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From BR Bullpen
Cheng-Hsien Chen (飯塚智広)
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 9", Weight 203 lb.
Cheng-Hsien Chen hit over .320 three times in the Chinese Professional Baseball League.
Chen played for Taiwan in the 1984 World Junior Championship, 1985 World Junior Championship and 1987 World Port Tournament. When the CPBL was formed in 1990, he joined the Uni-President Lions and would spend 15 years with them. He hit .247/.324/.355 in 1990 as a catcher-outfielder; he would spend the rest of his career primarily as an outfielder. In 1991, he hit .237/.330/.295 with just one homer in 70 games. Turning up the power, he batted .269/.360/.475 with 15 dingers in '92. That year, he went to spring training with the Los Angeles Dodgers along with Min-Ching Lo. He produced at a .273/.340/.423 rate in 1993. In 1994, he had a breakout year at .330/.387/.502. He tied Chu-Ming Lee for 7th in OBP, was 8th in average and 11th in slugging.
Chen was even better in his career year of 1995. The 28-year-old batted .333/.384/.532 with a league-best 33 doubles. The double total was a record for a Taiwan native that stood for 13 years before Long-Yi Huang broke it; Francisco Laureano held the record by a foreigner at 41. Chen also ranked 3rd in average (behind Angel Gonzalez and Luis de los Santos), 7th in OBP and fourth in slugging (behind Luis Iglesias, Gonzalez and Ming-Hsiung Liao). He made the Best Ten for the only time, joining George Hinshaw and Cesar Hernandez as the selected outfielders.
Chen fell to .270/.326/.442 in 1996, then had a resurgence in '97 to hit .309/.387/.461. He was 11th in OBP and also in slugging. Chen's batting line in 1998 was .264/.317/.413, then .295/.354/.396 in 1999, his last year with over 200 at-bats. That year, he became the second player in league history to 800 games, following I-Tseng Lin. He also was winding down a streak of 665 consecutive games played, a CPBL record. In a reduced role in 2000, Chen hit .231/.315/.354, followed by seasons of .268/.374/.428, .328/.401/.444, .269/.363/.468 and .194/.238/.347. Easily Taiwan's oldest player in the 2003 Baseball World Cup (his first international tournament in 16 years), he hit .226/.351/.290 as Taiwan's main DH. His last year, he became the 5th CPBL player to 1,000 career hits. He retired at the end of 2004 with a career line of .281/.352/.436 with 215 doubles and 101 homers in 1,207 CPBL games. Through September 14, 2010, he was tied for 6th in CPBL history in hits (1,011), even with Chung-Yi Huang.
After retiring as a player, Chen was hitting coach for the Lions in 2005 then managed their farm team in 2006.