The Pittsburgh Pirates signed Po-Yu Chen at the 2020 International Deadline in October. The Pirates used the bonus slot money they got from the Chicago White Sox in the Jarrod Dyson trade to land the Taiwanese right-hander. This trade was one I recently covered.
Coming out of Taiwan, Chen was one of the country’s top high school prospects. He displayed a solid three-pitch mix. He isn’t a hard thrower with his four-seam fastball coming in around the 88-92 MPH range. Though he has strong control and command with the pitch. His slider and curveball are also considered good breaking pitches. We’ve covered Chen here recently as an underrated prospect.
So far, Chen has displayed strong command over his offerings. He’s pitched 21 innings with the Pirates Black and has yet to give up a walk. He’s also struck out 33.3% of all the batters he has faced. Chen has allowed only 1 earned run. Plus, he’s inducing ground balls at a rate well above 50% (56.8%). Combined with a sub-10% ground ball rate (8.1%) it’s no wonder why he’s done so well this year.
Chen currently ranks as the 51st best Pirate prospect by FanGraphs. Not very high ranking, but you have to remember he’s only 19 and won’t turn 20 until October 2nd. By the time Chen is 22 or 23-years-old, he could see a small uptick in velocity and have more movement on his pitches because of just having more strength and coaching.