Sun Yi-Lei Signs With Nippon-Ham Fighters

On September 29, the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters announced the signing of 18-year-old Taiwanese hard-throwing right-hander 孫易磊 (Sun Yi-Lei). An official signing press conference will take place on October 16 in Taipei City.

At the time of writing this blog post, the Fighters did not announce the signing bonus, but various Taiwanese media outlets have revealed the contract amount via their sources.

According to UDN, the signing bonus is 630,000 USD. Liberty Sports and ETtoday reported that the overall package is around $800,000.

In an interview with UDN, Sun Yi-Lei told the media that even though he received multiple deals from MLB organisations, one unnamed MLB team even offered an $800,000 signing bonus. Still, in the end, he decided to join the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters because he liked the Fighters’ development plan the most, and the team showed a lot of care and consideration to him and his family.

Leading to the signing with the Fighters, Sun Yi-Lei has been under the spotlight, with scouts from MLB and NPB tracking his every movement. At the beginning of September, Sun Yi-Lei represented Taiwan in the 2023 WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup, where he posted a 0.50 ERA with 15 strikeouts over 14 innings of work against Australia, USA, Japan and Puerto Rico.

Sun Yi-Lei throws an overpowering fastball with his velocity topped out at 156 kph (97 mph). He also has a slider, changeup and splitter in his pitching repertoire.

Third Taiwanese Player in Fighters Franchise History

With Sun Yi-Lei’s signing with the Fighters, he will be the team’s third Taiwanese player in the franchise history.

  • Yoh Daikan (2006-2016)
  • Wang Po-Jung (2019-Present)
  • Sun Yi-Lei (2023-Present)


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