Kai-Wen Cheng (鄭凱文)
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 9", Weight 163 lb.
Kai-Wen Cheng has played for Taiwan in international competitions at the youth, junior and senior level. His fastball has peaked at 94 mph.
Cheng was on the winning team in the 2000 Pony League World Series. He helped Taiwan in the 2003 World Youth Championship and was on their team for the 2005 Asian Junior Championship. In the 2006 World Junior Championship, he went 2-0 and allowed only one walk and one run in 18 innings, beating both the United States and Canada. Against Cuba, he threw a 12-inning complete game, allowing only one run for the win; he was clocked at 90-92 mph even in the 12th inning.
At age 19, Cheng pitched for Taiwan's senior team in the 2008 Final Olympic Qualification Tournament. He pitched 4 2/3 innings, allowing no runs and 6 hits while striking out four and walked one to help Taiwan lock up a slot in the 2008 Olympics. In the 2008 World University Championship, Cheng was 2-0 with a 3.60 ERA and 11 strikeouts in 10 innings for the Bronze Medal winners.
Cheng was one of three amateurs on Taiwan's squad for the 2008 Olympics. He allowed 3 runs, 2 walks and 2 runs in 2 2/3 IP. He tossed two scoreless innings to close up a win over the Dutch national team but was horrid against Japan.
Cheng was much better in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. Relieving an ineffective Chen-Chang Lee in the first inning against South Korea, he gave up a single to Kyung-wan Park but then retired Ki-hyuk Park, Jong-wook Lee, Keun-woo Jeong and Hyun-soo Kim in order. Yu-Cheng Liao relieved him in the third.
Cheng signed with the Hanshin Tigers of Japan for 2009. He started out on the farm but was quickly promoted, debuting on April 26 with six shutout innings against the Hiroshima Carp, but he got a no-decision when reliever Scott Atchison blew the 1-0 lead Cheng left with.