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10/27/2006 8:15 PM ET
AFL Player Journal: Tired Hu up for Showcase
Dodgers prospect admits he's a little tired, but eager to play in game
Chin-Lung Hu is battling through a slump. He's making contact but can't buy many hits. (Joy R. Absalon/MLB.com)

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Chin-Lung Hu is a shortstop in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization. Signed out of Taiwan in 2003, the 22-year-old has moved steadily up the Dodgers' ladder. One of the best defensive shortstops in all of Minor League baseball, Hu carried a .306 career batting average into the 2006 season after finishing second in the Florida State League with a .313 mark. No stranger to international competition, he hit .343 in the World Cup following the 2005 season and .417 in three World Baseball Classic contests this past spring. A participant in the 2006 Futures Game, Hu hit .254 with Double-A Jacksonville with 11 steals. He's in Arizona playing for the Mesa Solar Sox and is chronicling his experiences in the AFL for MiLB.com.

Send Chin-Lung Hu an email

Hello again, this time from Surprise, Ariz., where we're playing in the first Rising Stars Showcase. It's kind of like an All-Star Game, I guess, and it's an honor to be selected to the East team.

We're at the halfway point of the Arizona Fall League and this year has been tough for me. I haven't had many days off and I'm pretty tired. I started in January, getting ready for the World Baseball Classic, and have been playing almost every day since then.

I don't know if that has anything to do with it, but I have struggled with my bat in the AFL. I need more base hits. There are a lot of good pitchers here, but I have hit the ball good. I just can't get a hit.

I've been to bat 35 times and have only three strikeouts. That tells me that I am hitting the ball, but everything I hit seems to be an out. Out, out, out, and I don't know why. I can't do anything about it. All I can do is keep trying to hit the ball hard every time I go to bat.

I know it's just baseball, and the hits eventually will come. At least that is what I tell myself.

Between the WBC, the Futures Game in Pittsburgh, which I really enjoyed, and now the AFL and the Rising Stars Showcase, it has been a memorable year. It was the first time I had been to Pittsburgh and being in that kind of event is something I'll always remember. I really enjoyed Old Pittsburgh.

When I'm finished with the AFL, I'll return to my home in Taiwan and then go to the Asian Cup. After that, I will rest and get ready for Spring Training.

That's it for now. If you have any questions, please email me, and I'll answer some every week. I'll talk to everyone soon.

Chin-Lung's Mailbag  /  Send Chin-Lung an email >

I have three questions for you. What is the most difficult pitch to recognize and hit? Is it hard to stay motivated for every game? And what is your favorite meal before the game? -- JT

A good slider thrown by a right-hander is the hardest pitch for me to recognize and hit. When you play as many games as we do, it can be hard staying motivated all the time, especially when you hit the ball hard and don't get any hits. My favorite meal before a game is sushi, but not here in Mesa. There is a Chinese market where I go and buy food and cook it myself. My specialty is curry rice, and I like steak too. When I can't eat Chinese food, I usually drink protein shakes.

What's up, my man? This is Jason the bat boy from the Tennessee Smokies. You are one of my favorite people that I met up here this year. Who are you living with out there? I talked to some of my friends from the Diamondbacks and they are all rooming together. -- Jason

I live with Jonathan Meloan, another pitcher with the Dodgers. We have an apartment in Mesa, not too far from ASU.

Have you been watching the World Series? Who are you rooting for? Can you learn from watching on TV? -- Robert

We played day games this week so we could watch the World Series at night, and that worked well until (Game 4) was rained out on Wednesday. I hope the Cardinals win because I really like to watch (Albert) Pujols. I also like the Tigers, but not as much as the Cardinals.

Chin-Lung Hu is a shortstop in the Dodgers' organization and a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.