Friday, January 05, 2007
Po-Hsuan Keng Scouting Report...
In ranking the top 50 Blue Jays prospects for 2007 per Scout.com, Chi-Hung Cheng was ranked #21 - downgraded due to the likelihood of losing one year of development while recovering from a torn labrum.
Po-Hsuan Keng was ranked #37. Here's his in-depth report, courtesy of Scout.com:
The Toronto Blue Jays signed Po-Hsuan Keng as an international free agent in September of 2004, for approximately $225,000. Keng was superb this past season with the Lansing Lugnuts, and put himself on the prospect radar.
This was the second season in professional baseball for Keng. After the 22 year old was signed from Taiwan in 2004, he bypassed rookie ball and short-season baseball. The Jays decided to begin Keng at Class A Lansing and he spent the season moving between the rotation and the bullpen. It was a disappointing season for the righthander who went 5-5 with a 5.08 ERA in 79 2/3 innings.
After a season of acclimating himself to pro baseball and the American lifestyle, Keng repeated Lansing - this time strictly as a reliever. Keng bounced back with an outstanding season going 1-4 with a 2.33 ERA in 69 2/3 innings, before receiving a promotion to High A Dunedin to finish off the season.
"He's a ground ball pitcher, who can pitch effectively against both right-handed and left-handed batters," noted one scout. "He profiles very well as a reliever if he can gain command on his breaking pitches."
Keng improved slightly on his command, but needs to develop more consistent mechanics if he wants to maximize his success in pro ball.
Repertoire: Fastball, slider, sinker
Fastball: Keng is not overpowering on the mound. His fastball was clocked between 88-91 mph this season, and it does not top out more than 91. He does a good job in keeping his fastball at batters knees, but has not yet mastered full command of it. He's still working on locating it consistently on the corners.
Secondary Pitches: Keng is basically a two-pitch pitcher, with a slider/sinker as his other pitches. Most scouts call is a slider, while others call it a sinker/splitter. Keng has not yet figured out how to command this pitch consistently, which yields high walk totals.
Projection: The reason the right-hander was put in the starting rotation in 2005 was to give him a chance to throw more innings and work on his entire repertoire. Keng is a reliever, and will not succeed as a starting pitcher.
2007 Outlook: Keng will begin the 2007 season with the Dunedin Blue Jays.
ETA: Scouts are split about his future. Some believe he will need a combined 3 seasons to pass Double A, while others think he can reach Double A by 2007 and Triple A by 2008. How he performs this coming season will go a long way to mapping out his future.