Cardinals making moves in Taiwan?

by on January 20, 2010 · 3 comments

Picked up this tidbit from the blog Taiwan Baseball:

The St. Louis Cardinals are sending a scout (Matt Slater?) to Taiwan, marking the team’s initial presence on the island. Supposedly the scout is interested in CCU RHP Hao-Chun Chiu, Kao-Yuan HS left handed hitter Chi-Hung Hsu, and two kids from Nan-Ying HS.

There are currently six players in the Major Leagues that were born in Taiwan, including Chein-Ming Wang, who recently has drawn some interest from the Cardinals.

I tried my darnedest to dig up some information on these two youngsters, but needless to say, finding a wealth of news and links to teenage Taiwanese baseball players isn’t incredibly fruitful.

Nonetheless, here’s what little I did find out.

Hao-Chun Chiu

Chiu is a 19 year old right handed pitcher at Chung Cheng University in Chiayi County, Taiwan.

As a 5′-11″ 17 year old in 2008, Chiu was named to the All-Star Team of the Yu-Shan Cup after putting in a solid performance in a losing effort:

Hao-Chun Chiu (clocked consistently in the high 80’s – topping out at 89 mph) started for Taoyuan County and managed to tame Taipei County’s offense for the most part (7.1 IP, 5 H, 3 R) – unfortunately the defense behind Chiu committed 4 costly errors – leading to Taipei County’s 3 runs.

Chiu went on to pitch for Taiwan’s Junior National Team in the summer of 2008, with decidedly less success, based upon the box score I found for a game versus Canada.

Unfortunately, that’s where my search efforts ran out of results.

Chi-Hung Hsu

Hsu is a left-handed hitting first baseman at Kao-Yuan High School.

Everything (and that’s not much) I was able to dig up on Hsu was about a playoff game about a month ago in which he led his Kao-Yuan squad to a win in a semi-final game.

Kao-Yuan defeated Tung-Shih 7-1 in one semifinal on Friday. KY starter Sheng-Nan Chen threw a CG, allowing 1 unearned run on 1 hit over 9 IP (6 K’s, 2 BB’s) to pick up his 3rd win in the tourney. KY 1B Chi-Hung Hsu backed up Chen’s dominating performance with a 3-3, 2B, 2 BB’s, 4 RBI night.

Kao Yuan is apparently a powerhouse year in and year out – so the pedigree sounds promising.  (Yes, I’m reaching.)

Nan Ying High Schoolers

No specifics here, but I figure it’s worth noting that current Dodgers pitcher Hong-Chih Kuo is from Nan Ying High School in Tainan City, Taiwan.


Obviously there’s a long way to go in finding out where this is all headed, particularly for these specific players, but I am glad that the Cardinals are investing effort around the globe.  It will be paramount to the team’s continued success that they explore all avenues to add “home-grown” talent.

Here’s hoping for continued in-roads for the scouting/player development department all around.

Writing about the Cardinals and other loosely associated topics since 2008, I've grown tired of the April run-out only to disappoint Cardinal fans everywhere by mid-May. I do not believe in surrendering free outs.
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