Chih-Kang Kao

From BR Bullpen

Chih-Kang Kao

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 10", Weight 165 lb.

Biographical Information[edit]

Chih-Kang Kao is a catcher who has played for Taiwan's national team in three different decades.

Kao appeared with Taiwan in the 1999 Intercontinental Cup when he was 18 years old. He hit .238/.277/.286 as the starting catcher and threw out 5 of 12 would-be base-stealers while making no errors. He helped Taiwan win Gold in the 2001 Asian Championship. In the 2001 Baseball World Cup, he was 0 for 2 with two walks as the backup to I-Chung Hong. He hit .200/.250/.300 as the starting backstop in the 2002 Intercontinental Cup and struck out in 10 of 30 at-bats. In the 2002 Haarlem Baseball Week, he was 6 for 16 with four walks and a double. He was 6th in the competition in average and tied Eric Patterson for third in OBP. He tied for 4th with 4 runs and tied for second with four walks, trailing only Hensley Meulens. In the 2002 World University Championship, Chih-Kang hit only .130/.200/.217 and threw out three of six attempted base-stealers. Kao played in the 2003 Asian Championship, splitting catching duties with Chun-Chang Yeh as Taiwan earned a spot in the 2004 Olympics.

At age 23, Kao was 3 for 18 with a walk in the 2004 Haarlem Baseball Week. He remained with Taiwan for the 2004 Olympics and backed up Chun-Chang Yeh. Kao had a single in his only at-bat in those Summer Games and played 4 2/3 innings behind the plate.

Kao turned pro in 2005 and was drafted by the Uni-President Lions. He batted just .228/.308/.299 that season but threw out almost 40% of attempted base-stealers. Kao was the third-string catcher for Taiwan in the 2006 World Baseball Classic and did not play in the tournament. In the 2006 CPBL season, the Lions backstop hit .316/.377/.402, showing major strides in his second campaign. He concluded a busy year with an appearance in the 2006 Intercontinental Cup, he hit .267/.313/.267 with no runs produced in eight games, splitting catching duties with Yeh. Kao threw out both players trying to steal against him.

Kao hit .294/.356/.396 for Uni-President in 2007. He had 49 runs and 47 RBI in 303 AB. He was 0 for 8 as the starting Taiwan catcher in the 2007 Asian Championship. He played for Taiwan in the 2008 Final Olympic Qualification Tournament, hitting .182/.357/.273 and throwing out 3 of 5 base-runners, seeing a bit more playing time than Yeh. He drove in one of their two runs in a 2-0 win over the German national team, blooping a single off of André Hughes to score Kuo-Hui Lo.

Kao was 0 for 4 with 2 strikeouts in the 2008 Olympics as Taiwan's third-stringer behind Yeh and Feng-Min Chen. He hit .241/.300/.295 in the 2008 CPBL in an off-year. Kao was 1 for 6 as Taiwan's catcher in the 2009 World Baseball Classic; his lone hit was off of Jung Bong.

Kao hit 12 doubles in May 2009 to set a new CPBL record for the month (the old mark had been 10).