With the official announcement of Taiwan’s WBC 28-man roster and the “Designated Pitcher Pool”. We’ll do a preview on this 2017 Taiwanese WBC team. There will be some quick profile on each players along with their full stats. We’ll start off with the team Taiwan overview.
Even missing out several key players from Lamigo Monkeys. This Taiwanese team was still able to put together a decent lineup that can hit for power while having a pretty deep bench for pinch hit situations. Expect to see 2015 CPBL rookie of the year 許基宏 Hsu Chi-Hung on crucial pinch hit duty. Defense-wise, the 7 times CPBL gold glove winner 王勝偉 Wang Sheng-Wei will be able to cover SS, 2B & 3B if needed in the late inning.
After 8 tune-up games. The lead-off batter 胡金龍 Hu Chin-Lung is currently hitting 0.420 over 31PA. While 蔣智賢 Chiang Chih-Hsien is hitting 0.500 over 29PA with 3HRs. Another point that’s worth mentioning is Chiang is AVG is 0.556 when there is runner on scoring position.
There are problems with this Taiwanese national team. It is the ability to capitalised when runners on scoring positions. This has been a problem for Team Taiwan in the last few international tournaments (WBC 2013/ Premier 12) where the lineup is unable to drive in the runs. Another concern is #3 & #4 hitters 高國輝 Kao Kuo-Hui & 林智勝 Lin Chih-Sheng are still not in game condition yet. After 8 tune-up games. Lin is currently hitting 0.260 AVG over 29PA with 4K while Kao is hitting 0.150 over 31 PA with 9K.
- DH- 胡金龍 Hu Chin-Lung – Former Dodgers, a smart player, able to make contact and run the bases well.
- RF- 張志豪 Chang Chih-Hao – Good defensive range. Current CPBL record holder for number of triple.
- LF- 高國輝 Kao Kuo-Hui – Former Mariners AA. 3x CPBL HR champion.
- 2B- 林智勝 Lin Chih-Sheng – 2015 CPBL MVP. The first CPBL player reach 30/30. A regular member of the Taiwanese national team. Plenty of international tournament experiences. He will be the on field leader for this Taiwanese team.
- 3B- 蔣智賢 Chiang Chih-Hsien – Former Red Sox AAA. Not a defensive player, will be able to cover his weakness with his bat.
- 1B- 林益全 Lin Yi-Chuan – 3x CPBL MVP. He is a master of contact. However, the concern is Lin tend to choked in international games.
- SS- 陳鏞基 Chen Yung-Chi – Former Mariners AAA. Regular of the Taiwanese national team. Able to cover 3B, SS, 2B is needed.
- C- 鄭達鴻 Cheng Ta-Hung – Selected purely for his ability to hit.
- CF- 林哲瑄 Lin Che-Hsuan – Former Red Sox. Huge defensive range with great arm. 2016 Taiwan Series MVP. One of the fastest player in this Taiwanese team, so what is he doing batting #9? Well, it is a mystery to everyone. So far #9 spot is where you can find Lin in the WBC practice games.
Pitching.. Oh the pitching…
With majority of the pitchers from the MLB system declined to play for the national team this year. This will definitely hurt team Taiwan. Most likely the team will have to rely on 4 young pitchers from NPB & MiLB to take on the starting pitchers role. While CPBL pitchers will be on relief duty.
Here’s Taiwan’s schedule in the first round. Based on traditional Taiwanese national team management style. There’s a chance they will use all their good pitchers in game 1 & 2 against Israel and Netherlands.
- 7th March vs Israel – 12.30
- 8th March vs Netherlands – 19.00
- 9th March vs Korea – 19.00
- 郭俊麟 (Kuo Chun-Lin) – NPB Seibu Lions – Ideally should pitch against South Korea. Kuo is one of those player who is known for performing extremely well under pressure in the international tournament. Pitched well against KBO All-Star in 2014 Inchon Asian Game and also his performance in the Premier 12 tournament against Team Puerto Rico where he went 10K, 6H over 8 strong innings.
- 陳冠宇 (Chen Kuan-Yu) – NPB Chiba Lotte Marines – Most likely will pitch against Netherlands. From looking at his WBC practice games so far, the young LHP seems to be in a good condition, constantly hitting 148kph on the radar. Although Chen pitched decent against South Korea in the past, I really don’t see the management using him against the Korean team due to familiarity.
