New CPBL Half-Season Home Run Record
On June 29, the Lamigo Monkeys’ 朱育賢 (Chu Yu-Hsien) belted his 22nd home run of the season and at the same time set the CPBL record for the most home runs in a half-season.
Apart from the half-season home run record (22), Chu also set the half-season record for most RBI (73) and most home runs hit in a single month (11).
#Lamigo Monkeys' 朱育賢 (Chu Yu-Hsien) launched his 22nd home run of the season. Chu, aka "The Dimples Cannon" set the #CPBL record for the most home runs in a half-season. 💪 (Previous record holder was the Eagles' Denio Gonzalez in 1996 with 21HR) pic.twitter.com/jpjPEXEsHz
— CPBL STATS (@GOCPBL) June 30, 2019
“Chu is a beast, putting up these monster stats in just half-season,” said the Monkeys’ manager. “He really deserves to have these achievements being one of the hardest working players.”
“Records are there for people to break, I just focus on what I do and play hard when I’m on the field,” said Chu Yu-Hsien. “I tried to simplified things, waiting for a pitch that I like and hit it as hard as I can.”
Potential 2019 CPBL MVP: Chu Yu-Hsien
After 60 games, Chu Yu-Hsien appears to be one of the top contenders as the 2019 CPBL MVP and is likely to set even more CPBL records if he continues to hit like this in the first-half season.
Just how scary is Chu Yu-Hsien this season? Here are hitting his stats and how it stacked up against the rest of the league.
- AVG: .394 (#1)
- OBP: .436 (#2)
- SLG: .730 (#1)
- wRC+: 198 (#1)
- HR: 22 (#1)
- H: 95 (#1)
- RBI: 73 (#1)
- R: 56 (#2)
Previous Record Holder: Denio Gonzalez
The previous CPBL half-season home run record was set by the China Times Eagles’ Denio Gonzalez in 1996 with 21 home runs. (Notes: He is also known as Denny Gonzalez during his time in the MLB)
Before coming to Taiwan, Gonzalez played five seasons in the MLB and two seasons in the NPB. He finished the 1996 CPBL season as one of the most dominating hitters slashing .309/.423/.612 with 27 home runs and 173 wRC+.
Despite his monster season, the Eagles did not bring back Gonzalez for 1997. Gonzalez went on and played a few more seasons in the Dominican Professional Baseball League and the Mexican League.
After hanging up the cleats, he moved on to the coaching role and led the Dominican Republic’s national team in multiple international tournaments since 2010. Below is one of Denio Gonzalez’s latest sighting at the WBSC’s U-23 Baseball World Cup against Team Taiwan.
I think he’s going to regress some since he’s probably not going to hit for that much power in the second half of the season and his walk rate decline looks troubling.
He will probably not get a lot of good pitch in the second half season. Will probably prefer to walk him rather face him directly. But it all depends on the performance of Lin Hung-Yu and Chen Chun-Hsiu. If they continues to be hot in the second half season, then pitchers will be forced to face Chu.
As for Chu’s walk rates, that’s on-par (7-9%) with all the top tier hitters historically speaking. If you look at the data from 2013 to 2019. Only 3 out 14 players who have over 150 wRC+ also have BB% over 10%. Most of them tend to fall under 7-9% range. Right now, Chu is pretty much trading walk for hits. Should he be more conservative in his hitting approach maybe we can see it goes up to around 11-12%.
Chu has really blossomed this year in his age 27 season. It’s nice to see someone step forward to take up Wang Po-Jung’s spot as the CPBL’s top hitter.
He is the most successful case coming out of CPBL tryout. As most player drafted via tryout are just roster filler. But not the case for Chu.
Also, apparently he is being targeted by several NPB teams since last year. They even sent scouts to watch him earlier this seasons. So would be interesting to see if there’s going to be some movement this offseason. But I guess NPB teams are still evaluating on this “Wang Po-Jung” experiment so far.