CPBL Foreign Players Updates Volume #274
TSG Hawks News: Shungo Fukunaga
CPBL expansion team, the TSG Hawks, have signed their first foreign player in their franchise history. On June 7, the Hawks announced the signing of Shungo Fukunaga (福永春吾) for the 2023 minor league season.
Leading up to the signing with the TSG Hawks, Shungo Fukunaga, the 29-year-old Japanese right-hander, has been pitching for the Taichung City Baseball Team in Taiwan’s Industrial League (semi-pro league).
The Taichung City baseball team faced the TSG Hawks in an exhibition game on June 5. Shungo Fukunaga was the starting pitcher of Taichung City and allowed one run on four hits and struck out six over five innings of work. Fukunaga’s velocity reached 151 kph (93.9 mph) that game.
Hawks to Evaluate Potential Foreign Players for 2024
According to the TSG Hawks general manager, they signed Shungo Fukunaga until the end of 2023. The team have been closely monitoring Fukunaga since May, and they have high expectations for him.
“We will use the remaining of the 2023 minor league season to evaluate all the potential foreign player candidates for the 2024 CPBL major league season,” said the Hawks GM. “Shungo Fukunaga will likely make his CPBL minor league debut on June 21.”
“Apart from giving everything I have to help the Hawks to achieve victories, I also hope to share my baseball experience with all my young teammates,” said Shungo Fukunaga.
Baseball Journeyman: Japan – Mexico – Taiwan
The Japanese hard-throwing right-hander began his professional career in 2016 with the Hanshin Tigers of the NPB as the sixth-round pick. However, Shungo Fukunaga had limited opportunities in the first team and was eventually let go by the Tigers at the end of 2020. Over the four NPB seasons, he compiled a 17.00 ERA over nine innings.
After leaving the NPB system, Shungo Fukunaga wound up spending time in the Japanese independent league and the Mexican League. In 2022, he received a tryout invitation with the Fubon Guardians during the Fall training camp but failed to get a contract. However, shortly after his tryout with the Guardians, Fukunaga found a new team with the Taichung City amateur baseball team and signed with them in December 2022.
In an article on Sports Vision, Shungo Fukunaga said that he is now 29 years old, and this year is very crucial for him. He will do his absolute best to strive for success.
Foreign players comes and goes, therefore we compiled a foreign players tracker to keep track of all the foreign players signing for the 2023 CPBL season.