitter, CFC look silly - K'ing him twice.
Taiwan's likely starter: Chien-Fu Yang is a good pitcher, but I don't think he can shut down Japan's offense. Anyways, I'm just hoping for a close competitive ball game. Jiayo!

CL Hu who was held out of yesterday's ball game because of a minor foot injury is expected back in the lineup against Japan.

More on yesterday's game: Game Recap/Box Score

9-0 Win Vs. the Philippines....

Taiwan won as expected on Sunday. Ying-Chieh Lin started and threw 7 innings of shutout ball, allowing 4 hits to go along with 4 K's and 1 BB. MC Hsu threw a perfect 8th inning before Yu-Chieh Shen closed out the game in the 9th, allowing 1 hit to go along with 2 K's. CFC led the way on offense with a 3-run HR in the first inning.

Saturday, December 01, 2007


*Here's the latest pics of 5 Bros Sports Agency clients: In the top photo from L to R: Chih-Hsiang Huang (Red Sox), Tzu-Kai Chiu (Reds), Che-Hsuan Lin (Red Sox), Chun-Hsiu Chen (Indians), and Yen-Wen Kuo (Reds).
*Chia-Chu Chen sharing his photos from Fall Instructional League. Pic of Chen hangin' with fellow Sox farmhands - CH Chiang, CH Lin, and WY Lin.

*The Taipei Times and the East Windup Chronicle weighing in on yesterday's game. EWC's own Jackson Broder also with the play-by-play call for both games yesterday: Japan vs. Philippines/South Korea vs. Taiwan.

South Korea Wins 5-2...

Clutch hitting and strong pitching won the game for SK. Despite being limited to only 5 hits, the South Korean team hit two key HR's - a 3-run shot in the 5th and a solo HR in the 7th to help account for 4 runs. SK would score its last run in the 8th on an error committed by 3B Tarzan.
CFC and Tarzan led the way on offense, collecting 2 hits each and accounting for the 2 runs scored by Taiwan. En-Yu Lin started and threw the first 5 innings, allowing only 4 hits - but the one key hit was a 3-run blast. Lin K'd 10 batters. Kevin Huang relieved Lin and pitched 2 innings, allowing 1 hit - also a solo blast to go along with 2 K's. Fu-Te Ni and Po-Hsuan Keng would pitch 1/3 of an inning each in the 8th, allowing 3 walks between them before an error by Tarzan would score SK's final run. Chin-Hui Tsao closed out the game, holding the SK team hitless over the last 1.1 innings.
The SK staff was led by starter Hyun-Jin Ryu who lasted 5+ innings, allowing 1 run on 4 hits. He was relieved by Chan-Ho Park who threw the next 3 innings, allowing 1 run on 4 hits to go along with 4 K's.
Game Recap
In other action, Japan defeated the Philippines 10-0 Saturday. Taiwan will play the Philippines tomorrow.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Let the Games Begin....



Well, the Asian Olympic Qualifiers kick off in a short while. Taiwan's matchup with South Korea on opening day is huge. While Coach Kuo will most likely go with En-Yu Lin to start the game, Chien-Fu Yang is ready to go in case he is called upon. Regarding the SK team, Coach Kim will likely start Chan-Ho Park, although the other two likely candidates are Jae-Kuk Ryu and lefty Byung-Ho Jun. Here's some good insight on the matchup from The Korea Times,, and The Taipei Times.

Both EY Lin and CH Park have big game experience against the opposing NT's "A" squad. En-Yu Lin and Chan-Ho Park faced off against one another in March of last year during the WBC. South Korea defeated Taiwan 2-0 in that game. Lin started the game and pitched well although he ultimately was charged with the loss after allowing 1 run on 3 hits over 3.2 innings. Park closed out the game for SK and was nearly flawless, throwing 3 shutout innings allowing only 2 hits.

