Venue Advantage ‘Dark Horse’ Taiwan… Will it be different at this WBC?

It is necessary to pay attention to Taiwan in the World Baseball Classic (WBC).

Taiwan is one of the 5th WBC dark horses to be held in March. He claimed to be the ‘Asian Baseball Top 3’ with Korea and Japan, but he left regrets every time at the WBC. In the 3rd tournament in 2013, where they played the first round in their home country, they passed the first round by eliminating Korea, but lost in a row to Japan and Cuba in the second round (quarterfinals). In particular, he lost his pride in a 0-14, 7th inning call game against Cuba, which he met in the 2nd round group 1 loser match. In this tournament, Taiwan put their heart and soul into the composition of the players. Baseball team coach Lin Yueping, who announced the final entry on the 6th of last month, said, “It wasn’t easy to select 30 national players. We couldn’t confirm the list until this morning.”

Taiwan’s WBC final entry consisted of 14 pitchers, 3 catchers, 8 infielders and 5 outfielders. It is evaluated that the domestic and overseas waves were properly mixed. It is regrettable that Changi (Seibu Lions), an ace who plays in Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), has left. Changi started the 2019 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Premier 12 Super Round 2nd game against Korea and led the team to a 7-0 victory with a scoreless throw in 6 2/3 innings. At that time, he won a decision victory in a confrontation with Kim Gwang-hyun (3 runs in 3 1/3 innings) and was selected as the best 11 of the tournament. However, recently, inflammation (bursitis) was discovered in his right shoulder, and his participation in the WBC w메이저놀이터as missed. His departure is painful, but it is not that there are no alternative resources.

Right-handed pitcher Song Zhao (Rakuten Golden Eagles) is not a player to be taken lightly. He has been active in NPB for 5 years since 2017, gaining experience in the bullpen. He pitched in 54 games last year, 20 holds, and had a 2.61 earned run average. A key bullpen that won 20 holds for two consecutive years and double-digit holds for four consecutive years. The maximum speed of the fastball is well over 150km/h. Wu Nian Ting (Seibu Lions) and Wang Bo Lung (Nippon Ham Fighters) were also named in the final roster. Woonenting has the experience of hitting double-digit homers (10) in the NPB in 2021. Wang Bo-rung is a giant cannon whose strength is power. In 2016 and 2017, when he was playing in the Taiwan Professional Baseball (CPBL), he achieved a batting average of 400 and became a hot topic.  

The core of Taiwan’s power is Zhang Yu-Chang and Lin Zi-Wei. Debuting in the big leagues in 2019, Chang Yoo-chang’s career (four years) was a batting average of 0.213 (104 hits in 489 bats), 14 homers, and 61 RBIs in 196 games. The 104 hits is the highest number of hits ever in the Taiwanese major league (MLB). He also hit 9 home runs with the Cleveland Indians in 2021. After last season, he was released as a free agent (FA) and recently signed with the Boston Red Sox. Lin Ziwei is a utility player who can play all positions in the infield and has played 102 big league games in his career. Since he currently has no team, he is preparing for the WBC more earnestly than anyone else.

Taiwan was placed in Group A of the WBC along with the Netherlands, Cuba, Italy and Panama. As the first round is held in Taichung, Taiwan, the match will be held with the advantage of the venue. This is a good opportunity to make up for the sluggishness of the previous competition. Director Lin Yueping expressed confidence, saying, “We have all the best talent in Taiwan in terms of experience and career.”

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