Giljegiljaw Kungkuan

From BR Bullpen

Giljegiljaw Kungkuan (吉力吉撈.鞏冠)
formerly known as Li-Jen Chu

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 11", Weight 230 lb.

BR Register page

Biographical Information[edit]

Giljegiljaw Kungkuan has played as high as AAA and has been on the Taiwanese national team. He was known as Li-Jen Chu until 2019.

He hit .452/.500/.710 with 10 runs and 10 RBI in the 1st 7 games. He tied Tzu-Wei Lin for 9th in hits (14), tied for 2nd with 5 doubles (2 behind Austin Cousino) and was 9th with 22 total bases. He then went 4 for 5 in Taiwan's win over South Korea in the 5th/6th place game. He was named the event's All-Star third baseman, joining Francisco Lindor, Rougned Odor and Guillermo Aviles on the All-Star infield. [1] In 2012, he was signed by Cleveland Indians scouts Jason Lynn and Allen Lin. [2] He spent 2013 in the MLB Australian Academy. [3]

Kungkuan hit .348/.431/.596 for the '14 AZL Indians and threw out 41% of would-be base-stealers. He batted .357/.333/.429 for the Taiwanese national team that won Silver in the 2014 Asian Games. He was used primarily at DH as Kun-Sheng Lin and Jin-De Jhang did the bulk of the catching. [4] He slumped to .200/.260/.347 with the '15 Mahoning Valley Scrappers. He was on Taiwan's reserve list for the 2015 Premier 12 in case anyone got hurt. [5] In 2016, he rebounded with the AZL Indians (.500/.564/.824 in 10 G) and Lake County Captains (.245/.280/.351 in 26 G).

In 2017, he batted .269/.338/.426 with 17 homers and 67 RBI for the Captains. Logan Ice did most of the catching, with Kungkuan at DH. He tied Gareth Morgan and Edward Olivares for 9th in the Midwest League in dingers. Among Indians farmhands, he tied Ronny Rodriguez, Sicnarf Loopstok and Nellie Rodriguez for 7th in home runs and was 4th in RBI, between Emmanuel Tapia and fellow Taiwanese player Yu Chang. He was named the MWL All-Star DH (Chuckie Robinson was picked at catcher). [6] Taiwan wanted him on their team for the 2017 Asian Championship but the Indians would not release him to play. [7]

The Taichung native moved around a bit in 2018 with the Lynchburg Hillcats (.278/.351/.434 in 81 G), Akron RubberDucks (.241/.281/.370 in 16 G) and Columbus Clippers (1 for 4). He was sent to the Arizona Fall League, where he hit only .216/.302/.351 for the Glendale Desert Dogs, splitting time with Czech backstop Martin Cervenka and Venezuelan Keibert Ruiz for a three-continent trio. In '19, he backed up Ice with Akron and batted .229/.290/.357.

In 2019, he changed his name from Li-Jen Chu to Giljegiljaw Kungkuan, becoming the first US minor leaguer or major leaguer from Taiwan to use his aboriginal name rather than his Chinese name. [8] Other players had changed names after returning from the US to Taiwan. He became a free agent on November 3 the next year, and decided to come back to Taiwan and joined the CPBL. Giljegiljaw was selected by the Wei Chuan Dragons with the 5th overall pick of the 2021 CPBL draft. In his rookie year in the CPBL, the slugger catcher blasted 11 dingers and broke the team record of the least game to reach 10 home runs with 41 games. In 2022, Giljegiljaw hit .286/.350/.481 with a league-leading 14 home runs (tied with Li Lin). He did not make the Best Ten; Francisco Peña got the nod at catcher instead.

He then made Taiwan's roster for the 2023 World Baseball Classic.[9]In the game against Italy, he hit a clutch 3-run homer off reliver Joey Marciano to help Chinese Taipei grab their first win in that tournament. He then went 1-for-3 with a single against Ryan Huntington of the Netherlands, then collected 2 singles against Elian Leyva and Miguel Romero of Cuba. Kungkuan was still a solid slugger in 2023, and he hit .284/.353/.526 with 23 homers. He led the league in homers, ranked 4th in RBI (16 behind Chien-Fu Liao) and 5th in doubles (10 behind Chia-Jung Liang). In the 2023 Taiwan Series, he recorded a .367/.441/.467 batting line with a homer off Jen-Ho Tseng, and he led the Dragons to beat the Rakuten Monkeys in 7 games.


  1. 2009 World Youth Championship
  2. 2019 Indians Media Guide, pg. 94
  3. Taiwan Baseball Wiki
  4. 2014 Asian Games site
  5. Taiwan Baseball Wiki
  7. Taiwan Baseball Wiki