Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects: Top Players From Taiwan

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Hung-Leng Chang

One of the Pirates' highest-paid 2021-2022 international signees was Hung-Leng Chang. Coming out of Taiwan, Chang signed for $500K, the fourth-highest signing bonus for the Pirates that off-season. Chang made his debut for the Pirates' FCL affiliate and made a good first impression in his small sample size of work.

Although he only pitched 22.2 innings, Chang had a 4.76 ERA but 2.50 FIP and 1.32 WHIP. Chang struggled with some bad batted ball luck with a .355 BAbip. But he struck out well over a quarter of the opponents he did face (27.8%), had a walk rate clocking in the low-8s at 8.2%, and didn't allow a single home run. Chang's ground ball rate was a healthy 48.3% mark, helping him limit extra-base hit damage done against him.

Like his fellow countryman, Chen, Chang is not a flamethrower but has some room to add a tick or two of velocity before he makes his big league debut. He only sits in the low-90s but tops out at 94 MPH. He's tall at 6'2", but is thin, weighing in around 160 pounds. But he just turned 21 in early October. There's a good chance he will add a bit of muscle between now and when he's 23-24 years of age.

In total, he throws five offerings and was signed for both his advanced pitching at a young age as well as his projectability. Those are two things that could really help him out in the long run. He'll get his shot at Bradenton next season, and if he continues to build off the strong debut he had at the FCL, there's no doubt he could start appearing on prospect lists by the end of the season.

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