According to reports out of Taiwan, the Pittsburgh Pirates are one of three teams showing heavy interest in 21-year-old right-handed pitcher Cheng Hao-Chun, who attends the National Taiwan Sports University. The Milwaukee Brewers and Los Angeles Dodgers have also reportedly shown interest.
Hao-Chun is listed at 6’3″, 214 pounds and he throws six pitches, including a four-seam, sinker, slider, curve, changeup and a forkball. His fastball gets up to 95 MPH.
He would fall under the international signing rules, where the Pirates have a $6,481,200 bonus pool to work with this year. The Dodgers and Brewers both have smaller pools available, with the Brewers just over $5.9M and Dodgers at $4.8M.
The Pirates are reportedly the favorites to sign one of the top international pitchers in this draft class already in 16-year-old Cristopher Cruz out of the Dominican. The Dodgers are reportedly favorites to sign two of the top prospects on July 2nd, which will take a good portion of their bonus pool. The Brewers are favorites to sign the #13 ranked prospect according to MLB Pipeline.
Here’s a recent video of Hao-Chun
UPDATE: Reportedly, the Los Angeles Dodgers have agreed to a deal with him, which we will find out for sure on July 2nd. Didn’t take long for him to declare he wasn’t going into the CPBL draft, before he reportedly reached an agreement.