Don't get any ideas about the Cleveland Guardians letting go of him too soon, but still, Yu Chang is absolutely raking in the 2023 World Baseball Classic.
As you might remember, Chang was actually the Opening Day second basemen for the Guardians last season. A whole lot can change over the course of a year, and Chang struggled, striking out seven times in his ten at-bats to start the season, eventually leading to his release. In his four scattered seasons with Cleveland, Chang hit .208/.265/.372 with ten home runs, 16 doubles, 46 RBI, and a 71 OPS+ in 358 plate appearances.
He's always had tantalizing power and talent; it just never materialized in the majors. Chang went on to play for three other teams in 2022 (Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, and Boston), and now finds himself as one of the most clutch hitters in the Chinese Taipei lineup.
Chang hit the game-tying home run against Italy in their eventual 11-7 victory, and crushed a grand slam against the Netherlands on Saturday in the second inning that set the tone for their 9-5 win, putting them right in the mix to advance to the quarterfinals. Chang is now hitting .500 (6-for-12) in the first three games of the tourney, with two home runs and seven RBI.
This, of course, is one of the best things about the World Baseball Classic. Not only do we get to see plenty of superstars playing for their home countries, but the WBC is the perfect opportunity to see top prospects, former stars, aging veterans, and guys getting a second chance to play at one of the highest levels.
For the "let's remember some guys" crowd, the WBC is an absolute feast, and Yu Chang is keeping us all fed to start the tournament.