Cheng-Min Peng (Cha Cha)
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 0", Weight 205 lb.
Cheng-Min Peng has won five batting titles in the Chinese Professional Baseball League. An outfielder, Peng has starred for the Brother Elephants. He formed the "Three Musketeers" with teammates Chih-Yuan Chen and Feng-An Tsai. He has a career average of .348 through 2007.
Peng first broke onto the international scene with the 1995 World Junior Championship, during which he hit .419 and slugged .710 for Taiwan, with 9 RBI. He was second in the tournament in average behind Davide Dallospedale and possibly led in home runs (3). He was named to the All-Tournament team at third base and Taiwan won Silver. Brad Wilkerson beat him out for tournament MVP honors.
Peng went 4 for 15 with two walks in the 1997 World Port Tournament. He was a bench player for Taiwan in the 1998 Baseball World Cup, going 0 for 5 with two walks in four games, one at first base and three as a pinch-hitter.
In 2001, Peng debuted in the CPBL, hitting .316/.433/.478 for the Elephants. He batted .310/.445/.588 with 18 home runs, 71 RBI and 16 steals in 88 games in 2002. He made the Best Ten team as the top DH in the CPBL. He then was a postseason hero, winning MVP honors in the Taiwan Series. Peng played for Taiwan in the 2002 Intercontinental Cup, producing at a .167/.308/.400 clip as a 1B/DH; he had 11 strikeouts in 30 AB but also scored 8 runs and drove in 8 in 8 games. He led Taiwan in runs and was second to Tsai in RBI. He also played for Taiwan in the 2002 Asian Games.
Peng improved even further in 2003 when the 24-year-old hit .355/.455/.585 and led the CPBL in both doubles (25) and batting average. His 83 runs were one behind leader Chih-yuan Chen. He was Player of the Month in May, July and September. He made the Best 10 as an outfielder. Peng also played for Taiwan in the 2003 Asian Championship.
In 2004, Peng won his second batting title, with an impressive .376 mark. He also had an OBP of .493 and slugged .595. He led the league in runs (90) and hits (127) and was a two-time Player of the Month. The Elephants cleanup hitter won the batting title by 39 points over runner-up Tai-Shan Chang. He was over .400 for 70 games, a CPBL record, breaking the 66 set by Jay Kirkpatrick in 1998. He again was a Best Ten pick.
Peng was an obvious pick for Taiwan's team in the 2004 Olympics and he hit well, batting .286/.483/.524 with 3 steals in 4 tries. He led the Olympics in stolen bases that year and led the Taiwan entry in OBP.
Peng remained sharp in 2005, hitting .339/.445/.544 for his third straight batting championship. He led in average by 15 points over Victor Rodriguez and made his 4th straight Best Ten, his third in a row as an outfielder. Unfortunately, his season was cut short by a wrist injury.
Peng missed significant time due to injuries in 2006 and hit .351/.468/.532 when healthy (48 games). Healthy in 2007, the former Olympic player batted .364/.463/.594 and finally topped 20 home runs after having peaked at 18 three times before. He was third in the league in homers behind Tilson Brito and Chin-Feng Chen and was second in average, 20 points behind Chen.
Peng hit .256/.383/.333 in the 2007 Baseball World Cup with 7 runs and 7 RBI in 10 games. He was error-free in right field and drew 7 walks. He scored one of Taiwan's runs and drove in another in their 6-3 quarterfinal loss to the Dutch national team. In the 2007 Asian Championship, he was 4 for 12 with a walk and four runs, the most on Taiwan and two behind tournament leader Young-min Ko.
Peng batted .364/.400/.500 with 6 RBI in 7 games in the 2008 Final Olympic Qualification Tournament as Taiwan earned a spot in the 2008 Olympics. Peng was Taiwan's first baseman for the event. Peng had a similar role in Beijing, hitting a solid .310/.394/.434 with 5 runs in 7 games. He scored the winning run against Canada that gave Taiwan 5th place in the Olympics.
Peng won the 2008 CPBL batting title at .391, .043 ahead of runner-up Kuan-Jen Chen. His 23 steals were one behind leader Sheng-Wei Wang. He set the all-time batting average record, breaking Jay Kirkpatrick's 10-year-old mark by .004. His record stood eight years before Po-Jung Wang broke it.
On Opening Day 2009, Peng hit the 6,000th home run in CPBL history, off Wei-Lun Pan, to help the Elephants avoid a shutout in a 5-1 loss. For the 2009 CPBL season, he hit .366/.481/.560, losing the batting title by .001 to Wu-Hsiung Pan, tied Tai-Shan Chang for 4th in home runs (17), led in OBP by a whopping .044 over Wu-Hsiung Pan and was 4th in slugging.
On August 18, 2010, Peng became the 10th player in CPBL annals to reach 1,000 hits and the fastest to do so, accomplishing the feat in his 844th game and 2,838 at-bat. The hit came off Chin-Chih Huang. The old records for the fastest to 1,000 hits were Chung-Yi Huang (876 games) and Min-Ching Lo (3,244 AB). Chih-Sheng Lin would reach 1,000 hits in 836 games. He finished the 2010 CPBL season with a .357/.451/.481 to take his fifth batting title. He led in OBP by .071 (over Chih-Sheng Lin), was second in slugging (.034 behind Lin), led in average (by .027 over Yi-Chuan Lin), was 4th in steals (20), 4th in RBI (65) and tied with Chih-Sheng Lin for second with 138 hits. He won the Gold Glove, the Best Ten at 1B and finally took home his first CPBL MVP award.