The Red Sox have slowly lost their once impressive minor league prospect core, thanks in part to win-now trades by former President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski. Guys like Yoan Moncada and Anderson Espinoza were traded away for veteran talents. This isn’t exactly a bad thing, but it still does hurt their prospect list. Also, players like Benintendi and Devers have graduated the minors and find themselves stars in the big leagues. Luckily, the Red Sox focus has shifted back towards the future, as they recently signed highly touted prospect Chih-Jung Liu.
The Red Sox signed the 20-year-old Taiwanese righthander for $750K, a great low-risk high-reward scenario. Liu is a two-way player with a fastball that can reach 98 mph. Due to a large high school workload, Liu was forced to switch solely to the offensive side of the ball in his first year with Taipei City’s Culture University. But this year he added pitching back to his arsenal, and now it looks deadlier than ever.
He also won’t be the only Taiwanese player on the Red Sox, as Tzu-Wei Lin is also on the roster in a utility-type role. They played together on Taiwan’s national squad during the Asian Baseball Championship series. Liu stood out for his nation, winning tournament MVP honors as his team had its best finish ever in the competition.
But not only is he a two-way player, but he also happens to be a switch hitter. He has displayed decent power, with good enough hitting to keep him in the lineup when not pitching. His defense is a great strength, and when he was in high school he showed solid glovework and an excellent arm at shortstop.
But for now, the Red Sox are planning on having Liu exclusively on the mound. Depending upon how he develops, we could see him as a solid starter or power reliever. One way or another, it is a great start to the offseason.