We’re about 2 weeks into the 2017 CPBL season. The team at CPBL STATS has put together an overall review of the teams and also listed some key players that should be on your watch list this season. [Here’s our quick guide to CPBL 2017 1st-half season]
CPBL 2017 Overall Power Ranking (11/April/2017)
Note: Foreign = Foreign Players.
Each team in CPBL is allowed to have 3 in the top team. For more foreign players information, here’s the latest foreign players update volume 22.
王柏融 (Wang Po-Jung) OF – The super rookie who broke all the CPBL records in 2016 season, begins 2017 pre-season with the hot bat. With 2 homers against NPB’s Chiba Lotte Marines and another one against NPB’s Takahiro Norimoto during the spring training.
林泓育 (Lin Hung-Yu) DH/C – The power hitting catcher will most likely taking on the DH role in 2017 season. In 2016, Lin has put up a monster record of .400/.458/.665 with OPS+ 161.
Zeke Spruill (SP) – Former Diamondback RHP. Best known for his impressive outing against the Korean national team during the Premier 12 tournament. Spruill spent the 2016 season in KBO with the KIA Tigers with the record of 5.27 ERA, 1.68 WHIP over 152 innings. [Video of Zeke Spruill’s CPBL debut]
朱俊祥 (Chu Chun-Hsiang) RP – After being on the disabled list for the past 2 seasons, the flame-throwing RHP will start his 2017 season on the top team roster. Chu was able to hit 153kph (95mph) on the radar before the car accident. During the 2017 spring training, Chu used his 150kph (94mph) fastball to announce he is ready to get back to the mount. [Read more about Chu Chun-Hsiang here]
Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions
潘武雄 (Pan Wu-Hsiung) OF – With the veteran first baseman 高國慶 (Kao Kuo-Ching) missed the season opener due to discomfort in the lower-back. Uni-Lions must now rely on Pan Wu-Hsiung’s experience to lead the young Lions in this 2017 lineup. Pan, the 2-time CPBL batting champion has a history of injuries, it is extremely important that Pan keep up a good physical condition this season, as Lions can not afford to lose him in the lineup. [Read about Pan Wu-Hsiung 2017 contract here]
鄭鎧文 (Cheng Kai-Wen) OF – The young Lions slugger broke the rookie single-season HR record in 2016 season with 24 home runs. However, he also led the league with 119 strikeouts. According to Lions manager, Cheng has been working with hitting coach Bill Springman this spring training with the goal of improving his plate discipline. The young slugger will be batting in the middle of the Lions lineup in 2017. [Video of Cheng’s 5th HR of 2017 season]
Alfredo Figaro (SP) – Lions have signed the hard-throwing former NPB Orix Buffaloes and KBO Samsung Lions as their #1 starter. Figaro spent his 2015 season in KBO with the stats of 3.38 ERA, 1.24 WHIP over 165 innings. [Here’s Figaro 6K, 5.1 outing]
陳傑憲 (Chen Chieh-Hsien) SS/2B – With Chen’s impressive performance in the Samurai Japan exhibition games which he had two hits against the Japanese ace Sugano Tomoyuki. The 2016 2nd round draft pick will take over the primary shortstop spot for Uni-Lions in the 2017 season.
林哲瑄 (Lin Che-Hsuan) OF – The former Boston Red Sox is definitely the best outfielder in CPBL. The cannon-armed center fielder has a huge defensive range will most likely contribute to 80% of the CPBL outfield highlight reel this 2017 season. [Video of Lin’s 2016 highlight reel]
高國輝 (Kao Kuo-Hui) OF – After a rather “under performed” WBC performance (14 AB, 4 H, 6 K, 0.286 AVG). The 3-time CPBL home run champion is seeking to defend his title from other sluggers in the league. However a few game into the season, Kao has been sidelined for at least 2 weeks for an unexpected wrist injury. An unfortunate bumpy start for the home run champion, but we need to remember Kao was able to take home the 2014 home run title after missing out the 1st-half season. Let’s see if he can copy the half-season HR King achievement.
Mike Loree (SP) – The 2015 triple crowns winner will return to CPBL for his 5th seasons. In 2016, Loree had a dominating season with 3.98 ERA, 1.35 WHIP over 190 innings. Loree is currently listed as day-to-day due to abdominal muscle strain.
陳仕朋 (Chen Shih-Peng) (SP/RP) – The 18-year-old LHP was drafted in the 2nd round in 2016. The young LHP got a deceptive delivery with decent moving fastball hovering around 140kph to 145kph. According to Guardians manager, the current plan is develop Chen Shih-Peng into a starting pitcher. With the current string of injuries at the Guardians camp, maybe we will see the highly touted Guardians prospect in the top team this season. [Here’s Chen in action in CPBL farm team]
蔣智賢 (Chiang Chih-Hsien) 3B – Drafted in the 1st round by Brothers back in 2015. This will be Chiang 3rd seasons in CPBL. The former Red Sox/ Mariners AAA farmhand finished the 2016 season with a dominating record of .402/.455/.738 while lead the league with 176 OPS+
林智勝 (Lin Chih-Sheng) 2B – The 14-year CPBL veteran is one of the most dangerous hitter in the league. Lin was the first player in CPBL to reached 30/30 back in 2015 season with Lamigo Monkeys. After filing for free agency at the off season of 2015, Lin signed the largest contract in CPBL history with Chinatrust Brothers. Lin Chih-Sheng finished the 2016 season with the record of .337/.420/.648
鄭凱文 (Cheng Kai-Wen) SP – Two weeks into the 2017 season, Brothers domestic pitching staff seems lost. The only consistent domestic pitcher is the ace Cheng Kai-Wen, who earned his first win of the season on 29th March against Guardians with the strong performance of 7K, 1BB over 7 innings.
陳子豪 (Chen Tzu-Hao) OF – 2017 season will be 21-year-old Chen’s chance to shine. After 4 seasons as Brothers backup outfielder, Chen has been named by head skipper Cory Snyder as the starting right fielder. Chen finished his 2016 season with outstanding result of .350/.410/.554 with 15 home runs.