With top pitching prospect C.J. Edwards sidelined with a shoulder injury and Pierce Johnson having walked 22 batters in 22.2 innings pitched, Jen-Ho Tseng may now be considered the Chicago Cubs’ top pitching prospect after a dominant start to his first season in America.
Tseng was signed by the Cubs last summer out of Taiwan for $1.625 million and was seen as a potential top of the rotation starter at the time of the signing. Although with limited exposure in Tawain despite pitching in the World Baseball Classic, Tseng was not listed among the Cubs’ top prospects over the offseason.
Tseng is just 19 years old, yet he possesses a power pitcher’s arsenal. His fastball reaches 94 while his curveball is a knee-buckler with depth and a sharp break. Despite his age, Tseng skipped rookie ball and headed straight to Kane County, where he has excelled in his first taste of American baseball. While the sample size is limited, Tseng is showing his maturity with polish and poise on the mound.
Through 32 innings pitched this year Tseng has 32 strikeouts to just five walks with one home run allowed and a 2.81 ERA. He has not allowed a walk in his last two starts and has not allowed a walk in four of his six starts this season. With elite command of two plus pitches, Tseng should move quickly through the Cubs’ system and has the potential to develop into a top of the rotation pitcher for the Cubs when the team is finally ready to compete.