The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed 18-year-old right-handed pitcher Haicheng Gong as an international free agent. He pitched for China during the 2017 World Baseball Classic, allowing one hit, while recording one out. He is the second players to sign out of MLB's Development Center in China. Gong first attended the center in 2012.
Gong is 6'2", 165 pounds and turned 18 in December. Last summer, he spent eight weeks at a Baseball Academy held by the Lakewood BlueClaws, Low-A team of the Philadelphia Phillies. The camp was set up to help Chinese players get accustomed to American baseball and culture. In September, he was named the best right-handed pitcher during the U18 Baseball Federation of Asia Championship Tournament, which also included teams from Japan and Korea. Gong pitched six ...
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John was born in Kearny, NJ, hometown of the 2B for the Pirates 1909 World Championship team, Dots Miller. In fact they have some of the same relatives in common, so it was only natural for him to become a lifelong Pirates fan. Before joining Pirates Prospects in July 2010, John had written numerous articles on the history of baseball while also releasing his own book and co-authoring another on the history of the game. He writes a weekly article on Pirates history for the site, has already interviewed many of the current minor leaguers with many more on the way and follows the foreign minor league teams very closely for the site. John also provides in person game reports of the West Virginia Power and Altoona Curve.