Today, we continue profiling minor league prospects on the rosters of the Chicago Cubs’ three upper level teams: Iowa, Tennessee and Daytona. In a few days, we will examine prospects on the Cubs’ lower-tier teams of Kane County, Boise and Arizona.
Jae-Hoon Ha: The right handed hitting and throwing Ha was signed by the Cubs out of his native South Korea in September of 2008. Just 22, Ha has been in the Cubs’ system since 2009 and played in last year’s Futures Game, going 2-2 with a home run. Ha’s breakout season was 2010 for Peoria, the Cubs’ former Midwest League affiliate. He hit .317 with seven homers and 46 RBI. He flexed his best power numbers in an encore season in 2011, splitting time between Daytona and Tennessee. Combined, he hit .279 with eleven home runs, 72 RBI and 31 doubles. He spent all of last season and the beginning of this one at Tennessee before being promoted to Iowa. At Tennessee, in a campaign interrupted several weeks by a concussion, Ha hit .284 in 114 plate appearances. Ha was then promoted to Iowa, where he got off to a dreadful start. Recently, Ha has shown steady improvement, hitting .257 in his last ten games entering play Thursday evening. Overall for Iowa, he is batting .236 with three home runs, seven doubles and eleven RBI in 132 plate appearances. For his minor league career, Ha is hitting .276 with a .323 on base percentage (OBP) and .397 slugging percentage in 1898 plate appearances.
Scouting reports indicate that Ha has tremendous speed and exceptional base running and defensive instincts. His speed has not yet translated to high stolen base totals, as he has stolen just 49 in 82 career attempts. But his base stealing percentage has improved as he has moved up the minor league ladder. He also has a strong and accurate throwing arm, as evidenced by his 39 career outfield assists, and Ha has spent significant time in all three outfield positions.