‘Monster Prospect’ Spared Taiwan, but Not at Full Strength

Taiwanese baseball wasn’t at “full strength,” which made the loss all the more painful.

The Hangzhou Asian Games (AG) baseball team, led by head coach Liu Zhong-il, lost their second Group B game against Chinese Taipei 0-4 on Feb. 2. The team had qualified for the Super Round with a 2-1 record after a 17-0 (five-inning cold game) victory over Thailand on March 3, but the blow to Chinese Taipei derailed their schedule. “If we meet again (in the finals), we will be very happy,” said coach Ryu Jung-il after the game against Chinese Taipei. However, even if a ‘return match’ is organized, victory is far from assured, as Taiwan’s two-hitter is far more than expected.

Taiwan ended the game against South Korea with three pitchers. Lin Yi-min pitched six innings of four-hit ball, followed by Gu Lin-Lei Yang (two innings of one-hit ball) and Liu Zhi-lung (one inning of one-hit ball). Lin Yumin is a minor league prospect who has been touted as a possible starter against South Korea. He was ranked as the No. 1 pitcher (No. 4 overall) in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ 2023 prospect rankings by MLB.com, the official website of Major League Baseball (MLB). Thanks to Lin Yi-min’s performance, Taiwan kept the “Fan Wen-hui Card” hidden until the end.

Chinese Taipei called up four minor league pitchers (Lin Yumin, Chen Pao-yu, Fan Wen-hui, and Liu Zhi-long) for the tournament. Of Taiwan’s “minor league quartet,” Fan Wen-hui is the only bullpen resource. A member of the Philadelphia Phillies’ high Single-A affiliate, he pitched 27 games in Single-A this season, posting a 2.18 ERA. His 12.6 strikeouts per nine innings and 0.867 walks allowed per nine innings (WHIP) are also excellent.

According to CPBL STATS, which covers baseball in Taiwan, Fan Wen-hui has a fastball that tops out at 158 km/h (98.2 mph). MLB.com gave Fan Wen-hui’s fastball a 65 on its 20-80 scale, which rates prospects’ talent from a high of 80 to a low of 20 (with an average of 50). After finishing the first game of the group stage against Thailand with two pitchers (Wu Sheng-ping and Wang Yan-cheng), Chinese Taipei did not use Fan Wen-hui in the second game, expanding his usage in the Super Round.메이저사이트

The baseball team defeated Thailand to advance to the Super Round. They pounded out 11 hits, including three home runs, to demolish the Thai mound, but will have to navigate a thorny path to a “return match” with Taiwan in the final. The baseball team will need to defeat both Group A winners Japan and China with one loss to advance to the Super Round. With two wins and one loss, they’ll have to wait and see what happens to the other teams. If Japan defeats Chinese Taipei, the three teams will be tied at 2-1 and the tiebreaker will determine the finalist. After a day of rest, the baseball team will play the first game of the Super Round against the second-ranked team in Group A (Japan) on Friday afternoon, followed by the second game against the first-ranked team in Group A (China) on Saturday afternoon.

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