Jen-Ho Tseng Scouting Report (2014)
Chicago Cubs righthander Jen-Ho Tseng was among the most intriguing pitchers listed in my Midwest League top prospects preview. Through five starts in 2014, the $1,625,000 bonus baby is proving he belongs. In last week’s start for the Low-A Kane County Cougars, Tseng showed well and demonstrated the makings of a solid three-pitch mix. He went six innings, allowing eight hits, two earned runs, no walks and six strikeouts against the Burlington Bees (Angels).
The 6-foot-1, 210-pound Tseng is not an imposing figure on the mound. Rather, he’s a composed pitcher with a high floor who brings a calming presence to the rubber. This makes him an especially valuable asset to the Chicago Cubs, who are disproportionately loaded with hitting prospects. That crop is led by Javier Baez and Kris Bryant, who Chris Blessing recently scouted. On the other hand, the Northsiders are short on starting pitching prospects. C.J. Edwards stands alone as the highest-upside arm in the system. But Pierce Johnson, Kyle Hendricks and Kane County teammates Tseng, Paul Blackburn, Duane Underwood and Tyler Skulina round out the best of the rest.
Jen-Ho Tseng is well-proportioned and deceptively athletic. He easily covered first on a slow-roller to second base and showed great burst off the mound in fielding a bunt. Though he shows some effort, it’s not a violent delivery. Rather, he has a simple and consistent motion with a straight 3/4 arm slot. The effort in his delivery and average, balanced frame indicate there isn’t much physical projection left. Tseng is a candidate for promotion to High-A Daytona late in 2014 and will be a fast mover based on strong command and a mature frame.
The Taiwanese Tseng mixed his pitches well, throwing just 53-percent fastballs in this start. His heater flashed average to above velocity, sitting in the 90-94 mph range. He commands it well and strategically integrates his off-speed pitches to keep batters off-balance. So while the fastball in isolation may only grade out in the 50-55 range, it plays up because he has a good plan for how he approaches each batter. The hard stuff doesn’t lacks movement, but is thrown on a downward plane and tails away slightly to his arm side.
The apparent effort in Tseng’s fastball works in his favor when he throws his change-up. He appears to be exerting himself equally when throwing the change, making the pitch deceptive. The result was weak Burlington contact, though it needs sharpening. Tseng threw it 20 times, settling in at 84-85 mph. He left one up that Exicardo Cayones ripped to the center field warning track. Kody Eaves took a similar pitch into right field for a hard single. Against more advanced hitters, Tseng would have even more issues.
He also showed the ability to spin a curveball, but it wasn’t particularly shar. The pitch was easy to pick up out of the hand and began its break too early in flight. The lone exception was on his 70th pitch of the night, a 77-mph curve that made Cayones look foolish. It started outside to the left-handed batter, who tracked it early, but was fooled badly by the late down-and-in break. Cayones couldn’t restart his checked swing quickly enough to have a chance. If Tseng can create that type of movement more consistently, the curve has potential. The pitch just isn’t there yet.
TOOL PRESENT FUTURE PROJECTED ROLE NUMBER 4 STARTER ON A FIRST DIVISION TEAM Fastball 50 55 Curveball 35 50 Changeup 40 50 Control 45 55 Command 40 50
Owning Jen-Ho Tseng
Though he carries less risk than most 19-year-olds, Tseng has a ceiling of a No. 3 starting pitcher. More likely, he will settle in at the big-league level as an innings-eating back-end starter who will use guile and command to carve out a long career. A pitcher with his profile may not be worth rostering at this point on most fantasy rosters. But in deep leagues, Jen-Ho Tseng is a great addition who will be a safe bet to provide valuable innings for your pitching staff, probably in mid-2017.
12 May 2014 / Bob Usselman /
1-On-1 ROTO Strategy Session
The Best Of RS
- Can Alex "Chi-Chi" Gonzalez Crack the Texas Rangers Opening Day Rotation?
- Fantasy Baseball Trade Deadline 101: A Former MLB GM’s Take
- Felix Hernandez and Solo Home Run Situations: A Blueprint For Longevity
- JR Graham: Is He Still An MLB Arm For The Atlanta Braves?
- Mason Williams: Is It Time To Label Him A Bust For The Yankees?
- Mike Newman's Top-50 Fantasy Baseball Prospects Scouted in 2014
- Nick Kingham Scouting Report (2014)
- Rangers Joey Gallo, Marlins Giancarlo Stanton And Strikeouts
- The ROTOscouting Baseball Podcast
- Top-10 Fantasy Baseball Prospects By Team
- Will Mike Moustakas Finally Put It Together Next Season?