Chih-Yuan Chen

From BR Bullpen

2007KobeAsiaTourTaipei CYChen.jpg

Chih-Yuan Chen (陳致遠) (Golden Warrior)

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 11", Weight 209 lb.

BR register page

Biographical Information[edit]

Outfielder Chih-Yuan Chen is a former Chinese Professional Baseball League Rookie of the Year and spent 1997-2004 with the Taiwan national team.

Chen played for Taiwan in the 1997 Asian Championship. In the 1998 Baseball World Cup, the youngster hit .481/.533/.778 with 8 runs and 7 RBI in 7 games and had two outfield assists. He was 4th in average behind Cubans Antonio Pacheco, Juan Manrique and Orestes Kindelan. He made the tournament All-Star team, something teammate Chin-Feng Chen did not accomplish despite a better OPS. Chih-Yuan was with Taiwan for the 1998 Asian Games, 1999 Asian Championship and 1999 World Port Tournament; in the latter event, he batted .308/.387/.357 despite striking out in 12 of 28 at-bats. In the 1999 Asian Championship, he joined Jae-hong Park and Byung-kyu Lee on the All-Tournament outfield. After finishing his military service, Chen was drafted in the first round of the 2001 CPBL Draft by the Brother Elephants.

In 30 games for the 2001 Elephants, Chen hit .375/.412/.667 with 30 runs. Despite only playing part of the season, he won Rookie of the Year honors for his dominating stint. He was with Taiwan for the 2001 World Port Tournament, going just 5 for 30 with a double, 5 walks, one run and one RBI in 8 games. He stole 3 bases to tie Yobal Dueñas and Giorvis Duvergel for the tournament lead. Chen appeared for Taiwan in the 2001 Asian Championship, helping them win Gold; among his outfield mates was similarly named Yuan-Chia Chen. In the 2001 Baseball World Cup, he hit .174/.240/.261, a far cry from his performance in the prior World Cup.

The Golden Warrior batted .289/.373/.519 with 15 homers and stole 32 bases, but was thrown out running 16 times in 2002. He won a CPBL Gold Glove in the outfield (he had 10 outfield assists) and made the Best Ten as one of the top three flyhawks in the CPBL. He was on Taiwan's roster in the 2002 Asian Games.

In 2003, the Elephants' un-elephant-like speedster hit .342/.387/.556 with 18 homers, 97 RBI and 31 steals in 100 games; this year, he was only caught stealing 7 times. He led the league in hits (137) and RBI, won another Gold Glove and made the Best Ten. He was second in average to Cheng-Min Peng. He fell four RBI shy of Jay Kirkpatrick's league record and set a new high for native players. He then starred in the Taiwan Series, winning MVP honors after hitting .410 with 7 RBI in six games. He appeared in the 2003 Asian Championship.

Chen's batting line in 2004 was .288/.349/.461. He stole 20 bases, won his third Gold Glove and made his third Best Ten. In the 2004 Olympics, he was Taiwan's primary center fielder, hitting .333/.360/.625 with 5 runs and 4 RBI in six games. He was third on Taiwan in OPS behind Chin-Feng Chen and Cheng-Min Peng. He hit .304/.371/.388 in 2005, only hitting one homer and stealing 7 bases. His average dipped to .253 and his OBP to .324 in 2006 but he did slug .414. He played just 30 games in 2007 but hit .369/.390/.595 in them; the missed time was due to a right shoulder injury that required surgery in the USA. In 2008, Chen bounced back to hit .302/.365/.476 and stole 17 bases in 20 attempts.

The Taoyuan native missed much of 2091 after breaking the fibula bone in his left leg while sliding into third base early in the campaign. He had a Kirk Gibson moment in game 3 of the 2009 Taiwan Series, pinch-hitting with two outs, two on and a tie game in the bottom of the 10th. The limping Chen proceeded to single Cheng-Min Peng home with the game-winner. In January 2010, Chen was accused of taking $31,000 (US currency) to throw games back in 2006. The league then banned him for life.

Overall, Chen hit .303/.361/.488 with 722 hits, 137 doubles and 83 homers in 10 seasons in the CPBL. He stole 125 bases in 164 attempts.

Chen is somehow related to Tai-Shan Chang, Sen Yang, Chien-Fu Yang, Cheng-Wei Chang, Yi Chang and several other players. He is the cousin of Chung-Shou Yang and brother of Chih-Peng Chen.