Chih-Wei Hu

Position: RHRP
Level: Triple-A
Affiliate: Durham Bulls
League: International League
Born: 11/04/1993 (Age: 29)
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 230
B/T: Right / Right
Acquired: Signed as a NDFA 8/2/12 (MIN); Acquired along with RHP Alexis Tapia in trade for K. Jepsen 7/31/15 (TAM).

Prospect Spotlight

Hu is a converted starter who is flourishing in his first year the bullpen for the Bulls in 2017. He has a compact, strong, and durable frame, and he works from the stretch exclusively now, coming out of a 3/4’s arm slot with a long arm action, average arm circle, and a quick arm. And he is a strike thrower, pounding the zone aggressively particularly with his fastball, and it shows in his control numbers, with an elite 1.157 BB/9 rate over his first 24 1/3 innings, following up a plus-graded 2.31 BB/9 across 147 1/3 innings as a starter at the Double-A and Triple-A levels last year.

Hu’s fastball velocity has really jumped up since going to the bullpen from what I’ve seen in the past, and his stuff really plays up in his new role. His fastball is a plus to double-plus offering siting 94-to-96 mph, and the pitch can show run and darting action to both sides of the plate, with late life and plus movement. He’s aggressive, and really pounds the zone with above-average command of the pitch

His slider is a plus pitch in the 86-to-89 mph range that shows tilt and depth and good deception, though it will back up on occasion. He can also dial up some hard horizontal break with cutter-like action at on occasion. He throws his above average changeup hard, and it’s an above-average pitch at 87-to-88 mph that shows late fading action and tumble with good arm speed, though he’d benefit from some additional velo variation between the pitch and his slider.

Even with three above-average or better pitches, Hu still profiles best out of the bullpen as a Role 60, right-handed set-up man with occasional closer ability. He has the stuff to be a number four man in a major league rotation, but his move to the bullpen and the resulting jump in his fastball velo plays up the secondary stuff, and that advantage could be lost if he were asked to turn over lineups as a starter.