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Wei-Chu Lin

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Wei-Chu Lin

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[edit] Biographical Information

Wei-Chu Lin became the regular right fielder for the Hanshin Tigers during the 2007 season.

Lin, Wei-Chu.jpg

Lin was on the winning team in the 1991 Little League World Series. A native of Taiwan, Lin came to Japan as an exchange student at age 18 with hopes of playing in the Koshien Tournament. He did not register in time, though, and was ineligible. After college, he was drafted by the Hanshin Tigers in the 7th round of the 2003 draft.

Lin spent most of 2004 in ni-gun but did make it briefly to the Tigers, going 1 for 7. He also played in the 2004 Olympics and went 3 for 9 in two games in center field, 2 as a pinch-hitter and one at DH. He had a double, one run and one RBI for Taiwan.

In 2005, the 26-year-old batted .417/.500/.667 in a 8-game trial with Hanshin.

Lin was on the Taiwanese national team again for the 2006 World Baseball Classic. He was 3 for 12 with a walk, double and run as the starting left fielder for Taiwan. Back with Hanshin, Lin became a key bench player with a .303/.354/.579 line in 82 plate appearances over 67 games. Opportunities were limited due to the return of veterans Shane Spencer and Shinjiro Hiyama in right and the emergence (after those two struggled significantly, looking washed-up) of oft-injured Osamu Hamanaka, who was in the Central League's top 10 in average, OBP and slugging. The fact that reigning MVP Tomoaki Kanemoto was in LF and SB king Norihiro Akahoshi in CF did not help matters.

When Hamanaka was injured again in 2007, it opened the door for Lin to play regularly and he responded well. Lin was hitting .343 through the end of May with 8 home runs. He moved to first base in June when Andy Sheets was sent down. Overall, he batted .292/.321/.455 with 15 home runs in his first year as a regular.

Lin damaged ligaments in his left knee in 2008 and had to miss the 2008 Olympics. He was back with Taiwan for the 2009 World Baseball Classic, going 1 for 7 with the team's only extra-base hit of the event, a double off Jiangang Lu.

Sources: Japanesebaseball.com by Michael Westbay, Jim Allen article on Lin for the Daily Yomiuri, Defunct IBAF website, World Baseball Classic website

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