Last week the Pittsburgh Pirates signed left-handed pitcher Yao-Hsun Yang (pronounced Young) to a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training. I talked with Yang through a translator yesterday afternoon to learn a bit more about his pitches and his decision to come to the US.
"I had been playing in Japan for several years, and right now I want to go for a higher level, so I came here," Yang said.
He had suffered two injuries last year, including an arm injury, but said he feels healthy now. As far as his pitches, he throws a low 90s fastball, along with a slider, curveball, and changeup. Yang said that his slider is his best pitch, and that he uses a split changeup in the game. As you can see by the video, he also has a delay in his windup, which is a timing thing that is very common for pitchers coming out of Asia....
Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.