Wei Wang (王 偉)
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 190-220 lb.
Wei Wang has been a star player in China and was one of the first Chinese players to sign with a MLB team. He has played with the Beijing Tigers from 2002 until at least 2015.
Wang has been an member of the Chinese national team since 1998. He was in the 1998 Asian Games as a teenager. That year, he hit .308/.357/.385 in the Intercontinental Cup to lead the team's position players. In the 2002 World University Championship, the catcher batted .444/.500/1.111 with 3 doubles, a home run and a steal in 9 at-bats. He led China's offense once again and outperformed several future major leaguers. Wang led the China Baseball League in average (.364) in 2003 and slugged .667. He was with China for the 2003 Asian Championship.
Wang batted .227/.320/.409 for China in the 2005 Baseball World Cup. He helped China win Bronze in the 2005 Asian Championship, their first medal in the event. He also played for China in the 2006 World Baseball Classic, hitting the first home run in World Baseball Classic history, going deep off of Koji Uehara. In three games at catcher, he batted .222/.364/.667 with one HR and 3 RBI in 3 games and 9 AB. He had the best OPS of any of their starters.
In the 2006 Asian Games, he hit two home runs. In the 2006 Haarlem Baseball Week, Wang was just 2 for 13 with 7 strikeouts and no extra-base hits. He did draw two walks and get hit by three pitches for a .389 OBP.
The Seattle Mariners signed him on June 21, 2007 along with fellow infielder/outfielder Yu Bing Jia. That made them the 4th and 5th Chinese players signed by a MLB team and the 3rd and 4th players signed that week. Wang was 0 for 9 for China in the 2007 Arizona Fall League.
Playing in his hometown in the 2008 Olympics, Wang hit .263/.300/.368 despite 7 strikeouts in 19 AB. He was injured in a home plate collision with Matt LaPorta, hurting his ankle; the incident led to complaints from China manager Jim Lefebvre, who was ejected. Wang did not appear again in the Games, being replaced by backup Yang Yang. Chinese hurler Kun Chen plunked LaPorta later in the game, injuring LaPorta and earning Chen an ejection. Wang's injury required ACL surgery. Seattle released him that off-season, having never played in a minor league game.
Wang returned to the Beijing Tigers in 2009, now as a player-coach. He played for China in the 2010 Asian Games, 2012 Asian Championship and 2012 Asia Series. In the 2013 World Baseball Classic, he was 0 for 9 with five strikeouts. He was sharper in the 2014 Asian Games, going 4 for 10 with two doubles, two runs, a walk and a steal while fielding .962 as China's starting backstop. He had one of China's only two hits off Japan's Ryota Sekiya. He led the team in slugging and led the regulars in average and OBP despite being the team's oldest position player by almost eight years over Yuankai Zhai.
Sources include 2004 Baseball Almanac, Defunct IBAF website, Haarlem Baseball Week stats, World Baseball Classic website, 2008 Olympic Games, 2009 Mariners Media Guide, 2014 Asian Games website, Asian Baseball Federation website