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

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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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