From time to time this season, the CCO will profile a player from the Cubs’ minor league system. Dae-Eun Rhee garnered attention in the off-season after Baseball America named him the 16th best prospect in the Cubs’ organization. Rhee made the Peoria Chiefs’ roster and has had a solid start to his first season pitching for Ryne Sandberg. Name: Dae-Eun Rhee
Birthplace: Seoul, South Korea
Height: 6′ 2″
Signed: July 2007, $525,000
With those stats from a 19 year old in Class-A ball, most Cubs’ fans are wondering who this kid is and where he came from. The Cubs signed him as an international free agent last year from South Korea for a cool $525,000. He did not pitch last year on either a short-season or full-season team but surprisingly made the Peoria Chiefs roster out of Spring Training this year.
Rhee has gotten off to a great start in Peoria as his numbers show. Rhee’s fastball has been clocked in the mid-90s with a good, hard curveball. As his numbers show, he has great control for a young pitcher and minimizes base runners unlike Jose Ceda. His changeup has been described as more of a splitter because it just dives when it gets to the plate. I believe he has a slider in his arsenal but that might be his weakest pitch. His frame should allow him to grow into it and add some more weight, thus, his fastball should top out a little bit higher than it does now. Most importantly, he has a sound delivery that should prevent arm issues in the future.
This is one prospect Cubs fans should keep an eye on for years to come.