Seattle Mariners Director of International Scouting Tim Kissner announced today that the club has signed two left-handed pitchers from the Pacific Rim: Jing-Yu Chang of Taiwan and Blake Townsend of Australia.
Chang, 18, is from Kaohsiung City, Taiwan. He graduated from Kao Yuan Technology and Commerce High School. He led Kao Yuan Tech to the prestigious E SUN CUP National High School Championship and was the winning pitcher in the title game. Chang is a member of the Taiwanese National U-18 Team that will be participating in the Asia U-18 Tournament in Miyazaki, Japan, in September.
“Our scouts Sam Kao and Ted Heid did a tremendous job identifying Jing-Yu Chang as a prospect who will benefit greatly from our High Performance group and player development,” Kissner said. “We are very excited to add an athletic left-handed starting pitcher, who has a very good, durable body, clean arm action, repeatable delivery, feel for the strike zone and ability to spin a curve ball. We talk about prospects with upside and projection, and Chang fits the mold perfectly.”
“Jing-Yu is a bright young man with an advanced feel for pitching and has performed at an extremely high level both within Taiwan and in International competition,” Heid added.
Townsend, 17, is from Traralgon, Victoria, Australia. He trains with his local Traralgon Red Sox Baseball Club in the winter, and with the Waverley Wildcats during the summer. He was a part of the Australian National Team at the U-15 Baseball World Cup in Iwaki, Japan in 2016. In April of this year, he toured Arizona with the Australian U-18 National Team and pitched against Major League extended Spring Training teams.
“Hats off to Ted Heid, Tim Ballard and Tristan Loetzsch for their work in signing Blake,” Kissner said. “A young lefty from Australia who profiles as a starting pitcher. We are excited about his upside once he begins working with our player development group. Watching him pitch in January, I was very impressed with his extreme competitiveness on the mound, while throwing a ton of strikes.”
“Blake is a very athletic pitcher with a passion for pitching in big games,” Heid added. “We expect Blake will be the next great Mariner left-hander from Australia, following in the footsteps of Ryan Rowland-Smith, Travis Blackley and Craig Anderson.”