Quick guide to CPBL 2017 season & fun facts (1st-half season)
The 1st-half of the 2017 Taiwanese baseball season will start on the 25th of March with 2016 CPBL Champion Fubon Guardians (formally known as EDA Rhinos) vs Chinatrust Brothers. Yes, we do split season here in Taiwan.
2016 Taiwan Series review
Despite losing the first 2 games to Chinatrust Brothers. EDA Rhinos bounced back and won the next 4 games to take home the 2016 Taiwan Series Championship. It’s the perfect ending to close the chapter on EDA Rhinos. (EDA Rhinos was sold to Fubon Financial Holdings in November 2016)
Ways to watch CPBL games (Paid service or free online streaming)
- CPBL.TV (Paid service, including Live stream & VOD archived games)
- Lamigo.TV (Free – Only available during Monkeys home games)
- Lions.TV (Free – Only available during Lions home games)
- Brothers.TV (Taiwan residents only – Free – Only available during Brothers home games)
- Fubon.TV (Free – Only available during Guardians home games)
- FOX Sports (Lions Home Games)
- VL Sports (Brothers & Guardians Home Games)
- Eleven Sports (Monkeys Home Games)
- ELTA Sports (All CPBL Games)
Quick fun facts for this 2017 season
- Chinatrust Brothers 16-year veteran and CPBL poster child 彭政閔 (Peng Cheng-Min) has achieved at least 0.300 AVG and 0.400 OBP for 16 consecutive seasons. Will the 39-year-old aging veteran be able to do it again in 2017 to extend the recorder further?
- Lamigo Monkeys’ bat flipping super rookie 王柏融 (Wang Po-Jung) had a dominating season in 2016 where he hits for .414/.476/.689 with the OPS+ of 171. At the same time, setting the single season hits record of 200 hits in just 116 games. After the 2016 season, Lamigo Monkeys immediately extended Wang’s contract to a 5-year deal with a 400% salary increase to tie down the next CPBL superstar. Will he able to continue his hot hitting in 2017? Here’s a video of his signature batflip and also his 2-run homer against Samurai Japan.
- The recently retired Taiwan’s national hitter 陳金鋒 (Chen Chin-Feng) will take up the role of vice GM for Fubon Guardians. What can we expect from Chen in his new role with Fubon Guardians?
- Brothers veteran shortstop 王勝偉 (Wang Seng-Wei) his nickname is Magneto. Wang is about 6 HBP away from breaking the CPBL HBP record.
- One of the largest Taiwanese corporation Fubon Financial Holdings has decided to enter CPBL. What can we expect from this marketing powerhouse?
- Two of Uni-Lions highly touted prospects 蘇智傑 (Su Chih-Chieh) & 陳傑憲 (Chen Chieh-Hsien). After having a full spring training season, will they be able secure a spot in the starting lineup this year? Will they live up to the hype being the #1 & #2 draft pick for Uni-Lions. Here’s a video of 陳傑憲 (Chen Chieh-Hsien) played against Samurai Japan in an exhibition game.
- Fubon Guardians’ 高國輝 (Kao Kuo-Hui) will he take home the home run champion title for the 4th season in a row?
- After failing to secure the Taiwan Series 3 years in a row. All the Chinatrust Brothers management team has been fired during the off-season. In December 2016, Brothers have announced a brand new management team headed by the former Mariners AAA coach Cory Snyder as the head skipper. Joining Snyder is the former Mariners pitching coach Rick Waits and Tommy Cruz, former batting coach for the Mariners system.
- 3 out of 4 teams has announced their new uniforms for 2017 season. Read more about it in the link below Lamigo Monkeys announcement. Fubon Guardians announcement. Uni-Lions announcement
Former MLB Players in 2017 CPBL season
2017 CPBL season will have the following former MLB players
- 胡金龍 (Hu Chin-Lung) – Dodgers
- 林哲瑄 (Lin Che-Hsuan) – Red Sox
- 羅嘉仁 (Lo Chia-Jen) – Astros
- 倪福德 (Ni Fu-Te) – Tigers
- Chris Seddon – Mariners
- Scott Richmond – Blue Jays
- Cory Snyder (Coach) – Indians
- Rick Waits (Coach) – Indians
- Alfredo Figaro – Brewers
- Darin Downs – Tigers
- Zeke Spruill – Diamondbacks
Former well known MLB players in previous CPBL season
Taiwan has been one of the place where former MLB players come to extend their professional career. Including some of the high profile names like:
- Manny Ramirez
- Freddy Garcia
- Jose Contreras
Or going back even further with:
- Pascual Perez
- Don August
- Melvin Mora
- Carney Lansford
Former CPBL players in USA media
- Mark Grant – Color commentator for the San Diego Padres’ television broadcasts.
