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Pittsburgh Pirates 2013 Top Prospects: #20 – Jin-De Jhang

The Pirates Prospects 2013 Prospect Guide is now on sale. The book features over 250 prospect reports, the 2013 top 50 prospects, and the most comprehensive coverage of the Pirates’ farm system that you can find.  While the top 50 prospects are exclusive to the book, we will be releasing the top 20 prospects over the next few weeks.  Be sure to purchase your copy of the book on the products page of the site.

We start the countdown with the number 20 prospect, Jin De Jhang.

Jin-De Jhang

Jin-De Jhang

20. Jin-De Jhang, C

Jhang was signed for $250,000 out of Taiwan in 2011, which was the top bonus for a hitter from Taiwan. The Pirates signed him with right-handed pitcher Wei-Chung Wang, who signed for a Taiwanese record $350,000. The catcher was described as a guy with excellent bat speed and power, and a strong throwing arm behind the plate. There were some concerns about his future due to his thick build and potential weight issues.

The GCL Pirates had two of the top young catchers in the system, with 2012 second round pick Wyatt Mathisen joining Jhang. Mathisen was expected to be a prospect to watch due to his draft status. Jhang came as a surprise. He didn’t look like much of a prospect prior to the 2012 season, mostly due to the weight issues. However, he worked hard to lose some weight, which made him more agile and allowed him to improve on his blocking and receiving. He’s got a strong arm, putting up 1.9 pop times and throwing out 29% of runners in the GCL.

The biggest asset from his game is his hitting. He’s one of the best pure hitters in the system, and makes strong contact. Right now he’s a line drive hitter to the gaps, but he could have the potential to hit double digit homers in the future. He’s got great plate patience, with a good walk rate and an extremely low strikeout rate. He also is deceptively quick for his size, usually running at an all-out speed on the bases.

Jhang has the ability to stick behind the plate, as long as he works to keep the weight off. He’s got a great arm, and improving blocking and receiving skills. He also has potential as a two-way player, with advanced hitting abilities and the potential for some power. He could make the jump to West Virginia in 2013, where he will continue getting regular time behind the plate. The Pirates saw Alen Hanson and Gregory Polanco break out in their jump to West Virginia in 2012. Jhang is a strong candidate to have a similar breakout season at the same level in 2013.

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Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • Rebel

    An excellent evaluation. Well done.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.sweetnich Joe Sweetnich

    What’s the status of Wang? I remember us voiding the original deal and signing him to an amended deal, but have not heard a thing since.

    • http://www.piratesprospects.com Tim Williams

      He was recovering from Tommy John surgery last year.

  • http://twitter.com/wildarschase wildarschase

    This seems like exactly the type of move the Pirates should do- tap into a sometimes overlooked market and get a potential steal. Especially a catcher, at that. Even if he doesn’t pan out, it still supports the idea that the Pirates were taking a smart risk by investing a few hundred thousand into an unknown with upside.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lee.young.161 Lee Young

    I liked him before anyone else. I knew nothing about him, but I just loved the name. :)

    Jin De Foo

    .

  • dave1231959

    Does he have any value at another position if his weight prevents him from catching full time?

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