Wei Chuan Dragons signed 1B/DH-R Telvin Nash to an unknown contract
Telvin Nash did not play baseball in 2021, at least not as far as I can tell. Perhaps he played somewhere and I missed it, but he didn’t pop up in any of my research. I also can’t find out why he didn’t play last year. This is important because the only way Nash won’t have a huge season in the Chinese Professional Baseball League is if he’s coming off an injury or can’t shake the rust from taking a year off. That he should tear it up in the CPBL has less to do with the CPBL itself and more to do with Nash’s overall talent level.
Just about everywhere professional baseball has taken Nash he has produced. Not only produced but done so in a big way. Nash isn’t coming to the Dragons to merely help them, his signing is intended to take their offense to the next level. Now, I’m not foolish enough to think that one player, especially a position player, can carry a team to a title in the CPBL. It’s too talented of a league for that to be the case. However, Nash is certainly capable of carrying the offense to the point that he will only need a few pieces around him for the Dragons to become playoff contenders in only the second year of their re-entry to the league.
When last we saw Nash he was busy tearing up Japan’s Baseball Challenge League. He spent the 2020 season with the Toyama GRN Thunderbirds. He was among the best in the league in his lone season in the BCL and found himself named to the BCL’s 2020 all-season team. That year he slashed .379/.497/.738 with 15 home runs in 179 plate appearances. The BCL is a decent league, but it’s a few shades below Taiwan’s top league. Does that mean I’m all wrong in thinking Nash will excel with the Dragons?
In short, no, I don’t believe I am. Nash was also the 2019 Atlantic League Player of the Year. A season that saw him slash .294/.423/.623 with 41 home runs in 603 plate appearances (regular season only) for the York Revolution. Nash had never shown quite that much power prior to 2019, previous career high had been 29 back in 2012. Still, it’s not like Nash suddenly developed power. He regularly hit between 20-25 home runs from 2011 to 2019.
The Dragons are counting on getting that level of power and then some from Nash this season. He is meant to become the main driving force behind their offense. If he’s not too rusty or dealing with a nagging injury there’s nothing in his pedigree that says he shouldn’t do exactly that. The Dragons wanted to make a big splash for the 2022 season, by signing Nash they have done just that and given themselves a chance to truly contend. If that happens the investment in Nash will have been worth every single penny.
Lead photo courtesy of Unknown – Unknown