Setting the Scene
The Philadelphia Phillies are cashing their international signing budget into Taiwan for the second year.
First came up-and-coming second baseman Hao Yu Lee and now...enter Pan Wen-Hui.
Pan Wen-Hui is a 20-year-old Taiwanese Pitcher with flamethrowing stuff. On January 14th, the Phillies signed the right-hander as an international free agent.
Pan has represented Taiwan at the U-19 and U-23 levels of international competition. Scouts from the MLB, NPB, and CPBL have watched this rising star for years, and now the Phillies have managed to snag him for their Phuture.
20-year-old 潘文輝 (Pan Wen-Hui) is officially a member of the Philadelphia Phillies family! ( via Vamos Sports).— CPBL STATS - ♥️ #95, Mina (@GOCPBL) January 16, 2023
At the press conference, Pan revealed that he hopes to reach MLB within 5 years.
The signing bonus is 350K USD with $70K tuition allowance (total $420K). #MLBTW pic.twitter.com/fmIEhW74Ab
What Happens Next?
The newly signed right-hander should join the Phillies' minor league affiliates in 2023.
He will be able to impress and refine his pitch repertoire, which includes a fastball, change-up, curveball, slider, and an elite splitter.
Pan can rise through the Phillies' starting pitching depth chart in 1-2 seasons. His fastball tops out at 98 MPH for now, but he can take advantage of the Phillies' minor league staff. Thankfully, the Phillies' minor league system made a remarkable turnaround with Preston Mattingly at the helm.
It seems that Pan Wen-Hui has been making strength and conditioning moves every year since he was 16.
Here he is, throwing 96 at age 16!
[Taiwan U-18] 16-year-old 潘文輝 (Pan Wen-Hui) pitched against Team USA in a warm up game. 152kph fastball, 134kph splitter, 117kph curveball. Pan's fastball tops out at 155kph (~96mph) #TWHSBaseball pic.twitter.com/OQvJ2Lp0Ds— CPBL STATS - ♥️ #95, Mina (@GOCPBL) August 27, 2019
Pan has much growing to do at this rate, and his ceiling might be higher than people think. Hopefully, the Phillies will be able to tap into his talents more, allowing him to grow into an elite Starting Pitcher for the Phillies.
What Does The Phuture Hold?
The Phillies have branched out their scope of talent to Asia, specifically Taiwan, over the past two years. In a previous article, Hao Yu Lee pronounced a possible star second baseman for the Phillies in the future. This author firmly believes Lee will be a cornerstone for the foreseeable future as he grows over the next 2-3 seasons in the minors.
On the other hand, I believe Pan Wen-Hui can make it to the big league squad in 1-2 years. With his international experience, ability, and velocity, he has the makings to become a premier starter for the Phightins.
At the end of 2023, Aaron Nola will become a free agent unless he receives the extension we all hope he does. If Nola leaves and Wheeler departs at the end of 2024, there will be room for Mick Abel, Andrew Painter, and Pan Wen-Hui to rise to the occasion. Of course, Griff McGarry is there, but he seems more like to transition to a long reliever.
Overall, there may be a lot of opportunity for a young pitcher who should be ready in a matter of a year or two. The Phillies farm system has authentic athletes to look forward to in this edition of Phillies of the Phuture.
Regardless, seeing how the rotation plays out over the next two years will be interesting. There is so much to look forward to with this organization, and the Philly Phaithful are on the edge of their seats gauging from the grandstands.
What Year Will Pan Wen-Hui Debut for the Phillies?
The next Article will be about Philadelphia Phillies catching prospect Rickardo Perez.