Pirates Sign 17-Year-Old Taiwanese Shortstop

The Pittsburgh Pirates have added their 22nd international signing since the start of July 2nd signing period. We had mentioned just over a week ago that they were favorites to sign Zheng Zong-Zhe, a 17-year-old lefty hitting shortstop from Taiwan. He officially signed this afternoon, and don’t shoot the messenger, but he will be known as Tsung-Che Cheng. The version posted in the article is the Chinese translation.

Cheng is an exciting prospect on offense, defense and the bases. He’s not a big player, listed at 5’8″, but the video below shows that he can already drive the ball a long distance. He’s a line drive hitter, who makes consistent contact, with above average speed (described as elite) that helps him take extra bases. He is very athletic, and has nice range and a steady glove already, with enough arm to stay at shortstop. His bonus is just north of $300,000.

Cheng turns 18 later this month and he will begin his time with the Pirates in the Fall Instructional League this September. In the meantime, he will play for the 18U Taiwan team in Busan, South Korea next month.

Here’s a highlight video (there’s also one in the link at the top)

UPDATE: Photo from today’s signing at Pirate City