Fu-Te Ni

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Fu-Te Ni (倪福德) (Lord of the Land)

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Biographical Information[edit]

Fu-Te Ni debuted in the CPBL and for the Taiwan national team in 2007; two years later, he was in the major leagues.

In the 2001 World Port Tournament, Ni had 4 hits, one walk and one run in one inning for Taiwan. He was on Taiwan's team that won Silver in the 2005 Asian Championship.

2007: CPBL[edit]

Ni was drafted by the China Trust Whales in the first round of the 2005 CPBL Draft. He began his professional career in 2007 , going 7-12 with a 3.53 ERA and 125 strikeouts in 112 1/3 IP. He was third in the CPBL in strikeouts behind Joey Dawley and Lorenzo Barcelo and 5th in WHIP (1.20). He was 8th in ERA, 0.01 behind former major leaguer Gary Rath. He was considered a good Rookie of the Year candidate but did not win the award.

2007: World Cup and Asian Championship[edit]

He joined the Taiwanese national team shortly before the 2007 Baseball World Cup. In that event, he was the team's most-used pitcher, appearing in five games. His statistical performance was full of both good and bad news. He was 0-1 with a 2.84 ERA but a 7.11 RA. He struck out 10 in 6 1/3 IP but allowed 9 hits. Against Japan, the Bronze Medal winners, he struck out 4 in 2 1/3 IP, allowing no runs in a win. He walked 2 in 2/3 of an inning against the Mexican team, allowing one earned run and taking the loss in relief of Ming-Chieh Hsu. His defense let him down when LF Ying-Chieh Liao lost a fly ball in the sun. He helped preserve a win over Panama, with two scoreless frames of work.

He then came in during the quarterfinals against the Dutch national team in relief of Po-Hsuan Keng with one on and no outs in the 11th inning of a 2-2 game. Ni fielded a bunt from Bryan Engelhardt and threw poorly to second for an error. Dirk van 't Klooster bunted both runners over. Ni intentionally walked Vince Rooi to load the bases. He then struck out Roel Koolen. Ni's fortunes went sour as Greg Halman smashed a 2-run double and Hainley Statia followed with a 2-run single to give the Netherlands the game and eliminate the host Taiwan team from medal contention. His last Cup appearance came against Mexico, striking out the final batter in a 6-4 loss that gave Taiwan a disappointing 8th-place finish. Had Ni come through against the Netherlands, they would have had a good shot at a Medal.

Ni was the worst Taiwanese pitcher in the 2007 Asian Championship, with a 54.00 ERA and allowing three of four baserunners to reach. Against South Korea, he walked one and struck out one in relief. Against Japan, he relieved Keng and allowed a single and walk (both runners came around to score) before being replaced by Chin-Hui Tsao in a 10-2 loss.

2008: Olympic Qualifier and Olympics[edit]

Ni was with Taiwan for the 2008 Final Olympic Qualification Tournament, allowing 9 hits and 4 runs (3 earned) in 7 2/3 innings. He got a no-decision in a 6-5 loss to Team Canada, the tournament champion. Taiwan earned a spot in the 2008 Olympics for their work.

In the Olympics, Ni was 1-2 with a 4.09 ERA, striking out 11 in 11 innings. He took the loss against Japan, replacing Wen-Hsiung Hsu with a 1-1 tie after 5 and promptly allowing a run on hits by Norichika Aoki and Atsunori Inaba. He also took the loss against South Korea. Ni got the win against Team Canada to give Taiwan 5th place; with the bases loaded and one out in the 11th, he struck out Matt Rogelstad and retired Scott Thorman on a fly. The next inning, he whiffed Emerson Frostad and Adam Stern before giving way to Chih-Chia Chang, who saved it.

2008: Regular Season[edit]

In the 2008 CPBL season, Ni fell to 5-12 with a 3.34 ERA for a poor team but led the CPBL with 132 strikeouts, 22 more than runner-up Ryokan Kobayashi. He was selected in the 2008 CPBL Draft, and he allowed a solo shot to Tai-Shan Chang in 2 innings while fanning 3.


