The Atlanta Braves have signed two players from the Pacific Rim: Japanese outfielder Ryohei Shimabukuro and Taiwanese pitcher Chen-En Hong.
Shimabukuro is only 16-years old, but he is already 6'2", 220 pounds. It's the first time a sixteen-year-old from Japan has signed with a Major League organization. "Shima" has played first base, but the Braves are going to see if he can catch.
The Braves first saw Shima two years ago when they signed Takumi Hamaoka, an outfielder now with the Gulf Coast League Braves. The Braves scouts say his bat is "something special." Shima will play in the Australian Academy this summer and then come to Florida for the Instructional League this fall.
Hong is a 6'1", 165-pound right-hander whose fastball has been clocked in the low-90s. The Braves compare him to a young Chien-Ming Wang, the Yankees' starter, with a similar loose arm for his age. He's the first pitcher ever signed by the Braves out of Taiwan.
The Braves will also have Hong play in Australia this summer and bring him over for the Fall Instructional League.
The Braves signed four more international players. The Braves Show will have additional information on those four next week.
Bill Shanks is the author of Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team, a look inside the Braves‘ traditional scouting and player development philosophies. He can also be heard regularly on the Braves Radio Network. Email Bill at email@example.com.
Braves sign two international players
Atlanta Dugout Top Stories
Dustin Peterson's improvement continuesWho has likely been the player of the year in the Braves' farm system? Most likely Dustin Peterson in Mississippi.
Adonis Garcia giving Atlanta options at 3BBill Shanks has some impressive numbers on Adonis Garcia, who is giving the Braves options for third base for the future.
Braves get two prospects for CervenkaThe Braves have added two more young players with the trade of reliever Hunter Cervenka to Miami.
Jose Fernandez killed in a boating accidentMarlins ace killed in boating accident.
ScoutSunday at 6:55 AM