The Brother Elephants were the biggest winners at the Chinese Professional Baseball League’s (CPBL) annual award ceremony in Taipei on Sunday, as slugger Peng “Chia Chia” Cheng-min claimed the coveted MVP honor to lead a crew of seven that racked up a total of 17 awards for their outstanding efforts.
In addition to the league’s MVP honor, Chia Chia had a busy afternoon, taking home the status of the top-ranked first baseman and the Golden Glove award to go along with his fifth career batting title.
His selfless leadership was a key reason that helped a young Elephants squad overcome a mediocre first half by winning the second half of the regular season outright before sweeping the Sinon Bulls in four straight to claim the Taiwan Series.
“This one really tops them all,” the smiling slugger said after he received the MVP trophy.
He had previously come close to winning the honor, but was beat out in several tight races.
Rounding out the rest of the awards for the Elephants were starting pitcher Carlos Castillo, who led the league in wins and ERA, with 14 regular--season victories and a 2.17 ERA. Orlando Roman and Ryan Cullen took home the trophies for the most strikeouts (142) and saves (34) respectively.
Elephants skipper Chen Rei-chen was named the Manager of the Year for taking his crew of mostly unknown players, molding them into title-contenders and ultimately winning it all.
The Rookie of the Year honor was given to pitcher Wang Jing-ming of the Uni-President Lions for his 10-3 record.
The Most Improved Player of the Year went to the Bears pticher Wang Fong-jin, who turned in a 7-4 year with a decent 2.60 ERA over 100-and-one-third innings of work, after spending most of the two previous seasons on the bench.
The Top Reliever honor went to the Bears’ Tseng Jau-hao, who had 25 holds to his credit.
On the offensive side, the night belonged to La New Bears’ Lin Chih-sheng, who added to his already impressive resume the home run and RBI titles, as well as the top Silver Slugger honor for his 21 blasts, 79 RBIs and league-best 1355 point total in the Silver Slugger points tally.
Chang “OEO” Tai-shan took home the Most Hits award with his league-best 142 hits in a record-setting year that saw the Sinon Bulls slugger reach 1,030 career RBIs.
The Most Stolen Bases honor went to fellow Bulls catcher Cheng Da-hong, who had 31 stolen bags in 41 attempts.
The top-ranked players by position were: Elephants pitcher Castillo, Bulls catcher Cheng Da-hong, Elephants first baseman Peng, second baseman Chen Jiang-ho, third baseman Huang Shih-hao, Bulls shortstop Cheng Jau-hang, Lions outfielder Liu Fu-hao, Bears outfielder Chong Cheng-yo, and the Bulls’ outfielder Chang Jien-ming and designated hitter Chang Tai-shan.
The Golden Glove winners by position for this year were: Lions pitcher Pan “Du Du” Wei-luen and catcher Kao Chih-kang, an all--Elephants infield consisting of first baseman Peng, second baseman Chen Jiang-ho, third baseman Huang Shih-hao and shortstop Wang Sheng-wei, Lions outfielder Liu Fu-hao, Bulls outfielder Chang Jien-ming and Elephants outfielder Chang Cheng-wei.