Lien-Hung Chen

From BR Bullpen

Lien-Hung Chen (陳連宏)

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 3", Weight 231 lb.

BR register page

Biographical Information[edit]

Lien-Hung Chen was a long-time player in the Chinese Professional Baseball League and has played for Taiwan's national team. He is the brother of Chin-Feng Chen. He has been a star in Taiwan, though clearly not up to his kid brother's fame. He was very good at drawing walks with an OBP regularly over .400 and has done well in terms of average, power, speed and defense also.

Chen played for Taiwan in the 1991 World Junior Championship, 1993 Asian Championship, 1994 Baseball World Cup, 1994 Asian Games, 1995 Asian Championship, 1995 Intercontinental Cup and 1999 Asian Championship. He was Taiwan's main right fielder in the 1994 World Cup, hitting .294/.324/.588 with 7 runs, 9 RBI, 4 doubles and two home runs in 8 games. He had three outfield assists and two double plays. His solo homer against Osvaldo Fernandez was Taiwan's lone run against Cuba. In the 1995 Intercontinental Cup, Chen hit .214/.450/.214 as Taiwan's center fielder, showing good plate discipline but not much else. Chen had some trouble with international tournaments due to a fear of flying.

The Tainan native made his pro debut in 1997 when the China Trust Whales was founded, hitting .250/.338/.315. In 1998, he batted .314/.425/.552 with 16 homers and 26 stolen bases in 32 tries. Chen ranked 4th in homers (15 behind Jay Kirkpatrick), 8th in batting (.073 behind Kirkpatrick) and 7th in steals (39 behind Bernardo Tatis). He won a CPBL Gold Glove and was named to the Best Nine in the outfield. Chen's batting line in 1999 was .331/.438/.498 and he again was named to the Best Nine. He was second in average, .002 behind Chi-Feng Hung. In the 1999 Taiwan Series, Chen was 2-for-16 and the Whales were beaten by the Wei Chuan Dragons in 5 games.

Chen hit .304/.422/.521 with 13 homers in 2000, and he attended the 2000 CPBL All-Star Game; he was 1-for-2 with a RBI. He ranked 4th in batting (.050 behind Chung-Yi Huang, 4th in RBI (5 behind Huang), 5th in hits (28 behind Huang) and 2nd in homers (2 behind Chung-Chiu Lin). He won his second Best Nine as an outfielder. Chen had a .287/.395/.437 batting line in 2001 and he was 1-for-1 with 2 RBI and 2 runs scored in the 2001 CPBL All-Star Game. In 2002, Lien-Hung batted .292/.409/.393 with 3 homers.

The Whales then traded him to the Uni-President Lions for Chao-Huang Lin and Kun-Hsiang Tsai. Chen hit .333/.399/.498 with 10 homers, ranked 4th in batting (.022 behind Cheng-Min Peng), 5th in hits (26 behind Chih-Yuan Chen), 7th in homers (18 behind Tai-Shan Chang) and 5th in RBI (35 behind Chen). He was named to the Best Ten, the 4th time he was rated one of the CPBL's top flyhawks in terms of overall performance. In the 2003 CPBL All-Star Game, Chen was 3-for-3 and he won the MVP. He hit .302/.364/.420 with 5 homers in 2004, and he was 1-for-2 in the 2004 CPBL All-Star Game. In the 2004 Taiwan Series, Chen was 0-for-9 and the Sinon Bulls beat the Lions in 7 games.

Chen had another solid season in 2005, hitting .308/.404/.416 with 5 homers. He attended the 2005 CPBL All-Star Game, but he was 0-for-2. Chen was 2-for-2 with a double in the 2006 CPBL All-Star Game, and he won his second All-Star MVP. He hit .305/.394/.398 in this season. Chen was 3-for-12 in the 2006 Taiwan Series, and the Lions were swept by the La New Bears. He recorded a .286/.364/.477 batting line with 11 homers in 2007, and he was 0-for-1 in the 2007 CPBL All-Star Game. Chen hit .333/.387/.407 with 2 doubles and 5 RBI in the 2007 Taiwan Series. He had a key hit for the Lions against Andrew Lorraine in Game 7 to give them the title over his brother's La New Bears.

The veteran outfielder had a big day in the opening game of the 2008 season. He became the first player in CPBL history to homer twice in the opening day while he blasted the first grand slam, and his 7 RBI is also the opening day record in CPBL history as of 2023. He ended up hitting .314/.413/.511 with 13 homers, and he ranked 4th in homers (11 behind his teammate Tilson Brito). Chen shined in the 2008 Taiwan Series, hitting .304/.484/.609 with 4 RBI to help the Lions win over the Brother Elephants in 7 games. Chen extended his solid batting, having a .311/.391/.462 with 12 homers in 2009. He recorded a .267/.324/.333 batting line in the 2009 Taiwan Series, and the Lions beat the Brothers again in 7 games.

However, Chen slumped to .196/.294/.280 in 2010 and he hit .265/.333/.375 in 2011. He then announced his retirement after the 2011 season and became a coach. He coached the Lions from 2012 to 2013 and managed them from 2013 to 2015. He led the Lions won the 2013 Taiwan Series. Tai-Yuan Kuo replaced Chen in 2016, and he worked as bench coach in that season. Chen was a coach for the AZL Padres in 2017, and he managed the Fubon Guardians from 2018 to 2019. He started to coach the minor league team of the Lions in 2020.

Overall, Chen hit .299/.392/.450 with 1,196 hits, 216 doubles, 112 homers and 102 steals in 15 seasons in the CPBL.