- Nelson Figueroa – Pre/post-game analyst for SNY Mets broadcasts
2017 CPBL season will have the following former NPB players
- Alfredo Figaro – Orix Buffaloes
- 鄭凱文 (Cheng Kai-Wen) – Hanshin Tigers
- 林威助 (Lin Wei-Chu) – Hanshin Tigers
- Chris Seddon – Yomiuri Giants
- 蕭一傑 (Hsiao I-Chieh) – Hanshin Tigers
- 林英傑 (Lin Ying-Chieh) – Rakuten Golden Eagles
- Ken Ray – Rakuten Golden Eagles
2017 CPBL season will have the following former KBO players
- Alfredo Figaro – Samsung Lions
- Mike Loree – KT Wiz
- Zeke Spruill – KIA Tigers
- Chris Seddon – SK Wyverns
- Ken Ray – SK Wyverns
Foreign players in Taiwan
For the last few seasons the league’s policy has allowed each team to have up to 3 foreign players. Generally speaking, foreign players are mostly from the AAA level with some MLB experience.
A lot of time you’ll see foreign players is using CPBL as a springboard into getting a job in Japan or Korea. The salary structure is around 20,000 USD up to 55,000 USD per month not including post game bonuses.
Here’s the complete 2017 CPBL foreign players update
CPBL Brief History
CPBL was established in 1990 with a 4 teams structure, after several expansions in 1997 Taiwan reached record high of 11 active teams. However, due to a string of game-fixing scandals CPBL is now reduced down to 4 teams since 2009.
Each team plays 120 games with 60 games each in the first- and second-half season. The half-season winner is eligible to advance to post-season. Each team is allowed to carry a 26-man active roster, including foreign players. Each team is allowed to register three foreign players on their active roster and play two simultaneously on the field.
August 31st is the trade deadline and the last day to register foreign players for the remaining of the season. Local players acquired after the trade deadline through waiver are not eligible to play in the post-season games.
The FA system was implemented in the 2010 season. Players with 9 years of service will be granted free agency. Players with 3 years of service will be granted eligible for international free agency status with consent of the player’s club.
Baseball Stadiums in Taiwan
There are currently 18 professional baseball stadiums around the island of Taiwan. Full listing of all professional stadiums in Taiwan. There’s pictures if you click on it.
- Tainan Stadium Built during the Japan Era back in 1930, is one of the oldest still active professional stadium in Taiwan. Currently the home for Uni-President Lions, it is probably the best stadium to watch if you’re watching a TV broadcast, as it has cameras mounted on the roof of the stadium, able to see every single play without the safety net blocking the view.
- If you like to look at Lions’ players up close and personal, Tainan stadium probably has the best seating zones in the whole league.
- The famous “Gold Zone” – with only 12 seats – is behind the home plate on the ground level next to the player dugout. Fans are basically sitting on the field.
- The “Diamond Zone”, with 180 seats, is along the first base line next to the Lions bullpen.
Newer, Trendier Stadium
- Taoyuan International Stadium Home for the Lamigo Monkeys. They’re the only team that plays all 60 home games in one stadium. Because of that, the team is able to invest heavily into the stadium. This has included improvements such as the sound system, DJ booth, restaurant area, and an LED system that rings the stadium. The organisation is very fan-focused in the stadium and in their marketing strategy. There’s concerts after the game and plenty of special themed events throughout the season. Here’s a video of what going to a game in Taoyuan stadium feels like
Great Environment Stadium
- Hualien Stadium Tiny simple stadium located on Taiwan’s east coast (the majority of the population lives on the West coast). Hualien Stadium is probably the best stadium in Taiwan in terms of the scenery, with the Central Mountain Range literally in the background.
3 of the 4 teams have announced their new uniforms for the 2017 seasons. With new uniforms comes with new merchandise for the fans.