- 宋家豪 (Sung Chia-Hao) – NPB Rakuten Golden Eagles – Most likely will pitch against Israel.
- 江少慶 (Chiang Shao-Ching) – Cleveland Indians (Single A) – Most likely will pitch against South Korea. Chiang is the most mysterious player in this Taiwanese roster with limited outing (only 1 practice appearance). Chiang got a 147kph (92mph) 4-seamer with good movement. With the recent news of Cleveland Indians setting a 65 per round, 35 per inning pitch count limit on Chiang Shao-Ching. We might just end up see him pitching just once for the entire 1st round.
- 潘威倫 (Pan Wei-Lun) – CPBL Uni Lions – Although Pan has been identified as the long reliever by the manager in this tournament. The veteran RHP is another possible candidate to pitch against Netherlands. As he had an excellent records shutting down the Netherlands in the past international tournaments.
According to several Taiwanese media outlets. Here’s the possible starting pitchers predictions:
- 郭俊麟 (Kuo Chun-Lin) vs Israel
- 宋家豪 (Sung Chia-Hao) vs Netherlands
- 陳冠宇 (Chen Kuan-Yu) vs South Korea
There’s some concern with the former Twins farmhand 羅國華 (Lo Kuo-Hua) during the WBC practice game. It seems his condition is still not 100% and unable to find the strike zone. Can he handle the pressure of this WBC tournament? Will he be one of those players that was selected but the manager is too scared to use him? And why manager Kuo Tai-Yuan decided not to include LHP 賴鴻誠 Lai Hung-Cheng to the 28-man roster is still a mystery to all Taiwanese fans.
Designated Pitcher Pool
- 賴鴻誠 (Lai Hung-Cheng) – CPBL Fubon Guardians – One of the best LHP reliever in 2016 CPBL. With his fastball topping at 151kph (94mph) in the 2016 season. There’s a theory on why Lai has been left out of the national team. This is a play back in 2012 this could be the reason why Lai is in the CTBA’s blacklist. Or it could be just purely Fubon Guardians would like to give Lai plenty of rest as he was one of the bullpen workhorse of the team last year.
Why these 3 players even on the DPP list ??
- 陽建福 (Yang Chien-Fu) – Used to have one of the finest slider in CPBL with his fastball topping at 152kph (96mph). The former CPBL ace has been a regular member of the national team since 2001. Yang is known for shutting down American/Japanese/Australian national teams in several international tournaments. However, there’s a price of being a hero. After being overused by CTBA over the years with international tournaments during the off-season without a proper rest. Yang has been struggled with various injuries and eventually was released by EDA Rhinos back in 2015. In 2016, Yang signed a contract with the Ehime Mandarin Pirates in Japan’s Shikoku Island League where he posted 2.53 ERA, 1.16 WHIP over 32 IP with his fastball velocity topping 148kph (92mph). Yang was signed by CPBL’s Uni-Lions in 2017. However, Uni-Lions does not want him to participate in this tournament as they prefer him to prepare for the 2017 CPBL season instead. Below is a video of 陽建福 (Yang Chien-Fu) shutout game against team Australia during the Olympics qualifier in 2008.
- 王建民 (Wang Chien-Ming) – Former Yankees spent 2016 with the Royals. Said several times that he does not want to participate in this WBC. The chance of him pitching in this WBC tournament is very slim.
- 王維中 (Wang Wei-Chung) – Spent 2016 season with the Brewers AAA. Said several times in public he does not want to participate in this WBC. The chance of him pitching in this WBC tournament is very slim.
Hidden amateur talents on the DDP list
Going further down on the DPP list, you’ll find 3 of Taiwan’s highly ranked amateur pitchers. 呂彥青 (Lu Yen-Ching), 吳俊杰 (Wu Chun-Chieh), 王政浩 (Wang Cheng-Hao). All three of them dominated the Taiwanese amateur scenes in 2016. I personally don’t think they’re ready for WBC tournament but do put them on your watch list as they will be the national team regular in the future. Here’s some quick profile about them.
- 呂彥青 (Lu Yen-Ching) – A very talented 20-year-old university LHP with the fastball clocking at 147kph (91mph). Lu is killing it in the domestic amateur league with 1.89 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 9.47 K/9. While training in Japan with the U23 squad, he pitched well against NPB farm teams with the record of 1.80 ERA, 1.00 WHIP back in August 2016. During the CPBL winter league in December, NPB’s Seibu Lions organisational director Hisanobu Watanabe had expressed some interest in Lu. However, after the entire year of playing various domestic/ international tournaments. There are signs of him being fatigued towards the end of 2016 where his fastball velocity dropped significantly during the winter league and was unable to locate the strike-zone.