Should Park start the game for SK, the NT's offense will need to get to him early and often in order to give Lin sufficient run support. It goes without saying that Lin will have to have his best stuff in order to keep the SK bats in check. I'm excited for what should be a great game among two of Asia's top powerhouses in the sport. Jiayo!

Some more 411 on the Japanese NT.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Thursday News...

The Philippines won Group B (preliminary round) and will join Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan in the Asian Olympic Qualifiers. Opening action will begin Sat. Dec. 1st matching up Japan against the Philippines and Taiwan against South Korea. As astutely noted by a few posters, will be broadcasting the games.

Coach Kuo has made his final roster cuts, trimming his team down to 24 guys. The unlucky 6 are: P's Sung-Wei Tseng and Yu-Cheng Liao, C Kun-Sheng Lin, IF Chao-Hsing Cheng, OF's Lien-Hung Chen and Kuo-Hui Lo. So the final roster looks like this:

1)En-Yu Lin
2)Ying-Chieh Lin
3)Ming-Chieh Hsu
4)Yu-Chieh Shen
5)Fu-Te Ni
6)Po-Hsuan Keng
7)Chien-Fu Yang
8)Chin-Hui Tsao
9)Kevin Huang

1)Chun-Chang Yeh
2)Feng-Min Chen
3)Chih-Kang Kao

1)Chia-Hsien Hsieh
2)Kuo-Ching Kao
3)Chih-Sheng Lin
4)Tai-Shan Chang
5)Chin-Lung Hu
6)Chung-Shou Yang
7)Sen Yang

1)Cheng-Min Peng
2)Chin-Feng Chen
3)Chien-Ming Chang
4)Wu-Hsiung Pan
5)Fu-Hao Liu

The Korean NT HC is confident in his team. More on the Korean NT SP rotation.

The heavy-favorite to win it all is Japan - they are loaded with talent at every position and unlike Taiwan and to a lesser extent - South Korea - have some serious pitching depth.


Kuo #45
Summer of '05

The President Lions signed former NT slugger Chun-Yu Kuo to a contract recently. Kuo played on the Lions' minor league team in 2007, hitting .270 with 1 HR and 17 RBI's in 115 AB's. The 23 year old was a member of the 2002 junior NT and played on the 2005 NT that competed in the World Cup that year. During the 2005 WC, on a team that included Chin-Lung Hu, Yung-Chi Chen, and Kuo-Hui Lo, CY Kuo led the squad with 4 HR's in the tourney.

In other CPBL news, 29 potential 2007 CPBL draftees (to be held in December) were under the scrutinous eyes of CPBL scouts Thursday. Of the 29 candidates, several players stood out:

1)RHP Sheng-Jung Wang (5'9 1/2"/176 pounds/DOB: 3/17/82) - brother of recent Elephants signee Sheng-Wei Wang, was clocked at 91 mph during the testing (best radar reading of the day).
2)OF Cheng-Chi Huang (6'0"/187 pounds/DOB: 11/15/83) - the lefty cracked a HR on Thursday which wasn't a surprise as he was the top slugger on the 2000 junior NT that competed in Edmonton - hitting .333 with 2 HR's and 7 RBI's. Was also a member of the 2001 junior NT that won the Asian Championships.
3)OF's Hsing-Feng Chang & Chih-Hsiang Cheng (both are 24 y.o.) also flashed some power with HR's on Thursday as well.

*Sinon Bulls star P Chien-Fu Yang's younger brother also participated in the tryout. Yang's younger brother was part of the first wave of Taiwanese kids (4 total) that went over to Fukuoka, Japan in 1997 - paving the way for Chung-Shou Yang (went to Fukuoka in 2003). Chung-Shou Yang's talented older brother Yao-? Yang (the middle bro - Yao-Hsun Yang of the Hawks is the oldest one) also played in Fukuoka (attended HS in 2001 and then later Fukuoka University - but wasn't selected in the recent NPB industrial/college draft).

