It’s a big deal winning the triple crown. But can you imagine a 24 years old kid winning the quadruple crown title? For Lamigo Monkeys 王柏融 (Wang Po-Jung), he will most likely become the first Taiwanese player to earn this prestige personal achievement in 28 years of CPBL history.
Quadruple Crown winner before Wang Po-Jung
If anyone told me that a CPBL sophomore will be taking home the quadruple crown title before the 2017 season, I would take it as nonsense. As it is such a prestige title and there has been only one person in 28 years of CPBL history that’s able to achieved that.
The man with Superhuman strength
Jay Kirkpatrick, also known as “The man with superhuman strength” to many baseball fans in Taiwan was signed by the Sinon Bulls back in 1998. Kirkpatrick quickly dominate the league in all hitting categories with the stats of .387/.516/.732 while lead the league in hits (137), home runs (31) and RBI (101). He finished the 1998 season winning the quadruple crown and was named the MVP of the year.
Despite his monster season in 1998, Kirkpatrick wasn’t able to repeat his success in 1999. As the other team has figured out his weakness and started pitching low and inside. Kirkpatrick finished the 1999 season with disappointing stats of .234/.362/.331 with 3 home runs and was eventually released by the Bulls.
New Quadruple Crown in the making
With only one game remain in the 2017 season, Wang Po-Jung currently dominating the individual batting leaderboard. Based on the latest stats on October 9th, it is safe to say Wang pretty much have the batting title, total hits and RBI title in the bag.
The only uncertainty is the home run title, where teammates 朱育賢 (Chu Yu-Hsien) is currently trailing by 3 and still have a chance to catch up in the last game.
Wang Po-Jung 2016 and 2017 stats
|Wang Po-Jung Stats||G||PA||AVG||OBP||SLG||IsoP||OPS+|
If we take a look into his 2016 and 2017 performance, we could see that he is transforming himself into a slugger. What’s even surprising is that he did with without sacrifice his batting average and OBP.
His IsoP increases from .275 to .289. This doesn’t seems like a huge deal, but if we dig deeper and compare with the league IsoP, we can see there’s actually a dip in league IsoP average from .169 to .154.
— CPBL STATS (@GOCPBL) September 21, 2017
No more juiced ball? Not a problem
In 2016, rumor has it that the ball elastic coefficient was switched to a higher number, which directly influenced the league overall hitting stats across all categories.
In 2017, The elastic coefficient is switched back to normal, and we can see a dip in overall offensive stats in the league. Many former “slugger” has returned to normal this season, but that’s not the case for Wang Po-Jung. As Wang’s IsoP is currently ranked 2nd in the league, just slightly behind teammates 朱育賢 (Chu Yu-Hsien) who’s sitting at .303
Are we going to see the first Taiwanese player winning the quadruple crown title this year? We’ll find out on after Wednesday.