Tommy John Surgery for Yeh Chia-Chi
On March 4, the Rakuten Monkeys announced their hard-throwing left-hander 葉家淇 (Yeh Chia-Chi) is slated to undergo Tommy John surgery. According to the Monkeys’ general manager, the 22-year-old prospect will miss the entire 2020 CPBL season.
“He started experiencing elbow discomfort towards the end of 2019 season”, said the team’s trainer. “Although he underwent treatments, his condition did not improve, that is why the team decided to go the surgery route.”
— CPBL STATS (@GOCPBL) August 3, 2019
Flame-Throwing Unpolished Gem
In 2015, the Lamigo Monkeys drafted Yeh Chia-Chi in the third round and signed him for $100,000 USD with $20,000 rookie salary and $34,000 in incentives.
Over the next few seasons, Yeh spent most of his time in the farm league with limited first-team opportunities. During that period, he pitched a total of 37 innings with a 9.97 ERA and 2.14 WHIP.
葉家淇 (Yeh Chia-Chi)'s strikeout sequence: 132kph slider, 126kph curve, 152kph fastball,154kph (96mph) fastball. The 22-year-old lefty is one of the top prospects the Monkeys are trying to develop into a starting pitcher. #CPBL #Lamigo pic.twitter.com/vT0RSvzo1Y
— CPBL STATS (@GOCPBL) July 18, 2019
Despite the results, a few things that stood out was Yeh Chia-Chi’s fastball velocity and his ability to get strikeouts. Yeh’s fastball can reach 157kph (97.6mph) and a 10.2 in K/9.
Fans often described Yeh Chia-Chi as an unpolished gem. At this stage, Yeh has no control over his pitches. He throws extremely hard, but without consistent accuracy. In 42 innings of work, Yeh issued 39 walks, which was the cause of his bloated stats.