Lin Yi-chuan came away as the biggest winner at the Chinese Professional Baseball League’s (CPBL) annual awards ceremony in Taipei on Wednesday evening, with five trophies and NT$250,000 in prize money, including the coveted Most Valuable Player honor.
The veteran EDA Rhinos slugger, who also won the league’s MVP honor in 2009 and last season, successfully defended it after another outstanding year on both sides of the ball that included the RBI title and the gold glove award.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling to win [MVP] for the third time, given the number of great players involved. I will continue to work hard and hopefully win a few more of these,” Lin said after the ceremony, with his wife and one-year-old daughter by his side.
Photo: Lin Cheng-kung, Taipei Times
He beat out Chinatrust Brothers hurler Cheng Kai-wen, who also had a fine season for the men in the golden uniforms, with 11 wins and a 2.48 earned run average (ERA) to lead the league in both pitching categories.
Lin’s other winnings included most RBIs in the regular season at 88, as well as the Silver Slugger award and the top-ranked player in the league by position (at first base).
Lin and Cheng were not the only players who went home with multiple awards, as fellow Rhinos hitter Hu Chin-lung also snagged the batting title and most hits in the regular season with a .350 average and 162 hits to join Lin as the league’s top offensive threats.
Also starring for the Rhinos was home run leader Kao Guo-hui, who belted 18 long balls in just 52 games with an impressive comeback from an injury that sidelined him during the entire first half.
On the defensive side of the ball, in addition to Cheng’s outstanding effort off the mound, Rhinos starter Huang Sheng-hsiung also humbled the opposing hitters, with a league-best 119 strikeouts in 25 starts and two relief appearances to highlight his rookie season, even though he was not named Rookie of the Year.
Rounding out the rest of the individual awards were Lamigo Monkeys bullpen stars Chen Yu-hsun and Miguel Mejia, whose respective 30 holds and 35 saves landed them the setup man of the year and the closer of the year honors.
The Rookie of the Year honor was given to Lan Ying-lung of the Monkeys for a terrific season at the plate with a .339 average to prove that his Home Run Derby title over the All-Star Weekend was no fluke.
The Most Improved Player of the Year went to the Rhinos’ Chang Yung-han, who earned a regular starting role in the Rhinos outfield with a .293 batting average after spending most of last season in the minors with the Primates.
The Most Stolen Base honor went to Lamigo speedster Lin Chih-ping, who had 31 stolen bases to his credit, nine more than the next-best contender.
The top-ranked players by position were Brothers pitcher Cheng, Rhinos catcher Yang Guan-wei, Rhinos first baseman Lin Yi-chuan, Monkeys second baseman Kuo Yen-wen, Monkeys third baseman Lin Chih-ping, Uni-President Lions shortstop Chen Yung-chi, Rhinos outfielder Hu, Brothers outfielder Chang Cheng-wei, Monkeys outfielder Lan and Monkeys designated hitter Lin Hung-yu.
The Gold Glove winners by position for this year were Rhinos pitcher Freddy Garcia, Monkeys catcher Huang Hao-ran, Rhinos first baseman Lin Yi-chuan, Lions second baseman Lin Chih-hsiang, Brothers third baseman Huang Shih-hao, Brothers shortstop Wang Sheng-wei, Rhinos outfielder Chang Chien-ming, Monkeys outfielder Chan Chih-yao and Brothers outfielder Chang Cheng-wei.
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