Giants Signed Lee Chen-Hsun
On January 12, TSNA reported that the San Francisco Giants have signed 20-year-old Taiwanese right-hander 李晨薰 (Lee Chen-Hsun) as an international free agent. A signing press conference is set to take place on January 18.
According to multiple media outlet, Lee Chen-Hsun’s signing bonus is 650,000 USD plus an additional $150,000 as tuition allowance. The total package is worth $800,000.
According ETtoday, scouts from MLB and NPB organisations were in attendance last night to watch Team Taiwan's 20-year-old university pitcher 李晨薰 (Lee Chen-Hsun).
MLB: Phillies, Giants, Cubs, Pirates, Yankees, Reds, Tigers, Mets, Brewers.
NPB: SoftBank Hawks, Yomiuri Giants. pic.twitter.com/SmogP5XGQd
— CPBL STATS – ♥️ #95, Mina (@GOCPBL) October 24, 2022
At a very young age, Lee Chen-Hsun displayed plenty of potential in baseball and pretty much grew up under the constant media spotlight. Since junior high school, whenever Lee was on the mound, he would attract plenty of scouts from MLB, NPB and CPBL teams.
Year after year, Lee Chen-Hsun just kept throwing harder and harder, from registering 148 kph (92 mph) as a 15-year-old, then clocking 153 kph (95.1 mph) at the age of 17.
[Taiwanese high school prospect] 15 years old 李晨薰 (Li Chen-Hsun) 192cm, 78kg. Fastball tops at 147kph (91mph). Here's his 6.2 innings, 7K outing against Japan's Osaka All-Star. #TWHSBaseball pic.twitter.com/EOkmhYgYC4
— CPBL STATS – ♥️ #95, Mina (@GOCPBL) December 25, 2017
At one stage, there were rumours that MLB teams were prepared to offer Lee over one million dollars in signing bonus.
However, Lee Chen-Hsun hurt himself in 2019 and underwent Tommy John surgery at the end of the year. After almost 14 months of rehabilitation, Lee eventually returned to the mound in March 2021 and attracted scouts from 12 MLB and CPBL teams.
With a healthy elbow, Lee Chen-Hsun’s velocity returned as well. In June 2022, in a practice game against the CPBL farm team, he reached 154 kph (95.7 mph) with his fastball. In October 2022, at the U-23 Baseball World Cup, in front of scouts from over ten MLB and NPB teams, he topped out at 154 kph again.
20-year-old university pitcher 李晨薰 (Lee Chen-Hsun) was clocked throwing 154 kph (95.7 mph) last night in an exhibition game against the CPBL farm team.
— CPBL STATS – ♥️ #95, Mina (@GOCPBL) June 14, 2022
Quick Profile on Lee Chen-Hsun
- DOB: January 14, 2002
- Height: 193 cm
- Weight: 93 kg
- Fastball topped out at 154 kph
- Slider (~140 kph), Changeup, Splitter, Curveball
- 2018 U-18 Asian Baseball Championship
- 2019 U-18 Baseball World Cup
- 2021 U-23 Baseball World Cup
- 2022 U-23 Baseball World Cup
A lot of #MLB and #CPBL scouts watching 16 years old Taiwanese high school prospect 李晨薰 (Li Chen-Hsun) pitching today. Li's fastball is hitting 149kph (93mph). #TWHSBaseball (📷via TDPBS Facebook Page) pic.twitter.com/HIlCTZJQ6l
— CPBL STATS – ♥️ #95, Mina (@GOCPBL) May 23, 2018
First Taiwanese Amateur Signing in Giants History
While the San Francisco Giants is no stranger to having Taiwanese players in their organisation with players like Huang Wei-Chieh, Teng Kai-Wei, Jhang Jin-De and Tan Shin-Ming. But this signing of Lee Chen-Hsun is the technically the first direct Taiwanese amateur signing in the Giants franchise history.
Some might considered Tan Shin-Ming, who spent 1974 with the Giants Single-A team and posted a 4.68 ERA and 1.49 WHIP over 73 innings, as the first Taiwanese amateur signing, but Tan is technically on some sort of “exchange / development program” to the Giants minor league system.