Dippin' Into the Asian Market
This is slightly old news, but it hasn't gotten much press. I was going to write about it earlier, but I've been in search of more info on this topic.
Taiwan Baseball posted that the White Sox signed 20 year-old Po-Yu Lin out of Taiwan with a sign on bonus of about $300,000. That isn't a huge bonus, but it is a pretty sizable amount. According to Ben at Taiwan Baseball, Lin was considered the ace of the staff during the 2004 World Junior Championships. He's also gained extra experience playing for the Anchorage Bucs in the ABL; in 6 games he had a 3.03 ERA. Here's a clip of him pitching
His breaking ball seems to have some pretty good movement on it. Reportedly he can reach the low 90's, and if he progresses like most young minor leaguers, I expect to see him add a couple MPH to his fastball.
For the most part he's an unknown commodity; I guess we'll have to wait until Spring Training to find out what we have on our hands.
Unfortunately, Ben from Taiwan Baseball isn't all that high on him. I e-mailed him, and this is what he said,
"Regarding Lin, the guy he is most comparable to is Blue Jays farmhand Po-Hsuan Keng. Based on their physical build and stuff-wise, these 2 are near carbon copies of each other. Lin can top out at 92 mph, but throws comfortably in the high 80's. With stuff like that, I can't imagine Lin being a starter in the Bigs unless he develops pinpoint control. So, we'll see if the Sox eventually convert Lin into a reliever like the Blue Jays have done with Keng. Physically, I think Lin has plateaud. He definitely does not have the ceiling of let's say a Tsao, Kuo, or Chien-Ming Wang."
Just for reference sake, in 32 games and 70 innings as a reliever with the Class A Lansing Lugnuts, Keng posted a 2.33 ERA with a 10:3 K:BB ratioand only 4 homers.
Kudos to The Cheat for the pic and the video.