The Farm Boy Files is a feature designed to better acquaint us all with our Cubs prospects. Today’s profile is one right-handed pitcher Hung-Wen Chen.
Basic Info: 5’11”, 210 lbs.
Born February 3, 1986, in Hualien, Taiwan
Signed by the Cubs as a non-drafted free agent in 2006.
Stats: At AA Tennessee last year, Chen (should I call him Chen?) went 8-11 with a 4.48 ERA in 27 starts (142.2 innings.) He tabulated 98 strikeouts to 32 walks, with a 1.38 WHIP.
He is with the Smokies again in 2010, and has thus far compiled a 3-4 record, with a 2.96 ERA in 8 starts (48.2 IP.) He has 24 strikeouts, 13 walks and a 1.15 WHIP.
Chen was the first Taiwanese player ever signed by the Cubs.
He is the nephew of former Olympic hurler Yi-Hsin Chen.
He was on Taiwan’s roster for the 2009 World Baseball Classic but did not pitch in the Classic itself.
Scouting Report: The most advanced of the Cubs’ Taiwanese prospects, Chen is a tough, fearless competitor with a rubber arm. He is not afraid to pitch to contact. He is a smart player, and learned English quickly.
According to polls taken of organizational coaches and scouts, Chen ranks among the tops in the system in command, durability, poise and make-up. He is also said to have the best splitter of any Cubs prospect.
Some words from Cubs minor league pitching coordinator Mark Riggins:
He’s got a slider and a split that he throws. He’s in the range of 89 to 92 (mph) and has very good movement on his fastball. He locates his pitches really well and he’s also pretty smart at how to pitch. He knows how to mix his pitches.