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Pirates Prospect Watch: Tsung-Che Cheng Turns in Big WBC Performance

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Pirates Prospects, tsung-Che Cheng

The World Baseball Classic is officially underway and Pittsburgh Pirates prospect Tsung-Che Cheng had a big game at the plate for Chinese Taipei.

Batting leadoff, Cheng recorded three hits in five at-bats, one of which was a triple. He also drove in a run and scored once.

Despite the strong performance from the 21-year-old, Chinese Taipei fell to Panama by a final score of 12-5.

MLB Pipeline recently updated their Pirates’ prospects list and ranked Cheng as the 30th-best prospect in the system. They rate Cheng as an above-average runner with a solid hit tool and strong defense. Cheng was named the Pirates’ Omar Moreno Baserunner of the Year in their minor league awards.

Last year, Cheng spent the entire season with the Bradenton Marauders, the Single-A affiliate of the Pirates. The infielder totaled 104 games on the year.

In those 104 games with the Marauders, Cheng slashed .270/.376/.418 with 25 doubles, seven triples, six home runs, 52 RBIs and 33 steals in 39 attempts. He was named the FSL player of the month in August.

The Pirates originally signed Cheng as an amateur free agent out of Taiwan in July 2019.

In Other News… 

Back in the Grapefruit League, a couple of other Pirates’ prospects continued their solid spring performances in the Pirates’ matchup against the Baltimore Orioles.

Endy Rodriguez singled in his lone at-bat, raising his batting average to .333 (4 for 12). One of the Pirates’ top prospects has seemed to hit everywhere he’s been, and that is continuing so far this spring.

Travis Swaggerty drew a walk in his only plate appearance, boosting his OPS during spring training to an impressive .964 mark.

Canaan Smith-Njigba technically left the yard, but after confusion on the base paths resulting in him passing Swaggerty, he was awarded a two-RBI base hit.

Top pitching prospect Quinn Priester was given the eighth inning against Baltimore. He hit a batter, struck out one and held the Orioles scoreless.

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