The Pirates sign Chinese pitcher Hai-Cheng Gong

The Pirates signed the right Hai-Cheng Gong, an 18-year-old from Shanghai, China.

Gong is the second grader and first pitcher of the MLB development centers in China who signs with a major league organization.

Known as “Sea,” Gong pitched for the Chinese team at the 2017 World Baseball Classic. On the roster he appeared to be 6 feet tall with 2 inches and weighing 165 pounds.

On March 10, Gong allowed one hit and drew one out in a 7-1 loss to Japan. He threw 15.0 scoreless innings in the U18 Asian Championship, where he was named the best right-hander.

Gong will perform at the Pittsburgh facility in Bradenton, Florida, to begin his professional career with the Gulf Coast League Pirates (rookie level).

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