Chun-Hsiu Chen

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Chun-Hsiu Chen (陳俊秀)

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Biographical Information[edit]

Chun-Hsiu Chen peaked at AAA in the US then played in his native Taiwan.

In the 2006 World Junior Championship, Chen hit .417 to lead Taiwan and slugged .500 as a part-time 1B/DH. He was 0-2 with a 4.66 ERA as a pitcher but allowed only one unearned run in 5 innings in an exhibition game against the USA junior team. Chen's fastball was timed as high as 92 mph but drew more notice from scouts for his power hitting, compared to that of Chin-Feng Chen. Chun-Hsiu Chen was signed by scout Jason Lee for the Cleveland Indians in September of 2007 for a $300,000 bonus. One concern was his catching as he had not played the field much in high school due to his being his team's ace hurler.

Chen had an okay pro debut with the 2008 GCL Indians, hitting .261/.336/.409 in 38 games. He fielded .982 at catcher but had 7 passed balls in 31 games and threw out 12 of 40 attempted base-stealers. In 2009, Chen hit .215/.328/.308 for the Mahoning Valley Scrappers. His 7 errors tied for the lead among New York-Penn League backstops.

Chen started 2010 much better and made the World team for the 2010 Futures Game, the only Taiwan native picked that year and one of only two Asians (Hak-ju Lee was the other). Backing up Wilin Rosario, he entered in the fifth inning. He ground out against Shelby Miller in the 7th and lined out versus Tanner Scheppers in the 9th. The only player who tried to steal off him was Desmond Jennings, who was successful. For the summer, he hit .320/.442/.523 for the 2010 Kinston Indians and .312/.368/.518 for the Lake County Captains. He led Indians farmhands with 38 doubles (one ahead of Jared Goedert), tied Jason Kipnis for 5th with 55 walks, was second in average (.004 behind José Constanza), was second in OBP (.007 behind Jordan Henry) and led in OPS (18 ahead of Jerad Head).

He hit .370/.438/.741 with 5 doubles, 7 runs and 6 RBI for the Taiwanese national team in the 2010 Intercontinental Cup, playing DH often and splitting catching with Chih-Kang Kao. In the Bronze Medal game, he was 0 for 2 with a walk while hitting 5th and catching in a 4-3 loss to Italy; Kao replaced him late. He finished 6th in the event in slugging (between Curt Smith and Takahiro Iwamoto, tied for 5th in runs, tied for 4th in RBI, tied Héctor Olivera Jr. for second in doubles, was third with 20 total bases (behind Olivera and Jae-hwan Kim). He did not make the All-Tournament team as Kim was picked at DH. He helped Taiwan win a Silver Medal at the 2010 Asian Games.

With the 2011 Akron Aeros, he batted .262/.330/.451 with 16 homers and 70 RBI. He tied Carlos Moncrief for 7th in the Indians chain in dingers and tied Head for 4th in RBI. In another season, he might have made the Eastern League All-Star team but Travis d'Arnaud had a much better season for a backstop and was chosen instead. Hitting cleanup and playing DH and C (split with Chun-Chieh Wang) for Taiwan in the 2011 Baseball World Cup, he hit .238/.320/.381 with four runs and four RBI in six games. Twice, he drove in the only run for Taiwan, singling off Shairon Martis to score Po-Ting Hsiao in a 2-1 loss to the Dutch national team and homering off Naobumi Mitsuhashi in a 3-1 loss to Japan.

Moving to first base with Akron in 2012, he produced at a .308/.394/.426 clip though his home run total fell to five. He fielded .995 at his new position. He nearly led Indians minor leaguers in OBP, .004 behind Thomas Neal. He was 5th in the EL in average (between Neal and David Adams), tied Bryce Brentz for 9th with 30 doubles and was 4th in OBP (between Neal and Eric Campbell). He did not make the All-Star team this year, either, as the nod went to slugger Darin Ruf. He played in the Asian Winter League after the season.

In 2013, Chen struggled with the AAA Columbus Clippers (.223/.302/.349 in 94 G) but still did well with Akron (.328/.427/.547 in 38 G). He was 5th in the Indians chain in home runs (15), 4th in RBI (69, between Moncrief and Jeremy Hermida) and 5th with 60 walks (between Jordan Smith and Jesus Aguilar). He also showed surprising speed for a catcher-turned-first baseman with 13 swipes in 16 tries. The Indians let him go at year's end. He had hit .275/.360/.432 in 560 minor league games.

He signed with the Wichita Wingnuts for 2014, going 4 for 22 with 3 walks, a double, a homer and five RBI in six games. All four teams made him their first pick in the 2014 CPBL Draft and the Lamigo Monkeys won rights to him. He had a rocky first summer in Taiwan, hitting .247/.347/.376 in the 2014 CPBL. He got his first CPBL hit off Chris Cody. He hit .235/.300/.294 with four runs in five games as the starting first baseman for Taiwan in the 2014 Asian Games, when Taiwan again won a Silver.

