Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Chun-Hsiu Chen In the News...

Per Taiwanese news reports, Chun-Hsiu Chen is currently in the US working out for ML ball clubs. Chen, who recently graduated from high school, was the top offensive prospect/power hitter in his graduating class (that includes Che-Hsuan Lin). Chen, currently 18 (DOB: 11/1/1988) is solidly put together - standing 6'1" and weighing in at 190 pounds.

In high school, Chen received more press as a pitcher - and rightfully so, since he was one of the better pitchers on the island. Chen was a member of the 2006 junior NT and despite an 0-2 record/4.66 ERA in Cuba - he did manage to shut down the US junior NT (whose batting lineup included 2007 MLB 1st round picks: M.Moustakas #2, J.Vitters #3, & M.Dominguez #12) in an exhibition game last September - throwing 5 innings allowing 1 unearned run on 4 hits to go along with 5 K's and 2 walks. However, what left most observers scratching their heads was the fact that Chen's bat was underutilized at the World Junior Baseball Championships. In limited AB's - used mostly at 1B/DH, Chen actually led the junior NT with a .417 BA while slugging .500.

Chen's best tool is his power potential (he has good bat speed)- he also has the ability to hit for average. Currently, C.H. Chen's power is better at this stage in his career as compared to former Dodger slugger Chin-Feng Chen as an 18 year old. Chen also has a strong arm - as a pitcher he clocked 88-89 mph consistently on his fastball with flashes of 91-92. Here's a look at Chen's batting stroke in HS: Having primarily pitched in HS out of necessity because of the fact that he was the team's ace (he has also played 1B/3B/C), Chen is currently brushing up on his catching skills - he has experience playing that position as a youth. Chen's soft hands, plus arm, and quick release will serve him well in that position.

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