Buried Treasure Top 30 Prospects
#28 - Jin-De Jhang
Measurables: 5'11, 220
Bats: L, Throws: R
Acquired: IFA, 2011
Buried Treasure 2012 Top 20: Not Ranked
Jhang is an intriguing example of the Pirates new commitment to bringing in amateur talent through spending and a new worldwide approach. The Pirates gave Jhang, a native of Taiwan, $250,000 dollars to sign as an 18 year-old in 2011. Jhang, one of the top prospects in Taiwan 2011, impressed the Pirates enough that they immediately moved him to the GCL to start his pro career and gave him plenty of playing time, despite the GCL Pirates having 2012 2nd round pick Wyatt Mathisen also on the roster at the catcher position.
Jhang got playing time in 43 games, receiving 145 plate appearances while playing both catcher and as a DH. In those 43 games, Jhang put up a solid .305/.382/.398 line, showing good plate discipline and a solid hit tool. In fact, Jhang walked 9.7% of the time and only struck out 11.0% of the time, both good numbers. Defensively, Jhang displays good athleticism despite a stocky build and a strong and accurate throwing arm. At the moment, he's raw, but considering his youth that should not be an issue. Jhang should be able to stick behind the plate long term. That simply leaves his bat, and the early returns are promising. Jhang gives the Pirates a solid young catching prospect to add minor league depth at that position.