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Former Marlins Bullpen Coach Traenor Will Lead China at World Baseball Classic

 Leif Skodnick  |    Feb 20th, 2023 11:48pm EST

By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network

China has played in all five World Baseball Classics, but so far, China has only two wins in the World Baseball Classic in ten games. The only two wins came against Brazil in 2013 and Chinese Taipei in 2009.

China has been in an uphill battle, as they haven’t had a professional league since the China Baseball League (CBL) ceased in 2018. The China Baseball Association, which is the governing body  for baseball in china, started the China National Baseball League in 2019 and has been stopped because of the pandemic alongside certain delegacy obligations that Major League Baseball signed an agreement to help revamp the league.  

China will have Dean Treanor as their manager during the World Baseball Classic. Treanor was the bullpen coach of the Miami Marlins from 2016-19, and prior working with the Indianapolis Indians from 2011-16 as manager the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Triple-A affiliate. 

China’s roster will feature players that have not played in many games the past few years, and they will play against stiff competition in Pool B in the World Baseball Classic in Tokyo. That pool includes the Czech Republic, the host nation Japan, Korea, and Australia. China has not had a high finish in an international tournament since the 2005 Asian Baseball Championship, where they took third place, beating Korea in the consolation game. China is currently ranked 30th in the world in the World Baseball Softball Confederation’s World Baseball Rankings.  

China is starting to uptick their federation with other sector professional leagues that could obtain development in the near future to work over with the MLB Development Center in China.  

Two players to look out for on China during the World Baseball Classic are Ju Kwon, a pitcher for the KT Wiz, and Alan Carter, who will start at the complex league level with the Los Angeles Angels’ minor league system after signing as a free agent. 

Kwon has played with the KT Wiz in the Korea Baseball Organization since 2015.  Last year Kwon went 3-3 with a 3.91 ERA pitching in 50.2 innings and striking out 31 batters.  

Carter, who is from Singapore, played for the Mahoning Valley Scrappers of the MLB Draft League, going 2-1 in 18 games, throwing 32.2 innings and striking out 55 batters. Carter finished his collegiate career at Division II Lee University where he recorded a 2-1 record in in 10 games, posting a 1.06 ERA and striking out 34 batters before deciding to pursue in the MLB Draft League. 

China will have to really string together a lot of good at-bats against top elite pitching during the start of Pool B in the World Baseball Classic. Players like Ray Chang will provide a veteran presence mentoring the young team.  

Chang has also played in the World Baseball Classic with China in 2009, 2013, and 2017 in his career and now is working with MLB officials to help grow the sport in China, which is why he is listed as eligible to both play in the tournament and will be labeled as team’s the hitting coach.

China will play its first game against Japan at on March 9 at 5 a.m. EST on Fox Sports 2 at the Tokyo Dome. 

Pitchers (Team)
Alan Carter (Los Angeles Angels)
Hai-Cheng Gong (Shanghai Golden Eagles)
Ju Kwon (KT Wiz)
Lin Qiang (Henan Elephants)
Qi Xin (Beijing Tigers)
Su Changlong (Tianjin Lions)
Sun Hailong (Shanghai Golden Eagles)
Wang Weiyi (Jiangsu Pegasus)
Wang Xiang (Shanghai Golden Eagles)
Wang Yuchen (Shanghai Golden Eagles)
Yi Jian (Guangdong Leopards)
Zhang Hao (Sichuan Dragons)
Zhao Fuyang (Jiangsu Pegasus)
Zheng Chaoqun (Jiangsu Pegasus) 

Catchers (Team)
Chen Chen (Jiangsu Pegasus)
Li Ning (Shanghai Golden Eagles)  
Li Yifan (Beijing Tigers)
Lu Yun (Beijing Tigers)

Infielders (Team)
Cao Jie (Jiangsu Pegasus) 
Ray Chang (MLB Development Center China)
Chen Chen (China Jiangsu Pegasus)
Luan Chenchen (Jiangsu Pegasus)
Kou Yongkang (Shanghai Eagles)
Yang Jin (Shanghai Eagles)

Outfielders (Team)
Han Xiao (Shanghai Eagles)  
Liang Pei (Beijing Tigers)
Liang Rongji (MLB Development Center China)
Luo Jinjun (Guangdong Leopards)
Lyu Yuheng (Beijing Tigers)
Yusuke Masago (Hitachi)

Coaching Staff
Manager – Dean Treanor
Bench Coach – Wang Wei
First Base Coach – Zhang Juan
Third Base Coach – Tarrik Jumann
Hitting Coach – Ray Chang
Coach – Chen Biao
Coach –  Li Wei
Coach – Bao Chunyu 

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Leif Skodnick