2018 Taiwan Winter League Notes #3

It is winter here in Taiwan, but there are still plenty of baseball games to keep us busy until January 2019 with two of Taiwan’s Winter Baseball Leagues.

On the professional side, we have the Asia Winter Baseball League which feature five teams from the CPBL, NPB (x2), KBO and JABA. For amateur baseball, there is the Popcorn League, which have nine teams from Taiwan’s Semi-Pro Industrial League.

Rather than doing a lengthy write-up and proper recaps. We will do our Taiwan Winter Ball coverage in a weekly or fortnightly bite-size format which covers some of the notable games and the fun stuff we noticed.

Seven Strikeouts Outing: Lin Yi-Hsiang

[December 6, KBO 4 – CPBL 2]

The Lamigo Monkeys’ 2017 fifth-round draft pick 林逸翔 (Lin Yi-Hsiang) made his second winter league start against Team KBO.

26-year-old Lin, the former Baltimore Orioles farmhand (2016 Short-A) gave up three earned runs in five innings while allowed five hits and struck out seven.

Leap-Dive-Slide, Defensive Showcase: Yueh Tung-Hua

[December 8, CPBL 4 – JABA 1]

The Chinatrust Brothers’ 2017 first-round draft pick 岳東華 (Yueh Tung-Hua) showed off his defensive ability with three nice plays in a single game. It is also worth mentioning Yueh drove in the go-ahead run for Team CPBL in the top of the eighth.

Firework Interruption

[December 8, NPB West 8 – KBO 8]

There are many ways to interrupt a baseball game, streakers, out of control water sprinkler and my personal favourite, animals on the field. But what about some unschedule celebratory firework?

On December 8, the NPB-KBO game was halted for almost five minutes due to some random firework outside of the stadium. As it turns out, it was from an event next door, the Bank of Taichung was celebrating their 65th anniversary.

Picked Off Same Players Twice: Weng Wei-Chun

[December 9, CPBL 8 – NPB West 5]

Here is something you don’t see every day. The Lamigo Monkeys’ 翁瑋均 (Weng Wei-Chun) picked off the same player twice in a single game. Tough look for the DeNA BayStars’ 宮本秀明 (Miyamoto Shumei).

20-year-old 翁瑋均 (Weng Wei-Chun) is the Lamigo Monkeys’ 2018 first-round draft pick. The Monkeys signed Weng for a bonus of $160,000 USD with an annual salary of $24,000 and $50,000 in incentives.

Six Strikeouts Outing: Yeh Chia-Chi

[December 10, CPBL 8 – KBO 4]

In his third start at the Winter League, the Lamigo Monkeys’ 21-year-old 葉家淇 (Yeh Chia-Chi) allowed two earned runs while struck out six over 5.1 innings.

Comebacker to Ankle: Liu Hsuan-Ta

[December 11, NPB East 8 – CPBL 4]

The Uni-Lions’ 劉軒荅 (Liu Hsuan-Ta) was hit in the ankle by a comebacker in his final starting appearing. After further examination, there’s no damage to the bone and Liu was listed as day-to-day.

Nine Strikeouts, Forkball From Hell: Arata Shiino

[December 13, KBO 3 – NPB West 0]

In his final start in the winter league, the SoftBank Hawks’ 椎野新 (Arata Shiino) pitched five scoreless innings with nine strikeouts against Team KBO.

Despite getting into a no-out bases-loading jam in the bottom of fourth, Arata had enough confidence in his breaking ball and struck out two using his forkball.

Comebacker to Arm: Kim Beom-Su

[December 14, NPB East 11 – KBO 2]

Another player injured by the comebacker in this year’s winter league, the Hanwha Eagles’ Kim Beom-Su left the game after being stuck in the arm by a comebacker.

152kph Fastball, Questionable Strikeout: Wang Hung-Cheng

[December 15, CPBL 3 – JABA 3]

The Chinatrust Brothers’ sidearmer 王鴻程 (Wang Hung-Cheng) threw one of his hardest pitch in the Winter League at 152kph (95mph) and struck out the final batter with the help of the questionable strike zone.

Nice Play: Lee Tsung-Hsien

[December 16, NPB East 1 – CPBL 0]

The Fubon Guardians’ 李宗賢 (Lee Tsung-Hsien) showed off his defensive ability playing at shortstop against the NPB East team. Lee made a sliding stop on the edge of the outfield grass and fired a strong throw to first in time for the out.

The Infectious Thumbs Up

[December 16, NPB East 1 – CPBL 0]

Before the 2018 Asia Winter Baseball League Championship Game, the CPBL commissioner was invited to hand out outstanding players awards to Yeh Chia-Chi and Yasutaka Shiomi.

As they were posing for photos, we noticed this gem, the most uncoordinated group thumbs up.


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