8/13 Scouting report: Jen-Ho Tseng
On Monday, the Cubs confirmed that they have signed 18-year-old Taiwanese right-hander Jen-Ho Tseng to a $1.625 million bonus. Tseng was ranked 29th on MLB.com’s list of top 30 international prospects. He was the youngest player named to the Chinese Taipei World Baseball Classic Roster. Tseng also was part of the 2012 World Junior Championship, and played in the 2012 Asian Baseball Championship for the national team for Chinese Taipe. His fastball has hit 95 mph.
Tseng was used as both a closer and a starter, and has an above average fastball, ranging from 89-96 mph, a real good slider in the mid to upper 80s. He also has an above average changeup, which is unique for a high school kid, and a very good curveball. The right-hander was a senior in high school when he pitched in the World Baseball Classic.
The Taiwan pro league started a draft this year in hopes of keeping players like Tseng from going to the U.S. Major Leagues. One scout told me: “This is a huge deal in Taiwan. Similar in its own right to a Kobe or Lebron signing out of high school. He is revered there. He is a wonderful kid, works hard and has a feel for pitching. I would say he is like getting an extra compensation round pick.”
The Cubs see Tseng as a starter. International scout Steve Wilson was instrumental in the signing.
– Carrie Muskat