WBSC U-15 Baseball World Cup Alumni: MLB China Development Center graduates pursue baseball careers in US

WBSC U-15 Baseball World Cup Alumni: MLB China Development Center graduates pursue baseball careers in US
10/05/2022
Three of the nine student-athletes represented current world No. 21 China at the WBSC U-15 Baseball World Cup 2018.

Nine Major League Baseball (MLB) China Development Center players are currently playing at the collegiate level in the United States.

The players include pitchers Roger Rang, Jimmy Zhang, Ray Zhang, Leo Li, Tom Sun, Martin Ding, Hans Xie; infielder Feng Qiang and outfielder DJ Suonandajie.

Pitcher Martin Ding will join NCAA Division I Northern Kentucky University in the Fall after graduating from high school. He represented China at the WBSC U-15 Baseball World Cup 2018.

Pitcher Roger Rang is playing at Arizona Western College. He appeared in a couple of games for China at the U-15 Baseball World Cup 2018.

Left-handed pitcher Hans Xie, attending the University of South Carolina, was also part of the 2018 U-15 team.

Pitcher Ray Zhang (pictured above) topped 91 miles per hour at the NCAA Division II Rollins College. According to Zhang, his goal is to one day play in the Major Leagues while also striving to become the best baseball player to come out of China.

Outfielder DJ Suonandajie also gives a particular meaning to determination. He recently graduated from Los Angeles Harbour Community College. However, DJ never played an official college game because both seasons were cancelled (covid-related reasons). He worked three jobs to pursue another chance and received a full scholarship from Division II Rockhurst College.

Pitcher Leo Li is set to become the first Development Center graduate to receive a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in the United States. He attends Washington University in St. Louis.

Infielder Feng Qiang has played 15 games for the Arizona Western College during the 2022 season.

MLB Development Center in China is a baseball program with an academic component. MLB.com wrote that "MLB China’s focus is to nurture the needs of student-athletes, and produce well-rounded and well-prepared individuals for opportunities that might include the continuance of their academic pursuits or a playing career."

Over the last decade, MLB China has seen more than 100 student-athletes graduate at its development center.