- 吳俊杰 (Wu Chun-Chieh) – The 20-year-old university RHP with fastball topping 147kph (91mph). In 2016 domestic amateur league Wu posted a record of 2.38 ERA, 1.12 WHIP 8.74 K/9. In December 2016 Wu made 11 RP appearance in the CPBL Winter League with 3.86 ERA, 1.39 WHIP. Very likely to join CPBL in 2017
- 王政浩 (Wang Cheng-Hao) – The 28-year-old RHP currently play for Taidung Red Coral in the Taiwan Industrial League. Wang took 4 years off baseball after his Tommy John surgery. He returned to the amateur baseball scene in 2016 was clocking 150kph (93mph) on the radar. He destroy the amateur league with the dominating record of 1.44 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 8.35 K/9 over 87.1 innings.
The manager (郭泰源 Kuo Tai-Yuan) and bench coach (吳復連 Wu Fu-Lian) are known to be too conservative & slow with their tactics. As matter of fact, both were fired from their CPBL job after the 2016 season for that reason. This Taiwanese team have plenty of talents to advance into the 2nd round, but the question is will the manager smart enough to use the right players for the right situation?
|Cheng Ta-Hung||鄭達鴻||CPBL||Chinatrust Brothers||12-year CPBL veteran. Most likely will be the primary catcher in this tournament|
|Lin Kun-Sheng||林琨笙||CPBL||Fubon Guardians||Primary catcher for Fubon Guardians. Drove in the game tying in G4 & game winning run in G6 of the 2016 Taiwan Series|
|Lin Chih-Hsiang||林志祥||CPBL||Uni Lions||The 2016 gold glove winner will most likely served as backup 2B / utility player in this WBC.|
|Lin Yi-Chuan||林益全||CPBL||Fubon Guardians||Primary 1B for team Taiwan. 3x CPBL MVP.|
|Lin Chih-Sheng||林智勝||CPBL||Chinatrust Brothers||Primary 2B. 2015 CPBL MVP. The first CPBL player reach 30/30|
|Chen Yung-Chi||陳鏞基||CPBL||Uni Lions||Primary 3B. Former Mariners AAA. A word to describe him would be consistent. Able to cover 2B and SS if needed|
|Wang Sheng-Wei||王勝偉||CPBL||Chinatrust Brothers||7x CPBL gold gloves winner. Expect to see him in the late inning to cover SS/2B/3B|
|Chiang Chih-Hsien||蔣智賢||CPBL||Chinatrust Brothers||Primary 3B. Former Red Sox AAA. Not a defensive player, will be able to cover his weakness with his bat.|
|Hsu Chi-Hung||許基宏||CPBL||Chinatrust Brothers||Winner of 2015 rookie of the year award. The young slugger is known for performing under pressure. Expect him to pinch hit in crucial situation. Able to cover 1B/ 3B|
|Chang Cheng-Wei||張正偉||CPBL||Chinatrust Brothers||Fantastic OBP in 2016. Will most likely served as backup OF.|
|Luo Guo-Long||羅國龍||CPBL||Uni Lions||Backup OF to replace the injured 陽岱鋼 (Yoh).|
|Lin Che-Hsuan||林哲瑄||CPBL||Fubon Guardians||Primary CF / RF. Former Red Sox. Huge defensive range with great arm. One of the fastest player in this Taiwanese team.|
|Kao Kuo-Hui||高國輝||CPBL||Fubon Guardians||Primary LF. Former Mariners AA. 3x CPBL HR champ|
|Hu Chin-Lung||胡金龍||CPBL||Fubon Guardians||Will most likely take the DH spot. Former Dodgers. A very smart player with good contact / base running ability. Will be the catalyst for team Taiwan offense.|
|Chang Chih-Hao||張志豪||CPBL||Chinatrust Brothers||Primary RF/ CF. Good defensive range. Current CPBL record holder for number of triple.|
