Kuo-Hui Kao

From BR Bullpen

Kuo Hui Kao in CPBL(3).jpg

Kuo-Hui Kao (高國輝)
formerly known as Kuo-Hui Lo

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 2", Weight 210 lb.

BR register page

Biographical Information[edit]

Kuo-Hui Kao reached AA before winning several home run titles in Taiwan. He has also played in the Olympics. Kao is a nephew of Chin-Hui Tsao and brother of Kuo-Long Lo, Kuo-Lin Kao and Kuo-Hua Lo.

Kao hit .433/.514/.667 as the DH for the Taiwanese national team in the 2005 Baseball World Cup and had the best OBP on the team. He was 5th in the Cup tournament in average but lost the DH spot on the All-Tournament team to Canada's Joey Votto. Among the players Kao outhit were Osmani Urrutia, Dirk van 't Klooster, Lastings Milledge, Ben Zobrist and Josh Phelps.

The Seattle Mariners signed him on July 2. Kao split 2006 between the Everett AquaSox (.276/.338/.466 in 16 games) and the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (.243/.317/.318 in 29 games). He stole 24 bases in 29 tries between the two clubs. A right calf strain cut his season short.

In 2007, Kao hit .288/.368/.419 with 32 steals in 41 tries for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. He led the team in average and steals. He was fifth in the Midwest League in steals, just missed the top 10 in average and OBP and tied three others, including Travis Snider and Preston Mattingly for sixth with 7 triples. He also set a record for most steals by a Taiwanese player in the US minors. He then played for Taiwan in the 2007 Baseball World Cup, batting .219/.381/.344 and fielding perfectly in center field.

Kao hit .385/.448/.769 with 5 extra-base hits, 7 runs and 8 RBI as Taiwan's star in the 2008 Final Olympic Qualification Tournament as they won a spot in the 2008 Olympics. He tied Seung-yeop Lee, Karim Garcia, Carlos Valencia and Matt Rogelstad for second in home runs (2), one behind leader Nick Weglarz. He tied for second in steals (2) and tied for 7th in runs. He tied for second in RBI, even with Luke Hughes, Rogelstad, Dae-ho Lee and Jimmy Van Ostrand and trailing only Seung-yeop Lee. He took part in both of Taiwan's runs in a 2-0 win over Germany; without him, they would never have scored against André Hughes. He hit a 3-run homer in Taiwan's 6-5 loss to Team Canada, one of the two teams to finish ahead of them in the event. Kao batted .238/.438/.429 with 5 runs in 7 games as Taiwan's left fielder in the 2008 Olympics. His best game came in Taiwan's stunning loss to host China, as he was 2 for 2 with 4 walks and a solo homer (off of Nan Wang).

In 2008, Kao was promoted to the High Desert Mavericks, and stayed there for two years. He batted .277/.326/.487 with 12 triples and 14 homers in 2009, then hit .237/.302/.329 with AA West Tenn Diamond Jaxx. He tied Brad Chalk and Jeremy Moore for 4th in the California League in triples and was two behind Tyson Gillies and Carlos Peguero for the most by a M's farmhand. He played for Taiwan in the 2010 Intercontinental Cup, going 10 for 27 with 4 RBI. He scored three runs against Japan. His .667 slugging tied Yuli Gurriel for 9th and his .452 OBP tied Mario Chiarini for 9th. He tied for 7th in hits, led with six doubles (one more than Chun-Hsiu Chen and Héctor Olivera Jr.) and tied Giorvis Duvergel and Gurriel for 4th with 18 total bases. He also joined Chinese Taipei national team in the 2010 Asian Games, and hit 5 singles in 12 at bats. Kao did okay in the minors the next year, as he recorded a batting line of .252/.335/.431 with 4 dingers for AA Jackson Generals in 2011 (also playing 11 games with High Desert). The Mariners released him on the end of the year. He was on Taiwan's squad in the 2011 Baseball World Cup, hitting .333/.345/.481 with four doubles in seven games. He led the team in average (.015 ahead of Han Lin) and tied for 7th in the Cup in two-baggers.

The EDA Rhinos drafted Kao in the 2nd round of 2012 CPBL draft. The Hualien native soon adapted to the league, hitting .350/.411/.566 with 14 homers, and won the Best Ten award as a outfielder in his rookie year. He represented Taiwan in the 2012 Asian Championship and the 2013 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers. He was 5 for 12 with a triple and four RBI in the Asia Championship (Taiwan won Silver), and was 0 for 1 with two walks and a RBI in the WBC qualifiers. Taiwan won a spot in the 2013 World Baseball Classic but he did not make the roster as they went with Dai-Kang Yang, Chien-Ming Chang and Che-Hsuan Lin in the outfield. Kao led the league with 18 homers in 2014, amazingly since he only played 52 games. He held the league record for fewest game played for a league home run leader. In September, Kao also broke the team record for hitting a home run, with four straight games. Kao then made Taiwan's roster for the 2015 Premier 12. He was 6 for 17 with two runs there; he had a three-hit game in a win over Cuba

The 2015 season of Kao is one of the greatest single season performances for any CPBL player. He broke the league record with 39 dingers (Tilson Brito had the old mark of 33), had a .324/.387/.629 batting line, and led the league in runs and at-bats. He also won his second Best Ten award but the MVP went to Chih-Sheng Lin. Kao didn't stop his step for blasting homers, recorded 34 dingers in 2016. He broke the record held by Chin-Feng Chen for fastest to reach 100 career home runs, and became the first player to led the league in homers for three straight years. In 2016 Taiwan Series, Kao hit a dinger in Game 3 off Nick Additon, and won his first Taiwan Series title with the Rhinos. He then appeared in the 2017 World Baseball Classic with the Chinese Taipei national team. Kao played all 3 games, and collected four singles in 14 at bats.

Kao suffered from left hand and left abdomen injuries and only played 25, 62 and 50 games respectively in the next three years. The All-Star slugger came back in 2020, and blasted 25 dingers with a .303/.358/.598 batting line. He hit the first pinch-hitting walk-off grand slam on August 12. He tied Li Lin for 5th in homers. Kao significantly regressed in 2021, as hit .230/.284/.469 with 12 dingers. He spent his time mostly for the minors in the next year, only played 38 games, and recorded a career-worse .188/.228/.375 batting line at age 36. He announced his retirement after he hit .209/.281/.382 in 2023, and he became a coach.

Overall, Kao hit .290/.361/.559 with 772 hits, 192 doubles and 171 homers in 10 seasons in the CPBL. As of 2023, he ranked 6th in homers (132 behind Chih-Sheng Lin]]), 23th in RBI (783 behind Tai-Shan Chang), 45th in hits (1,362 behind Chang) and 23th in doubles (201 behind Yi-Chuan Lin).