Jae-Hoon Ha, OF
Age: 23 (10/29/1990)
2013 Teams: Tennessee Smokies, Southern League, (AA); Iowa Cubs, Pacific Coast League (AAA)
Northsiders Report 2014 Ranking—# 28
How acquired:—Signed as a free agent on Sept. 19, 2008.
Cubs Career Starting his pro career as a 18-year-old in the Northwest League, Ha hit .242/.264/.327 after signing a $225,000 bonus. The South Korean played 77 games in the Midwest League for Peoria in 2010, hitting a career-high .317 with seven homers and 46 RBI. He hit for the cycle against Kane County on Aug. 14.
Ha split 2011 between Daytona and Tennessee as the young outfielder continued his climb up the Cubs system. He hit .279/.315/.415 with 11 homers and 72 RBI, both career-highs. Recognized as one of the Cubs tops prospects, Ha played a full season in AA in 2012 and was named to the Futures All-Star Game, where he went 2-2 with a homer. He played 121 games for Tennessee with a slash line of .273/.352/.385.
2013 Season Ha was leading the Smokies in average (.305) and on-base percentage (.408) when a lower back injury landed the 22-year-old on the disabled list in early May. He returned to the team on June 19 but only played in three games before being promoted to AAA Iowa. He became the starter in center for Iowa and held his own. Ha hit .241/.288/.364 as the young hitter faced the toughest pitching of his career. He led the I-Cubs in games in center (54), recording six assists with a .984 fielding percentage, committing two errors.
2014 Outlook I was surprised a team didn't take a chance on Ha as the Cubs left him unprotected in the Rule 5 draft in December. He'll be back in AAA in 2014, looking to solve PCL pitching. Ha is a solid defensive player and despite having average speed, is an above average base runner with good instincts. He's also seen time in right field but his arm is more suited for center. Ha provides the Cubs outfield depth at the upper minor league levels.Jacob Hannemann, OF
Age 22 (4/29/1991)
2013 Team: Boise Hawks, Northwest League, (SS); Mesa Cubs, Arizona Rookie League (R)
Northsiders Report 2014 Ranking—Not rated.
How acquired:—Drafted in the third round in 2013, #75 overall
Prior to Cubs
A two-star prep standout at Lone Peak High School in Highland, Utah, the left-handed hitting outfielder was selected in the 48th round by the Royals in 2010 but instead of turning pro he served two years in the Arkansas Little Rock Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. A two-sport athlete at BYU on a football scholarship, Hannemann redshirted in 2012 playing as a member of the scout team. He was listed on the 2013 depth chart as the backup cornerback. Hannemann started 51 games for the Cougars on the diamond in 2013, hitting .344/.415/.553 after not playing baseball for two years. He swiped 14 bases with five homers and 29 RBI. He ended the season with a 10-game hitting streak and had a season-high four hits against Kris Bryant's San Diego team on March 14. Hannemann worked out for the Cubs on June 3 at Wrigley.
The Cubs third-round pick in June made his pro debut for Boise on June 21 playing in 11 games (.280/.294/.480) before landing on the DL July 3. He went to Mesa for three games of rehab and returned to Boise July 23, but only played three more games before another trip to the DL ended his season with wrist and ankle injuries. The 22-year-old only got 71 at-bats in his first pro season but showed his speed in the field and on the bases. He returned to participate in the fall instructs and won the Cubs home run derby.
It will interesting to see how the outfields at Daytona and Kane County shake out when the Cubs break camp in Mesa but if Hannemann can stay healthy, he'll be in the mix for one of the spots. He may stay at extended spring training due to the limited amount of baseball he's played the past three years. He's getting a late start in pro ball for his age and experience level, but the Cubs must feel he possess the skill set to make the quick rise through the minors.