The St. Louis Cardinals had never signed a player from Taiwan in the history of their franchise. That has finally changed as the Cardinals announced on Monday that they have signed Taiwanese pitching prospect Chen-Wei Lin.
Lin has the type of size that hints to his potential. Standing at 6’7″ tall, he has the type of frame that could add plenty of muscle. He also has the bloodlines that could portend major league success; his uncle is former All Star reliever Hong-Chih Kuo.
Chen-Wei Lin intriguing prospect for St. Louis Cardinals
He is more than just his projectable frame and bloodlines. As Sam Dykstra from MLB Pipeline noted, Lin also boasts a fastball that averages 95.3 MPH and was clocked as high as 98.6 MPH, the highest marks in the MLB Draft League. He also has a changeup that sits in the mid 80s and a rarely used slider. His control is still shaky at this point in his development, but he did show improvement as the draft league continued along.
Lin also has plenty of international experience as well. He was a part of the Taiwanese entry in the U-23 Baseball World Cup in 2021 and 2022. That experience, added to his time in the MLB Draft League, makes Lin an even more intriguing prospect.
The Cardinals are going to be cautious with him for now. He will join the organization at their complex in Jupiter, FL, to begin his professional career. From there, the Cardinals will determine his best usage, although that could change depending on how his slider and control develop. If Lin does end up as a bullpen option, he does have the bloodlines to become a solid piece in a major league bullpen.
The St. Louis Cardinals have signed their first player from Taiwan. Chen-Wei Lin gives the organization another intriguing arm.