The Yang Bros: L-R Yao-?, Yao-Hsun, Chung-Shou

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sunday News....

Olympic Qualifiers:
The NT had a scrimmage yesterday splitting up the team into blue and white squads.

The lineups:
1)2B Sen Yang
2)3B Chung-Shou Yang
3)DH Lien-Hung Chen
4)1B Kuo-Ching Kao
5)RF Fu-Hao Liu
6)CF Kuo-Hui Lo
7)SS Chao-Hsing Cheng
8)C Chun-Chang Yeh
9)LF Chien-Jung Su (Sinon Bulls)

White: (Likely starters on the NT)
1)SS Chin-Lung Hu
2)LF Wu-Hsiung Pan
3)RF Cheng-Min Peng
4)DH Chin-Feng Chen
5)3B Tai-Shan Chang
6)1B Chia-Hsien Hsieh
7)2B Chih-Sheng Lin
8)C Chih-Kang Kao *Updated
9)CF Chien-Ming Chang

En-Yu Lin started for the White squad and faced off against Ying-Chieh Lin's Blue squad. EY Lin threw the first 3 innings, giving up 5 runs on 5 hits - including HR's to Kuo-Hui Lo and Chao-Hsing Cheng. YC Lin didn't fare much better as he also pitched the first 3 innings, giving up 3 runs on 5 hits - including a HR to Tai-Shan Chang. YC did have 4 K's. The star of the blue squad was Chin-Lung Hu, who was 3-4 with a HR. Other key additions to the national team - relievers Kevin Huang and Chin-Hui Tsao made a favorable impression in the scrimmage as they both threw a scoreless inning each for the White squad. Tsao (clocked in the low 80's) ended his inning of work by K'ing CPBL MVP Kuo-Ching Kao and fellow Lion Fu-Hao Liu. All in all, the pitching staff for both squads got worked over as they allowed 6 HR's cumulatively in the 7 inning scrimmage.

The Japanese NT is already in Taiwan. The best pitcher in Asia not playing in the ML's is biding his time until his likely matchup with South Korea. The Japanese NT swept the Australian NT in a two game tilt prior to making their trip over to Taiwan.

Update on the Korean NT.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Slow Times....

For his outstanding performance in the AFL, Yung-Chi Chen was added to the Mariners 40-man roster on Tuesday. The kid is one step closer to The Show.

There's not too much going on these days. I dug up some pics from past news to help pass the time. Check 'em out:

*Here's some pics (1 2 3) of Mariners signee Yao-Wen Chang's 2005 Pony League World Series Championship team. Album

-I believe this is Yao-Wen Chang's blog.

*The 2006 "AA" Asian Youth Championship squad featuring Yi-Hao Lin (Far R) and Rong-Hao Hsieh (#18). Team Pic Album *Updated

*Here's a link to a pic of the championship team (From Hsin-Ming Jr. HS) that represented Taiwan at the 2007 Kenko International Youth Gala in Italy. Album 1 2

*Here are some pics (1 & 2) of the 2007 Pony League World Series representatives from Taichung.

*Pics of the 2007 Junior NT during the Asian Championships in Taiwan.

2007 Junior NT in Joplin, Missouri


Sunday, November 18, 2007

8th Place Finish...

Read the above title.....that's nothing to be proud of. After starting the WC 5-1, the Taiwanese NT fell flat on its face with 4 consecutive losses to finish in 8th place at the WC. Taiwan lost its final game on Sunday, 6-4 to Mexico in a rematch of earlier pool play.
Box Score/V.O.D./Recap

The coach's decision to start 18 year old Chih-Lung Huang was baffling (even though it was Huang's turn to start in the pitching rotation). Despite his excellent track record against kids his own age, Huang was clearly over-matched (11.37 ERA) in the competition. It was also good to see Chih-Hsien Chiang FINALLY get a start at 2B. CPBL veteran 2B Chao-Hang Cheng's anemic bat (.150 BA) didn't help the team's offensive woes. What was supposed to be the strength of the NT (the offensive lineup) going into the competition, faltered badly down the home stretch. The team ended up hitting .259 collectively (10th out of 16 teams in the tourney). The pitching staff, which was glaringly thin on premium talent, actually held its own with a 3.54 team ERA (8th best in the tourney). For more team stats go here.

