CPBL Foreign Players Updates Volume #301

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TSG Hawks News: Deunte Heath

On November 14, the TSG Hawks officially announced the signing of four foreign pitchers: Deunte Heath, Kento Onodera, Yuichi Shiota, and Jack Fox, for the upcoming 2023 Asia Winter Baseball League (AWB or CPBL Winter League), which will begin on November 25.

According to the Hawks, the purpose of signing these four foreign pitchers is to strengthen the team’s pitching depth, as the Hawks’ pitching staff has already played a full season of baseball in the CPBL minor league. This will also give the management team the opportunity to evaluate their performance as potential foreign player candidates for the 2024 CPBL season.

The 38-year-old Deunte Heath is a seasoned veteran who played in both the MLB system and the NPB. He had a brief stint in the Major League with the Chicago White Sox for the 2012-13 season and logged 9.2 innings.

Between the 2014-15 and 2018-19 seasons, Deunte Heath was active in Japan’s NPB, pitching for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp and the Seibu Lions, respectively. In four NPB seasons, mostly as a reliever, he compiled a 2.66 ERA and 1.15 WHIP with 181 strikeouts over 162.1 innings.

Leading up to the signing with the TSG Hawks, Deunte Heath was pitching in the Mexican League for the Saraperos de Saltillo. In the 2023 season, he posted a 2.91 ERA and 1.27 WHIP over 46.1 innings of relief work.

TSG Hawks News: Kento Onodera

Kento Onodera (小野寺賢人), the 25-year-old Japanese right-hander, has a fastball velocity topping out at 148 kph. In the 2023 season, he was active in the Japanese Independent League (Baseball Challenge League). In over 21 games, Kento Onodera started 18 of them and recorded an impressive 2.92 ERA with 114 strikeouts over 129.2 innings, earning him the Baseball Challenge League’s Pitcher of the Year Award.

TSG Hawks News: Yuichi Shiota

Yuichi Shiota (塩田裕一), the 26-year-old Japanese right-hander with a fastball exceeding 150 kph, has experience playing in various leagues like Japan’s Industrial League, Japan’s Independent League, Australian Baseball League, and the USA’s Frontier League (Independent League).

During the 2022 offseason, he went to Australia to play in the Australian Baseball League for the Perth Heat and posted a 2.92 ERA and 1.37 WHIP over 12.1 innings. In 2023, he signed with the New Jersey Jackals of the Frontier League and recorded a 4.78 ERA and 1.31 WHIP over 43.1 innings.

TSG Hawks News: Jack Fox

We won’t be talking much about Jack Fox, the 26-year-old right-hander, in this blog post because we already wrote about his signing back on October 10. At that time, the Hawks confirmed the signing but did not make an official announcement. You can read the signing news for Jack Fox [here].

According to the Hawks, both Jack Fox and Yuichi Shiota have already arrived in Taiwan and reported to the team’s training facility.

The Hawks are scheduled to play 17 games in the 2023 Asia Winter Baseball League. Their first game will be on November 25 against Japan’s JABA All-Star at Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium.


  1. I guess I can understand the Hawks trying to develop domestic pitchers in their first minor league season, but I thought it would have made sense to sign a couple of U.S. Indy-A pitchers to see if they could develop at least one of them into a inexpensive third or fourth foreign pitcher for 2024.

    The team saves a few thousand dollars a month on each of the foreign pitchers signed to pitch in the winter league, but the odds aren’t good that any of the four will contribute much to the major league team in 2024. Heath maybe if used exclusively as a reliever, but he’s now in his late 30s.

    • Just like the Dragons with their winter league foreign pitchers, I highly doubt the Hawks will keep many of them for the 2024 season.

      They might keep 1 foreign pitcher as a reliever in my opinion. But again, it all depends on their performance in this winter league.

      • Deunte Heath hasn’t make an appearance in the winter league yet. Both Kento Onodera and Jack Fox seem normal / average so far. Yuichi Shiota’s command was a bit all over the place. But again, very small sample size.


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