|Chiang Shao-Ching||江少慶||A||Cleveland Indians||Hard throwing 23 year old RHP from the Indians organisation. 2016 season is his first season where he pitched over 150 innings since his Tommy John surgery in 2012.|
|Ni Fu-Te||倪福德||CPBL||Fubon Guardians||Former Tigers RP. LHP with a deceptive delivery. Was one of the rare cases where he jump straight from CPBL to 3A/ MLB.|
|Sung Chia-Hao||宋家豪||NPB||Rakuten Golden Eagles||Possible SP for team Taiwan. 2nd round pick by the Uni-Lions in 2015, but decided to sign with Rakuten Eagles instead.|
|Tsai Ming-Chin||蔡明晉||CPBL||Fubon Guardians||First time representing Taiwan in a major tournament. Will take on the middle reliever role|
|Chen Hung-Wen||陳鴻文||CPBL||Chinatrust Brothers||Former Cubs AAA. Possible to take on the closer role in this tournament.|
|Chen Yun-Wen||陳韻文||CPBL||Uni Lions||Uni-Lions 1st round pick in 2014. A highly touted prospect.|
|Chen-Hua Lin||林晨樺||CPBL||Fubon Guardians||Sinon-Bulls 1st round pick in 2011. Last few seasons predominantly as a middle reliever.|
|Pan Wei-Lun||潘威倫||CPBL||Uni Lions||The 14-year CPBL veteran was the 1st round pick by the Uni-Lions in 2003, at the same year won the rookie of the year award. Had an excellent record suppressing the Netherlands National Team in the past.|
|Wang Ching-Ming||王鏡銘||CPBL||Uni Lions||Uni-Lions 1st round pick in 2008. Took on the closer role in 2016 season.|
|Lo Kuo-Hua||羅國華||A||Minnesota Twins||Former Twins A players. This tournament will be the perfect opportunity for him to showcase himself in front of all the CPBL team. He is expect to join CPBL in 2017.|
|Huang Sheng-Hsiung||黃勝雄||CPBL||Fubon Guardians||The hard throwing LHP was the 1st round pick in 2013. He is also the current closer for Fubon Guardians|
|Chen Kuan-Yu||陳冠宇||NPB||Chiba Lotte Marines||Known for shutting down KBO All-Stars in 2014 Asian game. (2G, 7IP, 8K, 2R)|
|Kuo Chun-Lin||郭俊麟||NPB||Seibu Lions||Known for performing extremely well under pressure in the international tournament.|
Designated Pitcher Pool
|Wang Chien-Ming||王建民||FA (MLB)||FA (Royals)||Former Yankees spent 2016 with the Royals. Said several times in public he does not want to participate in this WBC.|
|Yang Chien-Fu||陽建福||CPBL||Uni-Lions||Former CPBL ace is known for shutting down Japanese /Australian national team in international tournament. Uni Lions does not want him to participate in this tournament.|
|Wang Wei-Chung||王維中||AAA||Milwaukee Brewers||2016 with the Brewers AAA. Said several times in public he does not want to participate in this WBC|
|Lu Yen-Ching||呂彥青||University||University (Taiwan)||Very likely will get sign by MLB / NPB after university. Pitched well against USA NCAA All-Star & NPB farm teams back in August. Possible fatigue?|
|Lai Hung-Cheng||賴鴻誠||CPBL||Fubon Guardians||A very reliable setup man for EDA Rhinos. made 62 RP appearance in 2016. Finished season with 141 ERA+|
|Chen Ping-Hsueh||陳品學||A||Cleveland Indians||2016 with Indians system. Fastball around 95mph|
|Wang Cheng-Hao||王政浩||Taiwan Industrial||Red Coral||Currently play for Taidung Red Coral in the Taiwan Industrial League. Very likely he will participate in 2017 CPBL mid-season draft.|
