MLB team Pirates sign 19-year-old Taiwanese pitcher Chen Po-yu

10/08/2020 02:10 PM
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Photo courtesy of Chen
Photo courtesy of Chen's agent

Taipei, Oct. 8 (CNA) Major League Baseball (MLB) team the Pittsburgh Pirates announced Wednesday that they have signed Taiwanese pitcher Chen Po-yu (陳柏毓).

The 19-year-old right-hander received a US$1.25 million signing bonus, making him one of Pittsburgh's highest-paid international amateur signees ever, according to an article published on the MLB website.

Chen, at 188 centimeters and 85 kilograms, was a member of the 2019 U-18 world champion Taiwanese national team. The Pirates view him as equivalent to a second-round-type talent in the MLB Draft.

The native of northern Taoyuan started two games against Panama and South Korea during the 2019 tournament and earned the save in the gold medal game by pitching two innings against the United States. He clinched two wins with an ERA of 1.29 during the tournament.

Praising Chen as an exciting young pitching prospect, Pirates General Manager Ben Cherington said in a statement that "he has good size, moves well on the mound and has a quality pitch mix with the ability to keep getting better."

Cherington said the Pirates had been scouting Chen for three years.

"I enjoyed meeting Po-Yu this week in Pittsburgh and we look forward to working with him in the years to come," Cherington said.

Asked to comment, Chen told Taiwanese media that he was extremely excited to join the Pirates and thanked his family, especially his father, his baseball mentor, for supporting him in pursuing a professional baseball career.

Chen's father, Chen Ping-nan (陳炳男), was also a professional baseballer who played for Taiwan's Chinese Professional Baseball League for four years from 1997 to 2000.

"I know that signing with the Pirates simply means that I was given an 'entrance ticket' to the MLB and a number of challenges and tasks are waiting for me ahead. I will do my best and work hard to become a better player," Chen said.

Chen arrived in the U.S. last week and is currently under home quarantine. He is scheduled to officially kick off his professional career in the U.S. league next year.

(By Yang Chi-fang and Joseph Yeh)

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