Taiwanese baseball player Lin Chia-ching, whose home run helped Taiwan win the IBAF World Junior Baseball Championship for the first time in 27 years last month, left for the US yesterday to join the Cleveland Indians.
Lin, a former player at Taichung Municipal Shi Yuan Senior High School and now a freshman at National Taiwan College of Physical Education, was named most valuable player at the IBAF championship in Thunder Bay, Canada.
Lin’s strong showing drew attention from several Major League Baseball teams, including visits from the Minnesota Twins, the Indians and the Detroit Tigers, Chang Liao Wan-jian, the head of a supporters group of the high school baseball team, said on Monday.
After taking his relatives’ opinions into account, Lin decided to join the Indians, Chang Liao said.
Shortly after arriving in the US, Lin will attend a three-week training session to acclimate himself to the new environment and prepare for the MLB regular season starting in March.
Lin has a height advantage and power hitting ability, said Huang Wu-hsing, a coach for the high school team. He added that the upcoming session will focus on weight training and improving his strength and endurance.
In addition to Lin, who the Cleveland Indians signed for US$150,000 plus additional money for tuition, the team inked Chen Chun-hsiu in September 2007 for a US$300,000 bonus.