Hanshin Tryout for Taiwan WBC Pitcher

» 28 January 2009 » In npb »

Prior to the opening of WBC training, Hanshin is bringing Taiwan representative and Culture University pitcher Cheng Kai-Wen in for a tryout at their Okinawa camp. Cheng, 20, is small at 5’9 but reportedly hits 94 mph on the gun and has a slider. He pitched for Taiwan’s Olympic team last year, and gave up three hits and two walks in his appearance against Japan, but that didn’t hurt Hanshin’s scouts evaluation of him. According to the Daily Sports article I linked to above, Cheng is getting some attention from MLB scouts as well. This could give the Tigers a chance to get an inside track on him. It also shouldn’t hurt that two other Hanshin players will be representing Taiwan at the WBC, Lin Wei-Zhu and Hsiao Yi-Ji (Ikketsu Sho).

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  1. Patrick
    28/01/2009 at 1:10 pm Permalink

    Off topic, and I know this is about a Korean pitcher, but do you know anything about Hyang-Nam Choi? It’s said he’s signed a minor league deal w/St. Louis.

  2. Patrick
    28/01/2009 at 1:25 pm Permalink

    Only what I’ve read at Eastwindup Chronicle.

  3. Patrick
    31/01/2009 at 12:51 am Permalink

    Cheng tops out at 91, not 94 by any stretch, and in a recent bullpen session arranged by his agent only reached 90 once, topping out at 89 with every other fastball. He has been approached by a number of MLB teams, but his asking price has always been the sticking point. He is trying out with Japanese teams hoping he’ll get the bonus he’s asking, but the clock is ticking. I hope he signs with someone.