MLB Pittsburgh Pirates expected to sign Taiwan pitcher Chang Hung-leng
Taipei, Jan. 16 (CNA) Major League Baseball's Pittsburgh Pirates are expected to secure right-handed Taiwan pitcher Chang Hung-leng (張弘稜) for a US$500,000 signing bonus, according to a report published on the club's website Saturday.
The 20-year-old Chang, who graduated from Kaohsiung Municipal Sanmin Senior High School in 2020, stands at 190 centimeters tall and has been a focus of local and international talent scouts because his fastballs can touch up to 151 kilometers per hour.
After graduating high school, Chang joined a baseball training program at Asia University in Taichung and also turned out for the semi-professional Taiwan Power Company baseball team.
Chang will become the third active Taiwanese player within the Pirates system, joining pitcher Chen Po-yu (陳柏毓) and infielder Cheng Tsung-che (鄭宗哲), if the deal is closed.
Chang's possible signing comes as the club is planning to sign a trio of international free agents, with the others being two Dominicans that are in the MLB.com's Top 50 International Prospects list.
They are outfielder Tony Blanco Jr., ranked No. 11 on the list, for US$900,000 and shortstop Yordany De Los Santos, who ranks No. 12, for US$1.2 million, the report said.
However, the Pirates have not confirmed the deals.
Even though the Pirates' website said the organization is "expected to sign" the Taiwanese for US$500,000, Chang's management agency ROF International Sports Marketing released a statement on Sunday confirming the signing.
In addition to being the third active Taiwanese, Chang is also the 10th Taiwanese to ever join the Pirates system, ROF said.
ROF International Sports Marketing plans to hold a press conference about Chang's signing to the Pirates on Tuesday.
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