|Wu Chun-Chieh||吳俊杰||University||University (Taiwan)||Made 11 RP appearance in the Taiwan Winter League with 3.86 ERA, 1.39 WHIP. Very likely to join CPBL in 2017|
|Cheng Ta-Hung||鄭達鴻||CPBL||Chinatrust Brothers||251||68||0||35||0.271||0.342||0.331||60|
|Lin Kun-Sheng||林琨笙||CPBL||Fubon Guardians||218||58||1||27||0.266||0.306||0.358||56|
|Lin Chih-Hsiang||林志祥||CPBL||Uni Lions||435||139||10||75||0.320||0.376||0.469||98|
|Lin Yi-Chuan||林益全||CPBL||Fubon Guardians||417||146||17||81||0.350||0.416||0.530||122|
|Lin Chih-Sheng||林智勝||CPBL||Chinatrust Brothers||401||135||34||107||0.337||0.420||0.648||148|
|Chen Yung-Chi||陳鏞基||CPBL||Uni Lions||394||129||20||95||0.327||0.385||0.528||113|
|Wang Sheng-Wei||王勝偉||CPBL||Chinatrust Brothers||377||113||5||53||0.300||0.365||0.419||85|
|Chiang Chih-Hsien||蔣智賢||CPBL||Chinatrust Brothers||351||141||30||104||0.402||0.455||0.738||176|
|Hsu Chi-Hung||許基宏||CPBL||Chinatrust Brothers||78||95||15||62||0.356||0.457||0.603||148|
|Chang Cheng-Wei||張正偉||CPBL||Chinatrust Brothers||436||149||4||48||0.342||0.408||0.424||97|
|Luo Guo-Long||羅國龍||CPBL||Uni Lions||421||138||16||74||0.328||0.400||0.513||114|
|Lin Che-Hsuan||林哲瑄||CPBL||Fubon Guardians||400||138||23||79||0.345||0.434||0.570||135|
|Kao Kuo-Hui||高國輝||CPBL||Fubon Guardians||392||112||34||104||0.318||0.391||0.615||127|
|Hu Chin-Lung||胡金龍||CPBL||Fubon Guardians||327||122||10||55||0.362||0.403||0.502||125|
|Chang Chih-Hao||張志豪||CPBL||Chinatrust Brothers||292||94||17||70||0.322||0.375||0.603||126|
|Chiang Shao-Ching||江少慶||A||Cleveland Indians||152.1||3.96||1.15||8.8||0.8||1.5||5.4||–|
|Ni Fu-Te||倪福德||CPBL||Fubon Guardians||96.2||4.84||1.39||10.5||1.6||2.1||6.5||122|
|Sung Chia-Hao||宋家豪||NPB||Rakuten Golden Eagles||62.2||2.44||1.17||9.1||0.6||1.5||6.1||–|
|Tsai Ming-Chin||蔡明晉||CPBL||Fubon Guardians||61||7.30||1.65||12.0||1.5||3.1||5.9||81|
|Chen Hung-Wen||陳鴻文||CPBL||Chinatrust Brothers||61||4.87||1.36||9.9||1.8||2.8||10.2||122|
|Chen Yun-Wen||陳韻文||CPBL||Uni Lions||60.1||7.76||1.76||11.9||0.9||4.1||9.0||76|
|Chen-Hua Lin||林晨樺||CPBL||Fubon Guardians||58||6.05||1.48||10.2||1.9||3.1||6.2||98|
|Pan Wei-Lun||潘威倫||CPBL||Uni Lions||52.1||5.33||1.51||13.1||0.7||0.5||4.0||111|
|Wang Ching-Ming||王鏡銘||CPBL||Uni Lions||49||3.49||1.51||11.4||0.7||2.2||7.2||170|
|Lo Kuo-Hua||羅國華||A||Minnesota Twins||45||2.60||1.47||7.0||0.8||6.2||8.4||–|
|Huang Sheng-Hsiung||黃勝雄||CPBL||Fubon Guardians||44||4.91||1.55||9.4||1.2||4.5||6.3||121|
|Chen Kuan-Yu||陳冠宇||NPB||Chiba Lotte Marines||24.2||4.01||1.42||9.1||1.1||3.6||8.4||–|
|Kuo Chun-Lin||郭俊麟||NPB||Seibu Lions||22.1||8.46||1.70||11.3||0.8||4.0||8.1||–|
Designated Pitcher Pool
|Wang Chien-Ming||王建民||FA (MLB)||FA (Royals)||53.1||4.22||1.46||10.1||1.0||3.0||5.1||103|
|Wang Wei-Chung||王維中||AAA||Milwaukee Brewers||133.1||3.78||1.26||9.0||0.6||2.4||7.7||–|
|Lu Yen-Ching||呂彥青||University||University (Taiwan)||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–|
|Lai Hung-Cheng||賴鴻誠||CPBL||Fubon Guardians||59.2||4.22||1.47||8.8||2.1||4.5||5.9||140|
|Chen Ping-Hsueh||陳品學||A||Cleveland Indians||32.1||4.73||1.60||9.2||0.8||5.3||9.2||–|
|Wang Cheng-Hao||王政浩||Taiwan Industrial||Red Coral||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–|
|Wu Chun-Chieh||吳俊杰||University||University (Taiwan)||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–|