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Cubs SP prospect Su-Min Jung making a name for himself

Matt Swain

Illinois engineering student, way too emotionally invested in the Cubs.

By Dan Cupples

Since he signed out of the same high school that produced Indians outfielder Shin-Soo Choo in Gim Hae City, South Korea for $510K prior to the 2009 season, I've been pretty bullish on the potential of Cubs RHP prospect Su-Min Jung.
At the time he signed, Jung stood 6'2 and a skinny 170 pounds. Now 20 years old, he has gained 20 pounds and still has projection left in his frame. The kid has a lot to like with his clean easy delivery that screams a potential jump in velocity. 

Currently his fastball sits in the low 90's, but he can reach back and touch 95 mph. He also spins a power curve that has the potential to be above average. The change up is a work in progress but shows some nice fade and sink. He also has a "show me" slider that me be scrapped at the higher levels. His command leaves something to be desired but has come along nicely over the last 2 months. Jung's power repertoire and improving command could lead him to be an above average starter if things continue to develop.
His numbers are respectable at Peoria this year. Sitting 7-3 with a 3.61 ERA over 84 2/3 IP, Jung has allowed 79 hits and owns a 77/33 SO/BB rate. While he is considered a starter long term, he is curently in a tandem start/relief role that is often employed in the lower levels of the minor leagues.

Early in the year he struggled to find his control, walking 20 over his first 44 2/3 IP (4 BB/9 IP) and just 30 K in that span (6 K/9 IP). Over the last 2 months, the walks have dropped significantly to 2.9 BB/9 and the K's are way up to a fairly dominant 10.6 k/9. Jung's groundball rate has also been getting better. While this is a small sample size, the results are promising. 
Jung will probably move to high A Daytona next year and test his skills against more advanced hitters which will give us a better handle on his ultimate ceiling.  I believe in Jung and think he could really surprise some people the rest of the way this year. Going forward I have already tabbed Jung a sleeper for 2011 with the potential to be a breakout candidate. Stay tuned!

Note: Stats were compiled prior to Jung's Tuesday outing



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