St. Louis Cardinals MiLB Recap (4/5-4/7)

Feb 25, 2024; West Palm Beach, Florida, USA; St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Tink Hence (72)
Feb 25, 2024; West Palm Beach, Florida, USA; St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Tink Hence (72) / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
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RHP Chen-Wei Lin (Single-A - Palm Beach Cardinals)

Chen-Wei Lin might be the most exciting pitching prospect in the Cardinals system. The Cardinals signed him last July, and he became the first player ever signed out of Taiwan in the franchise's history. He's a tall, lanky right-hander who possesses a high 90s running fastball. Lin pitched 16 1/3 innings last year and allowed 11 runs, but it's hard to make much out of the small sample. In his 2024 season debut, he pitched four innings, allowed two runs, and struck out three while pounding the strike zone.

Last year, Lin topped out at 97.4 mph in Statcast-tracked games. In his first start of 2024, he exceeded that mark 19 times and reached 100 mph for the first time in his career. Funny enough, Lin averaged 97.4 mph on his fastball, and the perceived velocity was 98.0 mph due to his above-average extension. He averaged 15.6 inches of induced vertical break and 14.6 inches of run, which is ridiculous at that velocity.

Lin's secondary pitches are a work in progress. He has a changeup in the high 80s with solid depth and immense arm-side run. It's his clear 2nd best pitch currently. Lin also has a gyro-slider at around 84 mph, but the velocity of the pitch needs to be harder. Lin's mechanics looked a lot cleaner on Saturday than they were last year, and he did a much better job at attacking the zone. Lin might have the highest ceiling out of any Cardinals pitching prospect, and it's going to be fun to keep tabs on him this year.

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