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 started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.
Looks like a slow delivery to the plate, easy to steal on.
He is a lefty. Only easy to steal on if you guess correctly. Go too soon and get picked off…..