2020 CPBL Draft: Our Predictions

The annual CPBL Draft is upon us once again. On July 20, a total of 123 talented amateurs from various high schools, universities and the industrial league will enter the 2020 draft and get the opportunity to turn professional.

The Wei Chuan Dragons, being the expansion team, they will be given the incentive to draft twice in the first two rounds. The 2020 CPBL draft order is as follows.

  1. Wei Chuan Dragons
  2. Uni-Lions
  3. Fubon Guardians
  4. CTBC Brothers
  5. Rakuten Monkeys
  6. Wei Chuan Dragons

Will the teams pick the high school prospects and spend time developing them? Or select players that are CPBL first team ready and trying to get a boost in the second-half season? Or just go with the strategy of picking the best available player at that time regardless of their position?

As always, here are our 2020 CPBL draft predictions for the first round. We will also include video highlights and some quick information about those players.

First Round Predictions

Once again, huge thanks to Taiwan Baseball Notes for providing all the videos. TBN is the best online resource for anything related to amateur baseball in Taiwan.

Dragons: 王維中 (Wang Wei-Chung) – LHP

  • 28 years old, MLB left-handed pitcher
  • Starting pitcher
  • Fastball topping out 156kph (2017)
  • Curveball, changeup, slider, cutter
  • Former MLB and KBO experiences

Notes: Wang Wei-Chung is a young hard-throwing left-hander who is also a starting pitcher. It is almost certain the Dragons are going to draft him as the overall first pick.

Uni-Lions: 余謙 (Yu Chien) – RHP

  • 19 years old, university right-handed pitcher
  • Starting pitcher
  • Fastball topping out 150kph (2019)
  • Forkball, changeup, curveball, slider
  • MVP of 2019 WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup
  • Great mound presence

Notes: Yu Chien got this pitbull mentality when on the mound, he is not afraid to throw inside or challenge the batters directly. Yu is best known for pitching 6.2 scoreless innings with seven strikeouts against Team USA in the U-18 Baseball World Cup.

Guardians: 林子豪 (Lin Tzu-Hao) – 3B

  • 18 years old, high school third baseman
  • Member of Taiwan U-18 National Team
  • Quick, compact swing
  • Good bat control
  • Able to hit to all fields

Notes: Lin Tzu-Hao posted a .355/.474/.452 across nine games during the U-18 Baseball World Cup in 2019.

Brothers: 宋晟睿 (Sung Sheng-Jui) – CF/RHP

  • 17 years old, high school centre fielder and right-handed pitcher
  • Good ball awareness and defensive range in the centre field
  • Good throwing accuracy and strength
  • Above-average base running speed
  • Quick swing and able to go opposite field if needed
  • Also a pitcher in high school
  • Fastball topping out at 153kph (95mph)
  • Forkball, curveball, slider, changeup

Notes: Although Sung Sheng-Jui entered the CPBL draft as an outfielder, however, when a player can throw 153kph, the team would definitely consider giving him a chance to be a pitcher.

Monkeys: 何恆佑 (Ho Heng-Yu) – 1B

  • 18 years old, high school first baseman, second baseman
  • Members of Taiwan U-18 National Team
  • Good bat control
  • Able to hit both fields with power
  • Above-average speed

Dragons: 張進德 (Jhang Jin-De) – C/DH

  • 27 years old, former MiLB catcher
  • Briefly reached Triple-A (Mostly Double-A)
  • CPBL first-team ready (Hitting wise)
  • Good throwing arm behind the plate
  • Members of Taiwan Premier12 National Team

Notes: Prior to entering the 2020 mid-season draft, Jhang Jin-De was training with the Guardians’ farm team. Over 26 games, he posted a .444/.505/.722 across 101 plate appearances in the CPBL minor league.

There are some slight concerns over his health. As over the years in the MLB system, Jhang is a frequent visitor to the injured list.

Another Potential First Round Scenario

Here is another potential draft scenario in the first round. Jhang Jin-De would be the key man here. It all depends on the Fubon Guardians’ approach this year’s draft, do they still want to keep their usual “win now, must collect all the former MLB system players?”

Or are they going to focus on rebuilding? If they are still going to stick with their old draft strategy, then we are very likely to see the Guardians drafting Jhang Jin-De in the first round, third overall pick.

Should the Guardians draft Jhang, then the 2020 first-round draft is likely to be the following:

  1. Dragons: 王維中 (Wang Wei-Chung)
  2. Uni-Lions: 余謙 (Yu Chien)
  3. Guardians: 張進德 (Jhang Jin-De)
  4. Brothers: 林子豪 (Lin Tzu-Hao)
  5. Monkeys: 宋晟睿 (Sung Sheng-Jui)
  6. Dragons: 何恆佑 (Ho Heng-Yu)

2nd Round Gambling Candidates

Two players come to mind that should fall into the third round, but there is some possibility some teams might take a gamble and pick them in the second round. Those two players are in the “gamble in the second round, safe in third and bargain in fourth” category.

郭俊麟 (Kuo Chun-Lin) – RHP

  • 28 years old, former NPB right-handed pitcher
  • Starting pitcher material
  • Underwent Tommy John surgery before the draft
  • If healthy, CPBL first-team ready
  • High risk, high reward draft option in the second round

Notes: Prior to entering the 2020 mid-season draft, Kuo Chun-Lin was training with the Monkeys’ farm team.

廖任磊 (Liao Jen-Lei) – RHP

  • 26 years old, former MiLB, NPB right-handed pitcher
  • Built like a power pitcher, 201 cm, 125kg (6’6, 275 lbs)
  • Fastball topping out at 157kph
  • Curveball, slider, changeup
  • Below-average control of his pitches
  • Could be a potential bullpen arm in the first-team

Notes: Prior to entering the 2020 mid-season draft, Liao Jen-Lei was training with the Brothers’ farm team.


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