In other WC news, the US defeated Cuba 6-3 to win the WC and snap the Cuban's stranglehold on the event that dates back to 1984! Congrats to the US!
Final Standings of the 2007 WC (1-8):
5)South Korea

Olympic Qualifiers:

Coach Kuo announced his 30 man roster for the upcoming event.
Pitchers (11):
1)En-Yu Lin
2)Ying-Chieh Lin
3)Ming-Chieh Hsu
4)Yu-Chieh Shen
5)Fu-Te Ni
6)Po-Hsuan Keng
7)Sung-Wei Tseng
8)Chien-Fu Yang
9)Yu-Cheng Liao
10)Chin-Hui Tsao
11)Kevin Huang

Catchers (4):
1)Chun-Chang Yeh
2)Feng-Min Chen
3)Kun-Sheng Lin
4)Chih-Kang Kao

Infielders (8):
1)Chia-Hsien Hsieh
2)Kuo-Ching Kao
3)Chih-Sheng Lin
4)Chin-Lung Hu
5)Chung-Shou Yang
6)Sen Yang
7)Chao-Hsing Cheng
8)Tai-Shan Chang *Edited

Outfielders (7):
1)Cheng-Min Peng
2)Chin-Feng Chen
3)Kuo-Hui Lo
4)Chien-Ming Chang
5)Wu-Hsiung Pan
6)Fu-Hao Liu
7)Lien-Hung Chen

Coach Kuo cut all of the amateur players except for C Kun-Sheng Lin (storied amateur - star of 2001 Pony World Series team), little used 2B Chih-Hsien Chiang, added 6 President Lions and a few other CPBL veterans, as well as Chin-Hui Tsao to the roster. (Compare to the WC roster)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

NT Shutout by South Korea...

Korean SP Doo-Sung Hwang threw a gem of a game, quieting Taiwan's offense and the rowdy home crowd. Hwang twirled a 1-hitter over 7 innings to go along with 5 K's and 1 walk. Taiwan's SP Chien-Fu Yang pitched fairly well, giving up 1 ER over 6 IP. Final score: South Korea 3 - Taiwan 0.
Box Score/V.O.D.

The disturbing part about the loss is that the batting lineup is only missing potentially 5 starters: OF Wei-Chu Lin, IF Yung-Chi Chen, IF Chin-Lung Hu, C Chih-Kang Kao and IF Kuo-Ching Kao. Of those 5 named, only 3 will be available to play in the Olympic Qualifiers. To make matters worse, the team South Korea sent to the WC was essentially its "B" team. We'll see a much stronger (SK) team at the Olympic Qualifiers in December. With the loss, Taiwan will be playing Mexico Sunday for 7th place in the WC (Taiwan is currently down 5-1 in the 8th inning as I type this). If the score holds up, Taiwan's 8th place finish would be better than its 2005 showing. However, Coach Kuo and any baseball fan in Taiwan can't be thrilled with how poorly the team finished in the tourney.

Friday, November 16, 2007


The Dutch NT knocked Taiwan out of medal contention with a come-from-behind win. Down to their last out with the score 2-1 in favor of Taiwan, the Netherlands would rally to tie things up when IF Vince Rooi cracked a solo HR off of Blue Jays farmhand Po-Hsuan Keng to put the game into extra innings. A couple of key hits (a big double by Mariners prospect Greg Halman) and errors in the 11th inning allowed the Dutch NT to secure a lead it would not relinquish. The Dutch pitching staff was impressive, keeping the NT's bats in check for most of the game.

