Thursday, May 18, 2017

Pirates sign 18-year-old Chinese pitcher Haicheng Gong (宫海成)

The Pittsburgh Pirates signed 18-year-old Chinese pitcher Haicheng Gong (宫海成) on Tuesday. writes that Gong comes from the Chinese Development Academy and will be assigned to the team's Bradenton affiliate. Rumbunters has more details, including the time Gong has spent getting used to American culture.

The Pirates have had a number of Asian players in their system the past decade, though Gong is the first from the People's Republic of China. The four East Asian players to make the big league roster are Masumi Kuwata in 2007, Akinori Iwamura in 2010, Hisanori Takahashi in 2012, and Jung-ho Kang in 2015-2016.