Wednesday, May 14, 2008
The Cubs have signed Korean shortstop Lee Hak-ju out of high school and sent him to the Australian Baseball Academy to prepare for American minor league baseball. Hak-ju, 18, was signed by scout Steve Wilson, who recently signed Cubs pitching prospects Hung-Wen Chen and Dae Eun Rhee. Both Rhee and Chen are off to good starts for the Peoria Chiefs, something you have to like to see considering the Cubs have always struggled to find good pitching. Hak-ju has been compared to Ichiro mostly because of his speed and ability to make contact, but his fielding is what is really impressive. Scouts have said that his fielding tools are better than Derek Jeter's at that age. He has room to grow, and probably will, considering he is 18. He is listed at 6'0 170, but people who have watched him say he is closer to 6'2 185. We'll know more when makes his professional debut in the States.
Rhee, Chen, and Hak-ju are all apart of the Cubs new plan to improve their scouting in the Pacific Rim. If you are a Cubs fan, you better hope the Cubs can use these players along with their money to lure Japanese phenom Yu Darvish when he becomes a free agent.