The Pittsburgh Pirates signed Po-Yu Chen in the 2020-2021 offseason as one of their top international signees. The Pirates were able to sign Chen because of a trade made in the 2020 season, specifically when they sent Jarrod Dyson to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for international bonus pool money. Chen has pitched well so far in his pro career and has become one of the organization's more notable prospects.
Last season with Bradenton, Chen had a 4.58 ERA but a 3.76 FIP and 1.26 WHIP. Chen struck out 24.5% of opponents with a solid 8.7% walk rate. Chen did a solid job at limiting home runs, coming in with a 0.73 HR/9 rate through 98.1 innings of work. Chen only had a ground ball rate of 41.4%, but his xFIP still painted him in a positive light, coming in at 3.81 and only five points higher than his actual FIP.
Chen's stuff on paper is not impressive. His fastball only sits 90-93 MPH with a slider and curveball. But the one offering that does stand out is his splitter, which projects as a plus-plus offering. While his fastball/slider/curveball are average at best, they all play up because of his pinpoint command. He's one of the best command pitchers in the Pirate system who started off his career without allowing a single walk in his first 26 innings back in 2021.
Chen will start the 2023 campaign at Greensboro. He's only 21, but the right-hander could greatly improve his stock if he can conquer the launching pad that Greensboro is. Plus at such a young age and still only 6'2", 187 pounds, he could add another tick of velocity before he makes his big league debut. His fastball would really play up if he was consistently sitting 92-94 MPH.