Tai-Shan Chang

From BR Bullpen

GameStation CPBL SinonBulls TSChang.jpg

Tai-Shan Chang (Prince of the Forest, Tarzan)

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 9", Weight 209 lb.

Biographical Information[edit]

Tai-Shan Chang is one of the top sluggers in CPBL history; through 2006, he stood as the league's all-time home run leader. Chang has played for the Taiwan national team in numerous events, including the Olympics, Baseball World Cup and World Baseball Classic. He won one MVP award in the CPBL.

Chang debuted in 1996 with the Wei Chuan Dragons, hitting .333/.355/.565 with 72 RBI in 94 games. He set a new record for RBI by a rookie - it stood for 13 years until Yi-Chuan Lin broke it. He won the CPBL Rookie of the Year Award for his fine start. In 1997, Tai-Shan batted .260/.319/.399 in a sophomore slump. He bounced back in 1998 with a .323/.392/.535 batting line with 78 RBI in 103 games. He fielded .940, a .19 point improvement and continued to improve his walk total from 11 to 26 to 40. He finished fifth in the CPBL in average and was honored on the Best Ten team as the top third baseman in the league. When he homered in game 2 of the 1998 Taiwan Series, he was the youngest player to homer in a Taiwan Series, a mark that stood for 19 years before Cheng-Fei Lin broke it. He won Bronze in the 1998 Asian Games.

In 1999, Chang hit .321/.388/.532 and was 6th in the league in average while leading with 70 RBI in 87 games. He again was named to the Best Ten and won a Gold Glove as well at third base. Chang moved to the Sinon Bulls in 2000 when the Dragons were dissolved. He hit .254/.300/.414 his first year with Sinon yet still made the Best Ten and won a Gold Glove.

Chang batted .254/.326/.426 for the 2001 Bulls but again was a Best Nine pick and Gold Glove winner at third base. In the 2001 Baseball World Cup, he helped Taiwan win Bronze by hitting .364/.459/.606 and tying for fourth place with two homers. He failed to make the tourney All-Star team as Akihiro Higashide was picked as the best third baseman.

In 2002, "The Prince of the Forest" hit .269/.344/.469 for Sinon. He failed to make the Best Ten for the only time between 1998 and 2004.

Chang rebounded very well in 2003, batting .328/.399/.614. He drove in 94 runs in 100 games and cracked 28 homers, setting a league record for a native player (breaking Wen-Bin Chen's mark by two). He stole 22 bases in 30 tries for a 20-20 season. He was voted to the best Ten and won the MVP award. He was only the third position player ever to win the award and only the second native-born position player to do so. He played for Taiwan in the 2003 Asian Championship, helping them win Silver and earn a spot in the 2004 Olympics.

In 2004, Tai-Shan hit .337/.406/.560 and again drove in 94 in 100 games. He again led the league in homers and RBI. He became the first player in league history to hit 20 homers in consecutive seasons. He finished second in batting average to Chen-Min Peng. He failed to repeat as MVP though he again won Best Ten honors at third base. In the 2004 Olympics, Chang only batted .182/.182/.227 as Taiwan's DH.

Chang batted .305/.364/.468 in 2005. He was 10th in the CPBL in average. During the 2006 World Baseball Classic, Tarzan was 2 for 11 with 3 runs and a steal for Taiwan. In 2006, he hit .349/.428/.587 and again won a home run title with 24. He beat out former minor league slugging star Chin-Feng Chen, who was making his CPBL debut. Chang was again honored with the Best Ten nod at third base.

Chang was on the Gold Medal-winning Taiwan team in the 2006 Asian Games. In the 2006 Intercontinental Cup, he batted .207/.233/.414 with 8 RBI in 8 games as Taiwan's DH in their Bronze Medal win.

Chang hit .318/.362/.507 in the 2007 CPBL.

In the 2007 Baseball World Cup, Chang hit well, batting .366/.386/.610 with 7 doubles, 10 runs and 7 RBI in 10 games at third base. He tied Lorenzo Buelna and Chin-Feng Chen for fourth in runs during the round-robin phase, trailing Trent Oeltjen, Brad Harman and Si-hyun Son. Chang was not named to the All-Star team for the event as Mexico's Efren Espinoza was chosen at third base. He hit .182/.250/.273 and had one error in three games in the 2007 Asian Championship.

In the 2008 Final Olympic Qualification Tournament, Chang hit .308/.357/.346 as Taiwan earned a spot in the 2008 Olympics. Chang took over DH duties due to the absence of Chin-Feng Chen to injury.

Through 2007, Tai-Shan had hit .308/.369/.512 in the CPBL, with 197 HR and 824 RBI in 1,097 games.

Chang was on Taiwan's roster for the 2008 Olympics but tested positive for a banned substance (Hydroxyclomiphene) prior to the Games. Chih-Wei Shih replaced Chang in the lineup. The IBAF banned him from further international competitions sponsored by that federation until mid-August 2009. Chang said the substance was in fertility medication he was taking.

In the 2008 CPBL, Tai-Shan batted .344/.390/.517. He finished fourth in the league in both average and slugging. The next year, he hit .299/.348/.487 with 17 homers. He tied Cheng-Min Peng for 4th in the circuit in long balls and was 7th in slugging.

On July 22, facing Chieh-Ming Chang, he became the first player in CPBL history to reach 1,000 career RBI.

Chang is an uncle of Chung-Shou Yang and Cheng-Wei Chang and is also related to Chih-Yuan Chen, Sen Yang, Chih-Hao Chang and Chien-Fu Yang; there are at least 10 baseball players in Taiwan all from the Amis people and all somehow related.

Sources: CPBL Player Page, KT Choi's CPBL Database, Chinese wikipedia entry, IBAF site, World Baseball Classic site, 1999-2007 Baseball Almanacs