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.
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.
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.
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.