Yen-Wen Kuo

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Yen-Wen Kuo (郭嚴文)

BR Register page

Biographical Information[edit]

Yen-Wen Kuo made his professional debut in 2008.

Kuo played for Taiwan in the 2006 World Junior Championship, hitting .387. He signed with the Cincinnati Reds the next year, shortly before his 19th birthday. Kuo made his debut for Taiwan's senior national team in the 2008 Final Olympic Qualification Tournament and went 1 for 7 with an error as the backup 2B behind fellow US minor leaguer Chih-Hsien Chiang. Kuo made his Organized Baseball debut in 2008 with the GCL Reds; he began his career with a bang on June 20, going 3 for 5 with a double, walk, 3 runs and 2 RBI against the GCL Red Sox. Kuo was hitting .344/.406/.371 with 8 runs and 7 RBI after 8 games in the minors. He finished his first year in the US with a .281/.327/.333 batting line. Kuo went 1 for 3 as a bench player in the 2008 Olympics.

In the 2009 World Baseball Classic, he was 1 for 3 with a single off Seung-ho Lee. That year, he hit .256/.313/.330 as a utility infielder between three Reds affiliates, mostly with the Billings Mustangs. Cincinnati released Kuo late in spring training in 2010. The La New Bears made him the second pick in the 2010 CPBL Draft, after Yung-Chi Chen. He made a big splash, going 3 for 5 with a double in his debut on April 2nd and collecting 7 hits and 13 total bases in his first 15 at-bats.

In the first year with the Monkeys, Kuo batted .301/.333/.414 with 5 homers and 55 RBI. He was selected into the All-Star game and won Best Ten honors at second base. Kuo blasted 15 dingers in the 2012 with .299/.350/.484. He finished fourth in home runs (15), 7th in RBI (72), 8th in doubles(24) and participated in the 2012 Asia Series with the Monkeys after they won the 2012 Taiwan Series.

Kuo made Taiwan's roster for the 2013 World Baseball Classic. He was 4 for 14 with 2 doubles in the event. In the league, he batted .276/.333/.371 with 3 dingers and made into the All-Star game 3 years in a row. Kuo bounced back soon, as he hit .297/.356/.414 with 8 homers in the next year, and won his second Best Ten award as the top second baseman. He hit .267/.333/.467 in the 2014 Asian Games, playing error-free ball at second base and hitting a three-run homer to beat Japan in the semifinals. He had five RBI in five games to tie for the lead on the semifinalists, even with Ping-Chieh Chen and Han Lin.

The Tainan native extended his outstanding condition, as he hit .297/.349/.418 with 9 dingers in 2015. On July 5th, he broke the record held by I-Tseng Lin for a hitting streak, with 33 consecutive games. He had three hits in the 2015 Taiwan Series finale as the Monkeys won the title. He was on Taiwan's squad in the 2015 Premier 12, recording a 4-for-19 and blasted a homer off Team Italy.

Kuo was limited to 56 game played in 2016 because of a left knee injury. The league's top second baseman fully recovered and had a career year in 2017. He hit .323/.381/.458 and won both Gold Glove and Best Ten award. The Monkeys won the 2017 Taiwan Series; he had four hits and four RBI in Game 2. With a juiced ball in 2018, Kuo earned his first 10-homer season since 2012, recorded a .322/.372/.492 batting line and won the Gold Glove award again. He had three RBI in the 2018 Taiwan Series opener as the Monkeys repeated.

In 2019, he blasted a career-high 17 dingers, batted .324/.368/.505 and won his third Best Ten award. He homered twice and drove in five in Game 2 of the 2019 Taiwan Series as the Monkeys kept up their strong run. Kuo represented Chinese Taipei in the 2019 Premier 12, but only hit a single in 5 at-bats; his hit was off Arturo Reyes. Li Lin got most of the action at second base. Kuo still played 101 games in 2020, but he only recorded a career-worst .268 batting average with 10 homers.

When young infielders like Li Lin and Chieh-Sen Ma entered the league, the 33-years-old infielder was arranged to become a reserved player. He was named the captain of the Monkeys in 2021, but only played 51 games and 66 games in the next two years. He hit .307/.326/.402 in 37 games in 2023, and the Monkeys released him. The Wei Chuan Dragons then signed him.


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