2017 CPBL All-Star vs NPB All-Star Series
Gearing up to the 2017 WBC tournament, the CPBL All-Star has been invited to have two exhibition games against the Samurai Japan on February 28 and March 1. Here is why you should care about the Lamigo Monkeys’ rising super rookie 王柏融 (Wang Po-Jung).
All Eyes Are on 王柏融 (Wang Po-Jung)
The Lamigo Monkeys’ bat flipping rookie 王柏融 (Wang Po-Jung) just had a dominating first season in 2016, where he hit for .414/.476/.689 with the OPS+ of 171. At the same time, he set the single-season hits record with 200 hits in only 116 games and took home the CPBL 2016 MVP title and the Rookie of the Year award.
After Wang’s monster 2016 season, the Lamigo Monkeys immediately extended Wang’s contract to a 5-year deal with a 400% salary increase. (Here’s an infographic about monthly salary after winning the Rookie of the Year award)
王柏融 (Wang Po-Jung) CPBL Stats
*Bold = CPBL Record (For more daily CPBL stats visit my.cpblstats.com)
The Future for Wang Po-Jung, CPBL, NPB, MLB?
The 23-year-old super rookie mentioned several times in public that he would love to play in the overseas market if there is an opportunity to do so. Ideally, he would like to go to the NPB first, then move to the MLB at a later stage.
However, he would consider MLB first if there is a 40-man roster with no less than a Double-A offer from the MLB organisations.
During the 2016 season, several MLB scouts had been spotted at the CPBL games to watch Wang Po-Jung. According to the current CPBL posting rule, Wang Po-Jung will be eligible for international free agency after the 2018 season with the permission of his team.
With the Lamigo Monkeys boycotting the 2017 WBC Tournament, baseball fans will get to see Wang Po-Jung face higher-level pitchers in this exhibition series against the Japanese National Team.
When asked which NPB pitchers he look forward to facing in the upcoming exhibition games, Wang named Yomiuri Giants’ Tomoyuki Sugano (菅野智之) and the Rakuten Golden Eagles’ Takahiro Norimoto (則本昂大).
Update: Wang Po-Jung Proved He Can Hit NPB Elites
In two games against the Japanese National Team, Wang Po-Jung proved that he could hang with pitchers from a higher level. Facing the NPB elites, Wang went 4-for-5 with 1 home run, 3 RBI and drew 3 walks in two games.
Wang went 3-for-3 in Game One facing Takahiro Norimoto (則本昂大), Kazuhisa Makita (牧田和久) and Toshiya Okada (岡田俊哉).
In Game Two, he went 1-for-2 against Tomoyuki Sugano (菅野智之) and drew walks facing Ayumu Ishikawa (石川步) and Shintaro Fujinami (藤浪晉太郎).
For those people wondering whether Wang Po-Jung can handle NPB pitchers or not in the past, now they have the answer. The videos below are Wang Po-Jung’s hitting highlight from CPBL vs NPB exhibition games.
Collection of 王柏融 Wang Po-Jung HR/ bat flips