His second season in the CPBL was much better, as he batted .335/.401/.589 with 31 doubles, 25 home runs and 118 RBI in 113 games in 2015. He briefly held the league's RBI record for a season as his 114th topped the 113 shared by Yi-Chuan Lin and Chih-Sheng Lin. By year's end, though, both Lins had passed him up, Yi-Chuan finishing with 126 and Chih-Sheng with 124. Chen also ranked first in doubles (one ahead of Chih-Sheng Lin), third in homers (behind Kuo-Hui Kao and Chih-Sheng Lin), tied for 7th in average (with Cheng-Wei Chang) and third in slugging (behind Chih-Sheng Lin and Kuo-Hui Kao). Yi-Chuan Lin was picked to the Best Ten at 1B instead. The Monkeys would go on to win the 2015 Taiwan Series.

The Hualien native hit .316/.350/.526 with five RBI in five games as Taiwan's main first baseman in the 2015 Premier 12; his best day came in a 9-8 loss to Team Canada as he was 3 for 5 with 3 runs and 3 RBI, taking Shawn Hill deep in the process. He kept on hitting in the 2016 CPBL, at .294/.383/.565 with 100 RBI in 99 games. He had 20 home runs and 21 stolen bases in 28 tries. He was 7th in the league in RBI (between Ssu-Chi Chou and Yung-Chi Chen), 5th in home runs (between Po-Jung Wang and Kai-Wen Cheng), tied for third in steals, was 10th in slugging and second with 55 walks (trailing Chou). He and Po-Jung Wang became the 5th and 6th players in league history to have a 20-20 season.

In 2017, Chen kept on rolling. He hit .321/.400/.546 with 26 doubles, 16 home runs and 78 RBI. He stole 15 bases while only being caught twice. He was third in RBI (behind Po-Jung Wang and Yu-Hsien Chu), third in runs (behind Chieh-Hsien Chen and Po-Jung Wang), 8th in doubles, 4th in steals, 9th in average (between Chin-Lung Hu and Cheng-Wei Chang), 5th in OBP, 2nd in walks (51, two behind Chieh-Hsien Chen) and tied (with Yung-Chi Chen) for the lead with nine sacrifice flies. Lamigo won both halves of the season, led by Po-Jung Wang and Chen. In the 2017 Taiwan Series, he was 4 for 4 with four runs and two RBI in a game 3 romp over the Chinatrust Brothers and 3 for 3 with a walk, run and RBI in the 4-2 win in the game 4 finale. He set a Taiwan Series record with hits in seven consecutive at-bats and hit .714 for the Series. He was named Taiwan Series MVP.

He batted .375/.439/.602 with 77 RBI, 78 runs, 31 doubles and 17 RBI in the 2018 CPBL, leading the league in average (.001 ahead of Hu) and slugging (.027 ahead of Chien-Fu Liao). He was also 6th in RBI, 4th in runs (between Fu-Lin Kuo and Pin-Chieh Chen), 5th in hits (between Yin-Lun Lan and Hu), 2nd in doubles (2 behind Chih-Hsien Chiang), tied Po-Jung Wang and Chih-Chieh Su for 4th in homers, 3rd in total bases (between Po-Jung Wang and Chiang) and 3rd in OBP (behind Liao and Po-Jung Wang). He then hit .500 in the 2018 Taiwan Series to repeat as MVP; the only prior player to win consecutive Taiwan Series MVPs was Luther Hackman. He was named to the Best Ten as the CPBL's top first baseman, ending Yi-Chuan Lin's five-year run there. He also won the CPBL MVP.

Chen hit .381/.449/.619 with 22 homers in 2019, and he won his first CPBL Gold Glove as a first baseman while winning his second Best Nine. He ranked 2nd in batting (.008 behind Li Lin), 5th in hits (14 behind Yu-Hsien Chu), 5th in RBI (19 behind Yi-Chuan Lin) and 8th in homers (8 behind Chu). In the 2019 Taiwan Series, Chen hit .412/.565/.941 with 8 RBI and 2 homers to helped the Monkeys beat the Brothers in 5 games. He then represented Taiwan in the 2019 Premier 12, but he only hit .158/.200/.316.

The star first baseman hit .311/.381/.469 in 2020, and he fared better in 2021. Chen hit .352/.425/.470 with 7 homers, and won his second batting title and his third Best Nine. He also led the league in OBP, ranked 7th in hits (40 behind Wei-Chen Wang) and 7th in runs (7 behind Wang). He was selected into the 2022 CPBL All-Star Game, but he was 1-for-5. Chen ended up hitting .252/.316/.296 in 2022, and he was 1-for-5 in the 2022 Taiwan Series. The Monkeys were swept by the Brothers. Chen came back in 2023, and he recorded a .285/.414/.421 batting line. He was 1-for-11 in the 2023 CPBL Playoff Series, and the Monkeys eliminated the Lions. In the 2023 Taiwan Series, Chen hit .214/.267/.250 but the Monkeys were beaten by the Wei Chuan Dragons in 7 games. Chen then announced that he would become a free agent after the 2023 season, and the Brothers signed him; Bo-Hao Chen was the compensation.


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