Next up on the mound in Coors Field just may be a Taiwanese pitcher.
In 2007, the Rockies signed 21 year old Sheng-An Kuo, a right-handed pitcher from Tainan City, Taiwan. He is the third pitching prospect the Rockies have signed from Taiwan and has been playing on the Rockies Minor League affiliate teams.
“My dream has always been to play in the Major League, like many other baseball players in Taiwan,” he said.
“I believe you must have a big dream and do your best to work hard for it,” he said. “But you also need to expect the worst and be prepared, in case your dream does not come true.”
With this principle in mind, Kuo has a strong work ethic. In the past few years, he has traveled across the country playing in the Minor League. At 6’4”, he follows in the footsteps of his former Taiwanese teammate Ching-Lung Lo. At the age of 14, Kuo teamed up with Lo to lead their Tainan team to the 2000 Pony League World Series title. Following the title game, 16 year old Lo was signed by the Rockies. Nearly five years later after having his career sidetracked by injuries, Kuo now also gets the opportunity to fulfill his dreams coming to the U.S.
Kuo played for Taiwan in the 2001 World Youth Championship and 2004 World Junior Championship.
He debuted with the Tri-City Dust Devils in Pasco, WA, going 5-4 with a 4.69 ERA as a regular member of the rotation and tied for the Northwest League lead with 15 starts.
He still recalls his first U.S. game. “I felt a combination of nerves and excitement,” he said.
Kuo acknowledged that when he first joined the league, the language barriers were difficult. Initially, he needed an interpreter, but now he thinks of his teammates as his good friends on and off the field.