Despite the loss, there was one bright spot on the NT. Starter En-Yu Lin was outstanding, K'ing 7 in 6 innings of work. He also allowed only 1 run on 2 hits - both of his walks in the game came in the 6th as he began to fatigue a bit. After being pulled with a pitch count in the low 90's, Lin had to sit and watch his bullpen blow the save and eventually the game. The 11 inning 6-3 victory by the Netherlands put them into the semifinals along with the US, Cuba, and Japan.

Box Score/Recap/V.O.D.

Taiwan will now play in the classification bracket where it will face long-time Asian rival South Korea on Saturday.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Thursday News...

Taiwan's quarterfinal game against the Netherlands should be kicking off shortly. En-Yu Lin will be taking the mound against the European champions.

The regular season is over. Yung-Chi Chen finished in the league top 10 in BA.
*YC Chen's AFL stats
*CL Lo's AFL stats
*CL Hu's AFL stats

Olympic Qualifiers:
Wei-Lun Pan will not be on the NT in November. He will need some down time to rest an inflamed shoulder. More on the Korean NT's roster.

As mentioned by someone earlier, the Dodgers may be coming to Taiwan in March next year.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Taiwan Vs. USA Vid Highlights...

10-7 Loss to Team USA

Taiwan fell to the US on the final day of pool play. The US's offense was too much for the NT pitching staff to handle. Also, US SP Josh Outman was outstanding in his 5 innings of work. Bright spots for the NT included CH Hsieh's 2-3 double/4 RBI performance and CFC's 2-5 double/RBI night.
Box Score/Game Recap 1 & 2/V.O.D.

Despite the loss, Taiwan still managed to claim the #2 seed from its pool and will now advance to the quarterfinals against the #3 seed from pool B - that team being the Netherlands, a talented squad that handed Cuba its first loss at the World Cup.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Big Game Tomorrow...


With Tuesday's 10-0 win against Panama, Taiwan will play the US for first place in the final game of pool play tomorrow. Should be a good one!
As for today's victory, SP Chien-Fu Yang continues to flash some of the brilliance he once exhibited in the CPBL. Yang shut down the Panamanian bats, allowing only 3 hits over 6 shutout innings to pick up his 2nd win of the tourney. Chia-Chia led the way offensively as he was 3-5 with a double and 3 RBI's. CH Hsieh hit his 3rd HR of the tourney. Box/Recap/V.O.D.
See the team's updated cumulative stats here.

Yao-Wen Chang Update....

*Yao-Wen Chang's signing and profile has been updated, check previous post. The kid sounds like a stud.

*Here's a few more pics of Chia-Chu Chen's signing from his official web site.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Making It Official...

Chia-Chu Chen's signing with the Red Sox was officially announced. Check out pics (seen with Craig Shipley) from his big day:
With Chen's signing, the Red Sox now have 5 players from Taiwan in their farm system. The Mariners are close behind with 4 players (if you count Chia-An Huang).

WC (Lins to the Rescue):


The Italian NT gave the NT all it could handle before Chih-Sheng Lin's late inning heroics gave Taiwan a 1-0 win on Monday. Former CPBL'er (ex-La New Bear) Anthony Fiore shut down the NT offense over 7 innings. Fortunately for Taiwan, En-Yu Lin was just as dominant as he threw a CG 4-hit shutout to go along with 13 K's and no walks allowed. Box/Recap/V.O.D.
With the win, Taiwan is tied with the US for first place in Group A. Taiwan will play Panama tomorrow.

YC Chen is currently 0-2 with a walk and has committed 2 errors as his team is up 4-0 in the 7th inning. Box/Game Log

CL Hu is back in Taiwan practicing with the NT in preparation for the upcoming Olympic Qualifiers.

This is for you Cor. Your boy Sheng-Wei Wang is a Brother Elephant. The former amateur SS played on several NT's and participated in the 2005 ABL alongside Indians farmhand Sung-Wei Tseng.