Tennessee Smokies pitcher and Cubs pitching prospect Dae-Eun Rhee took a no decision in an Easter Sunday start against the Chattanooga Lookouts (Dodgers). Here are some thoughts on Rhee, including video featuring four specific pitching sequences.
First off, let me introduce myself, my name is Chris Blessing and I've been writing about prospects for the past few seasons. I started compiling scouting report for Mets prospects for various websites. When not writing about Met prospects, I usually posted prospect pieces at Scouting the Sally; however, with Mike Newman receiving a much deserved paid gig at fangraphs, I settled on posting my game reports as fanposts on various SB Nation sites.
For my first Cubs related piece, I debated between writing up Trey McNutt or Dae-Eun Rhee. I had seen McNutt pitch, running the gun for Mike (Click Here for the Writeup) as he scouted several prospects including Junior Lake, Josh Vitters, Allen Webster and Alfredo Silverio during the Southern League Playoffs. Anyway, I chose Rhee since his path to this point has intrigued me and also his late seasons efforts last season while pitching for Daytona.
Fastball: Rhee threw a very easy 90-92 MPH throughout the first 5 innings of his start. In the 6th frame, the pop on his fastball seemed to be missing. By this point in the contest, I couldn't confirm my suspicions since the 3 guns I was peaking at were either not in use or obstructed from my view. He seemed to struggle initially with his command of his fastball; however, from the 2nd to the 5th, he was able to work up, down and to the corners.
Change: Rhee showcased plus arm action and good downward movement on this pitch. You can spot the pitch fairly easily in the video because of the sink. He threw it between 81-85 MPH. I witnessed the higher velocity readings in the first inning. After he settled in, the pitch sat in the 81-83 MPH range. I really thought it was a splitter because of the nasty downward movement. It is his best offering by far because of the movement and the pitch's deception. Left handed hitters did not get a good read on the pitch at all.
Curve: Rhee spent the 4th inning throwing several curves. At one point, he threw 5 straight. I had a few curves registered at 72 MPH but most of his curves were 76-78 MPH. He had command of the pitch; however, the slow curve was telegraphed a bit by Rhee slowing down his motion.
Overall, I was impressed with Rhee. With his arsenal, he has a future as a starting pitcher.
Cubs Pitching Prospect Dae-Eun Rhee (via MetsgeekTV)