The Pirates signed Jen-Lei Liao out of Taiwan this off-season. I saw Liao throwing a bullpen during minor league camp on Wednesday. He’s a 20-year old pitcher who has a huge frame, at 6′ 6″, 264 pounds. The Pirates have taken plenty of pitchers out of the draft with similar frames, and they’ve had success with several of those guys. The approach with Liao will be the same — improve his control, and get him to maximize his frame.
“There were some things we saw with the delivery,” Brooks said. “Some things we felt we could make some adjustments to. But there is some natural feel to pitch already. We just feel like physically there is still more we can do for him, especially from a body maintenance, because he’s a real big framed kid, 6′ 6″, 250 plus.”
Liao currently throws in the upper 80s, topping out at 92. He comes from a good baseball background. Both his mom and his dad are former athletes, playing softball and baseball respectively. They’re both coaches, and pushed him to go ...
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.