as per http://twitter.com/Kevin_Goldstein/statuses/21921708947
Yankees dropped some big coin in Asia, signing 16-year-old SS Tzu-Wei Lin out of Taiwan for $350K; MVP of recent IBAF tourney in Canada.
Winning the gold medal was the goal of each player on the 18-and-under Taiwanese national team at the World Junior Baseball Championship that concluded earlier this month in Thunder Bay, Canada. But many of the players are also aiming for an even bigger prize — one day suiting up for the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers or another major league baseball team.
It’s Lin Tzu wei’s (林子偉) dream. The third baseman was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, with a batting average over .600 and 12 runs scored for Taiwan, which plays under the Chinese Taipei banner.
Since its inception in 1981, the World Junior Baseball Championship has featured many players who have gone on to become major league stars. Tournament alumni, in addition to (Chien-Ming) Wang, include players such as American League MVP Joe Mauer, catcher for the Minnesota Twins; Kendry Morales of the Los Angeles Angels, who played for Cuba; and South Korean Shin-Soo Choo of the Cleveland Indians.
Some of the best up-and-coming 16 to 18-year-old players in the world were at the 12-team event, a fact not lost on the 30 major league franchises, which are all involved in the highly competitive process of identifying the best future players. According to Warren Philp, the lead organizer of the tournament in Thunder Bay, about 80 scouts attended the event, in addition to agents and MLB officials, many of whom came with stopwatches, radar guns and notepads, observing carefully and trying to discover the next Chien-Ming Wang.
The Yankees must have seen some serious upside to this kid.