CPBL Foreign Players Updates Volume #67
Chinatrust Brothers News: Eric Wood
Well, this was a signing no one expected. Earlier today, the Chinatrust Brothers announced the signing of outfielder/ third baseman Eric Wood from the Pittsburgh Pirates organisation.
The 26-year-old Canadian right-hander spent the last two seasons in the Pirates’ Triple-A. In 2018, he posted .269/.328/.481 with 11 home runs across 308 plate appearances. During his time in the Triple-A, Wood played right field, third base and first base.
“The signing of Eric Wood is going to boost our lineup, and with him able to play multiple positions, this will add flexibility to the team,” said the Brothers’ general manager.
The Brothers’ general manager went on and mentioned the team still in the market to sign another pitcher as the fourth back up foreign player.
In 2019, Wood will represent Team Canada in the 2019 Pan American Qualification Tournament from January 29 to February 3. He is expected to report to the Brothers’ spring camp around mid-February.
Foreign players come and goes, therefore we compiled a foreign players tracker to keep track of all the foreign players signing for the 2019 CPBL season.
Wow! That is a surprise. I wonder what the Brothers had to guarantee him in salary to come to Taiwan. Wood is still only 26, and while he was a minor league free agent this off-season, he looks good enough to get a minor league contract that would pay him at least $70,000 or $80,000 for minor league service time.
Going into his age 26 season, he’s relatively young for player deciding to play in Asia. He certainly looks like a player that could be in the CPBL, particularly since he showed some power in the high minors over the last three seasons.
Clearly, the Brothers feel they have enough domestic pitching to sign the first foreign position player in the CPBL for some years.
Very exciting time indeed. It has been 2 years since the last foreign positional player in Taiwan. (Felix Pie from 2016).
I like the fact he is young at 26. Always a good trend to have younger guy.
As for the Brothers’ rotation. I guess we will likely to see 20-year-old CPBL sophomore Chen Hu taking a much bigger responsibility. Chen posted 4.66 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 85K across 94.2 innings in his rookie season. Throws 148kph fastball with a decent late movement changeup.
There’s also this kid, Huang En-Tzu who missed 2017, 2018 due to surgery. Maybe we might see him as the occasional 5th or 6th SP in the rotation this year.
Here’s Huang’s highlight vs NCAA All-Star. You might notice a few legit MLB prospects in this video, Jeren Kendall, Keston Hiura, Brendan McKay, Jake Burger just to named a few. https://youtu.be/js1nJoI9Ms8
There’s also a possibility setup man Cheng might return to starting role. Or maybe they already sort out a deal with former KBO’s LHP Wang Wei-Chung. Since the Brothers will have the overall number one draft order.
Who was CPBL’s last foreign position player before Wood?
– Felipe Lopez (2014) Brothers
– Jim Negrych (2014, 2015) Brothers
– Jaime Pedroza (2015) Brothers
– Felix Pie (2016) Uni-Lions
I remember Felix Pie signing with a CPBL team after a strong season in the KBO, but not hearing much about him thereafter. According to your archives, he fractured his ankle in his fifth CPBL game and was then released. I hope Eric Wood has better luck in Taiwan than Pie did.
I remember Jim Negrych who appears to have played semi-regularly in the CPBL over all or parts of two seasons. Wood looks like a better hitter than Negrych was at the time he joined the CPBL.
Former MLBer Delmon Young is currently leading the Venezuelan Winter League with 19 home runs. A CPBL team might want to give him a shot, if Young isn’t able to secure an MLB or NPB contract for 2019.
Yeah, it was unfortunate with Pie, so much potential for him to do well here. But due to the CPBL foreign players rule, the Uni-Lions just simply can not wait for him to return.
Yeah, on paper, Wood seems much better than Jim Negrych and Jaime Pedroza. His edge over Negrych and Pedroza would be he is able to play 3B, 1B and OF. Since the Brothers have several aging players in those position, young Hsu Chi-Hung (3B/1B) is in some serious slump and there’s some internal issues with another slugger Lin Chih-Sheng. Wood can cover those positions when those veteran players need to have a rest day, expect to see Wood doing a lot of alternating between 3B, LF and occasionally 1B in 2019.
http://www.cpbl.com.tw/players/person.html?&player_id=A044&teamno=E02 (Lin’s stats)
http://www.cpbl.com.tw/players/person.html?&player_id=H230&teamno=E02 (Hsu’s stats)
I still don’t think foreign positional players will become the norm in Taiwan. Whether Wood can stay or not is highly depended on how the Brothers’ domestic pitcher do in the starting rotation. I personally think they don’t have enough local SP depth to last the whole season.