Moving to the US[edit]

Ni was invited to spring training by the Seattle Mariners for 2009, but declined. He asked for a guaranteed Major League contract. In December, he was the second pick of the redistribution draft following the dissolution of the scandal-plagued Whales and dMedia T-Rex; the Brother Elephants chose him after Chia-Hsien Hsieh went first. In January 2009, Ni became the first player from the CPBL to sign directly with a major league team, inking a deal with the Detroit Tigers. He was sent to the minor league camp in late March.

In the 2009 World Baseball Classic, Ni finished off the loss to China. Relieving Sung-Wei Tseng in the 7th, he gave up a Lingfeng Sun single but then fanned Fenglian Hou to end the inning. In the 8th, he surrendered a solo homer to Ray Chang then struck out Fei Feng. Chao Wang singled but Ni retired Guangbiao Liu and Fujia Chu to escape further damage.

Ni was assigned to the AAA Toledo Mud Hens. He debuted on April 9 against the Indianapolis Indians, allowing one run in two innings (a solo homer) and fanning two. He got the win. He started off 3-0 with a 2.60 ERA and was then called up to the majors. He was the sixth Taiwanese player to make it to the majors and the first to make it from the CPBL; he followed Chin-Feng Chen, Chin-Hui Tsao, Hong-Chih Kuo, Chien-Ming Wang and Chin-Lung Hu.

The Major League debut and US career[edit]

Ni debuted in The Show on June 29, 2009 relieving struggling Rick Porcello in the fifth inning against the A's, with Detroit down 4-0. Ni struck out Jason Giambi and got Kurt Suzuki on a fly. In the 6th, Ni gave up a home run to Ryan Sweeney but recovered to strike out Jack Cust, get Landon Powell on a fly and fan Mark Ellis. Freddy Dolsi replaced him in the 7th. Ni had a solid 2.61 ERA in 36 games in his rookie year. However, he slumped to a 6.65 ERA in 2010, and he was demoted. Ni had a 3.24 ERA with a 6-3 record for the Mud Hens in 2011, then he was 0-3 with a 4.00 ERA for the Leones del Caracas in the Venezuelan League. Back with Toledo, his ERA was 4.56 in 7 games in 2012. He underwent Tommy John surgery in May, then the Tigers released him. He returned to go 3-1 with a save and a 1.61 ERA for the Adelaide Giants of the 2013-2014 Australian Baseball League. Ni pitched in the Atlantic League (2-6, 5.10 between the Camden Riversharks and Lancaster Barnstormers) in 2014, then he went back to his homeland Taiwan.

CPBL again[edit]

The Brothers had the rights to Ni, but he refused to sign with the Brothers. The EDA Rhinos then picked him in the second round of the 2015 CPBL Draft. Ni was 4-2 with a 5.18 ERA in 2015. He then pitched for Taiwan in the 2015 Premier 12, and he surrendered 4 runs in 3 2/3 innings as the starter against Canada; his team lost, 9-8. He had a 4.84 ERA in 48 appearances in 2016, and he collected 4 holds and 8 saves. In the 2016 Taiwan Series, Ni relieved Yi-Chih Huang in the 8th inning of Game 2, and he pitched a shutout inning. He then succeeded Sheng-Hsiung Huang in the 9th inning in Game 3, but he allowed a 2-run shot to Chih-Sheng Lin. He still retired Chih-Hsien Chiang and got the save. He pitched a shutout inning in both Game 5 and Game 6 to help the Rhinos win over the CTBC Brothers.

Ni then represented Taiwan in the 2017 World Baseball Classic, and he only retired one batter while allowing 3 runs. His ERA rose to 5.31 in 2017, then he bounced back in 2018 and he collected 13 saves and 9 holds with a 3.00 ERA in 44 games. He was 3rd in saves, 17 behind Yu-Hsun Chen. However, Ni suffered from a left shoulder injury, so he only played 9 games in 2019. He had a 3.72 ERA in 11 games in 2020, then he announced his retirement.

Ni's repertoire included a fastball (peak 94.4 mph) and slider.

Overall, Ni had a 4.33 ERA with 43 strikeouts in 58 games in the Major Leagues. He was 25-40 with a 4.00 ERA, collected 33 holds and 34 saves in 231 appearances, struck out 482 and pitched 540 innings in 8 seasons in the CPBL.


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