Po-Jung Wang

From BR Bullpen


Po-Jung Wang (王柏融) (King Po-Jung)

  • Bats Left, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 0", Weight 194 lb.

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Biographical Information[edit]

Po-Jung Wang had a record-setting rookie year in the CPBL, and he also played in NPB.

Wang hit .240/?/.320 for Taiwan in the 2013 World Port Tournament but tied for third in the event with three RBI and tied for second in doubles (two). He also played in the 2013 East Asian Games (Taiwan got the Bronze) and 2014 U-21 Baseball World Cup (which Taiwan won). He hit .429/.500/.571 with five runs in five games in the 2014 Asian Games, starting in right for Taiwan to help them win a Silver Medal. He was in the 2015 Universiade. The Lamigo Monkeys took him in the first round of the 2015 CPBL Draft, the 4th overall pick (following former major leaguer Che-Hsuan Lin, Tzu-Wei Lin and former AAA player Chih-Hsien Chiang). He got his first CPBL hit off Andy Sisco and his first homer off Wei-Lun Pan two days later. He hit .324/.377/.640 in the 2015 CPBL with 9 homers in 29 games. Despite his last entry into the league, he was second in Rookie of the Year voting, behind Chi-Hung Hsu. He hit .500/.531/.821 with 2 homers to help the Monkeys beat the CTBC Brothers in 7 games in the 2015 Taiwan Series, and he was named the Outstanding Player, a step below MVP (which went to Chih-Sheng Lin).

In the 2015 Premier 12, he started in right for Taiwan and outperformed many more experienced players, producing at a .444/.524/.722 clip with 4 RBI in five games. He led Taiwan in average, slugging (.196 over Chun-Hsiu Chen) and OBP (.124 over Hung-Yu Lin). For the event, he weas 5th in average (behind Matt McBride, Randolph Oduber, Juan Apodaca and Kalian Sams, 8th in slugging (between Sho Nakata and Tyler O'Neill) and tied McBride for 5th in OBP. His two-run homer off former major leaguer Shawn Hill tied a game against Team Canada at 4-4 but Taiwan fell, 9-8. Wang did not make the tourney All-Star team as McBride, Oduber and Hyun-soo Kim were the outfielders selected.

Wang then dominated the 2016 CPBL. He hit .414/.476/.689 with 40 doubles, 29 homers, 105 RBI, 130 runs and 24 steals in 32 tries over 116 games. He fielded .987 with six outfield assists. In a high-offense environment that year, he only won the batting title by .012 over Chih-Hsien Chiang. He easily topped the old league record, .391 by Cheng-Min Peng in 2008. His 200 hits topped Wilton Veras's 7-year-old mark by 28; he led Hung-Yu Lin by 33 in 2016. He set a new extra-base hit record. He set a new run record, topping Cheng-Wei Chang by 22 in 2016. He set a record for homers by a rookie (broken four years later by An-Ko Lin). He was also 3rd in RBI, trailing only Hung-Yu Lin (108) and Chih-Sheng Lin (107), led in total bases (333, 55 ahead of Hung-Yu Lin), tied Hung-Yu Lin for the doubles lead, was second in steals (two behind Chih-Ping Lin), was 4th in home runs (between Chih-Hsien Chiang and Chun-Hsiu Chen), led in OBP (.018 ahead of Hung-Yu Lin) and was second in slugging (.049 behind Chih-Hsien Chiang). He won a Gold Glove (joining Kuo-Long Kuo and Che-Hsuan Lin), made the Best Ten (joining Che-Hsuan Lin and Kuo-Hui Kao in the outfield), won Rookie of the Year (his 2015 time was not enough to lose his rookie status) and took home the CPBL MVP. He was the second position player to win MVP and Rookie of the Year the same year, following Yi-Chuan Lin.

He did not get the opportunity to play in the 2017 World Baseball Classic as Lamigo prevented its players from appearing. He then dominated the 2017 CPBL, showing no sophomore slump. Wang was selected into the 2017 CPBL All-Star Game, and he was 3-for-3 with 4 RBI and a 2-run homer against Ching-Ming Wang. He shattered Chin-Lung Hu's record of fastest player to 400 hits in the CPBL (251 games, 27 fewer; 994 at-bats, 131 fewer). He produced at a .407/.491/.700 clip with 33 doubles, 31 homers, 107 runs, 101 RBI and fielded .996. He led the league in average (.020 ahead of Chieh-Hsien Chen), hits (178, 9 ahead of Chieh-Hsien Chen), homers (four ahead of teammate Yu-Hsien Chu), RBI (18 ahead of Chu) and total bases (306, 84 aherad of Chieh-Hsien Chen) for the second Triple Crown in league history, 19 years after Jay Kirkpatrick had the first (interestingly, Kirkpatrick also had 31 HR and 101 RBI). He was also second in runs (6 behind Chieh-Hsien Chen), 4th in steals (15), tied for third with Yu-Hsien Chu with 50 walks and was second with 11 HBP (one behind Wei-Ting Lin. The lone negative was finishing second in caught stealing (10). Lamigo would win the 2017 Taiwan Series to defend their title, and Wang hit .429/.619/.429. Wang won another Gold Glove, another Best Ten and another MVP.

In 2018, Wang was not as dominant as he was in his first three years, but he was still a solid outfielder. He hit .351/.446/.547 with 17 homers, and he led the league in walks and OBP. Wang was 4th in batting (.024 behind Chun-Hsiu Chen), 2nd in runs (3 behind Chieh-Hsien Chen), 3rd in hits (6 behind Chieh-Hsien Chen), 2nd in doubles (2 behind Chiang), 4th in homers (5 behind Chih-Hao Chang) and 4th in slugging (.055 behind Chun-Hsiu Chen). He won the Best Ten and the Gold Glove again. He attended the 2018 CPBL All-Star Game, and he was 0-for-2. In the 2018 Taiwan Series, Wang hit .381/.458/.810 with 2 homers, and the Monkeys beat the Uni-President Lions in 6 games.

Wang then announced that he would became an international free agent, and the Nippon Ham Fighters signed him with a 3-year, 4-million dollar contract. He was not as effective as in Taiwan, only hitting .255/.321/.327 with 3 homers in 2019. He then represented Taiwan in the 2019 Premier 12, but he was 3-for-21. Wang continued struggling in NPB, hitting .207/.263/.322 in 2020 and .242/.322/.429 with 9 homers in 2021. He stayed in the NPB Farm Leagues in 2022, so he only played 15 games with the big club; he hit .328/.394/.500 with 4 homers in ni-gun.

In the 2023 World Baseball Classic, Wang was 0-for-3 against Panama, and he collected a RBI single against Joe Biagini of Italy; he had 3 at-bats that game. Wang was 1-for-3, with a single against Lars Huijer of the Netherlands, but he then went 0-for-1 versus Cuba. He hit .238/.289/.357 in 23 games in 2023, then he became a free agent and came back to Taiwan. The Monkeys traded him with Wei-Chun Weng, Yin-Lun Lan and Yi-Cheng Wang to the TSG Hawks for Tzu-Wei Lin.