Dragons Begin 2019 Training Camp
The CPBL expansion team, the Wei Chuan Dragons have officially kicked off their 2019 training camp on August 17 at Douliu Stadium. For that weekend, fans and the media had the opportunity to get a glimpse of the new Dragons’ squad and its training facility.
Dragons’ Team Captain: Lin Wang-Wei
The Dragons named 31-year-old outfielder 林旺衛 (Lin Wang-Wei) as the team captain. Lin was active in the CPBL from 2014 to 2018 playing for the EDA Rhinos and Fubon Guardians.
After leaving the Guardians’ organisation at the end of 2018, the Dragons approached and signed him as a free agent in June.
“Lin has previous experiences in professional baseball,” said the Dragons’ manager. “His personality trait is quite suitable to lead the young Dragons’ players.”
Old Dragons vs New Dragons Intersquad Game
To entertain the fans, the Dragons put together a three-inning intersquad game. It involved the former Dragons’ players from 20 years ago (Old Dragons) taking on the newly drafted Dragons’ prospects (New Dragons).
Munenori Kawasaki in Action
The former NPB / MLB infielder Munenori Kawasaki was signed by the Dragons as both coach and player back in July. The fans were fortunate enough to see Kawaski in action during the Dragons’ intersquad game.
Munenori entered as the pitcher and faced three hitters in the first and second inning. After that, he remained as a shortstop and had a chance to hit in the third inning.
Dragons to Install TrackMan System
After adopting Douliu stadium as their farm team training facility, the Dragons started the first phase of the renovation on several key areas such as the indoor training facility, weight training room and the clubhouse.
According to the Dragons’ general manager, the team is also planning to install the TrackMan system in the future to help with data gathering.
“Before we install the TrackMan system, we would have to change the existing safety net,” said the Dragons’ general manager David Wu.
Upcoming Practice Games
According to the Dragons’ general manager, the team will start playing practice games from the middle of September. The Dragons are set to play against the Cuban national team, Adelaide Bite and Taiwan’s industrial league teams.
Based on the previous news reports, the Cuban National Team series will be around October, and the Adelaide Bite series is at November.
According to #WCDragons' general manager, the Dragons' have arranged exhibition games against the Cuban national team in October and ABL's Adelaide Bite in November. The team is also in contact with NPB and KBO teams as well. #CPBL pic.twitter.com/CtJAOZDYCY
— CPBL STATS (@GOCPBL) July 12, 2019
Dragons in CPBL Winter League
The Dragons have shown interest to participate in the Asia Winter Baseball League (CPBL Winter League) at the end of the year. According to the CPBL commissioner, the 2019 winter league is still in the planning stage, but they welcome the Dragons to participate in that.
Notes: Asia Winter Baseball League usually happen at the end of the season. CPBL, NPB and KBO tend to send their prospects to Taiwan for a month to give them more game time during the off-season.
Manny Ramirez Not Coming
Back in July, there were rumours the Dragons were planning to sign Manny Ramirez as their hitting coach. However, the Dragons’ general manager told the media on August 17 it is no longer happening.
#WCDragons' general manager confirmed Manny Ramirez will be in Taiwan in August. The team will have the discussion with Ramirez about the Dragons' guest coach opportunity. #CPBL pic.twitter.com/ewTIumOaTp
— CPBL STATS (@GOCPBL) July 13, 2019
2019 Draftees Signing Progress
Being an expansion team, the Wei Chuan Dragons went 28 rounds deep and drafted a total of 32 players from the 2019 CPBL draft. Out of those 32 draftees, 29 of them have been signed so far by the Dragons.
As for the remaining three players? According to the Dragons’ general manager, the team are still in talks with their agents. If they are not able to finalise the contract, maybe trading them to other teams is another option.
- 1st round – 6th overall – RHP – 徐若熙 (Hsu Je-Hsi)
- 2nd round – 7th overall – Infielder – 李凱威 (Li Kai-Wei)
- 3rd round – 18th overall – Outfielder – 郭天信 (Kuo Tien-Shen)
Notes: The Dragons were given draft priority, they were able to draft twice in the first four round.