HAI-CHENG GONG, RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
|Born: December 28, 1998
Signed: Int’l Free Agent, 2016, Pittsburgh Pirates
How Acquired: International Free Agent
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
|The Pirates signed Gong out of MLB’s development center in China. He pitched for the Chinese team in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. He reportedly has reached 90 MPH with his fastball, although he was throwing in the mid-80s during the WBC. He was on the GCL roster at the start of the 2017, but was listed as temporarily inactive. By the time he started pitching, in 2018, he was throwing only 86-87 mph, with an 80-mph slider and a low-70s curve.
Gong appeared as a reliever in 11 games in the GCL. Considering that he comes from a country with so little baseball activity, he didn’t do badly. His control was very good and he had a passable K rate.
Gong filled in briefly at Bristol and West Virginia, but spent most of the season in the GCL. The Pirates seemed to use him mainly when the starter came out early. He got hit harder than the previous year.
Gong doesn’t seem to be progressing. Signing him no doubt was just a chance to make connections in China, but the experiment may have run its course.
|2020: Minor League Contract|
|Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2018
MLB Debut: N/A
MiLB FA Eligible: 2023
MLB FA Eligible: N/A
Rule 5 Eligible: 2021
Added to 40-Man: N/A
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|May 16, 2017: Signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates as an international free agent.