Yu Chang

Position: 3B
Level: AFL
Affiliate: Glendale Desert Dogs
League: Arizona Fall League
Born: 08/18/1995 (Age: 27)
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 175
B/T: Right / Right
Acquired: Signed as international free agent, June 4, 2013 (CLE)

Prospect Spotlight

It has been a steady climb through the system for Chang, who has played each season as a pro at one level since signing in 2014. He was added to Cleveland’s 40-Man Roster to protect him from the 2017 Rule V Draft but did not debut with the big league club last season. Cleveland sent the infielder to Fall League for some last-minute polishing after spending all of last season with Triple-A Columbus.

At the plate, Chang is direct to the ball with a slight uppercut that allows both line drive contact and loft power. It’s a quick swing with good balance, consistently able to take pitches on the outer-half the other way in my looks. He has gotten stronger in the last two years, showing surprising above-average power to the pullside that has started showing up in games. He has struck out at a healthy rate at both Double-A and Triple-A, though aspects of his approach and swing mechanics hint at some ability to cut down on that rate as he acclimates to high-level pitching. A former shortstop who plays the position decently, Chang fits better at third base over long stretches. His range and first step are solid at the hot corner (as opposed to fringy at shortstop), and his quick reflexes and first step play well at the position as well.

Chang could be a 50-grade hitter and power producer in the best-case scenario, though he’ll have to get to those thresholds fully to play every day on a corner. I like his fundamental game and think it allows reason to project across the board. If the sum-of-the-parts come together enough, Chang could be a regular third baseman in his peak years. In the event his bat winds up a tweener for third base, he’s no less than a quality role player who hits enough to spot-start at numerous positions.