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Top Prospect Starts Strong

May 07, 2000|CHRIS FOSTER

Outfielder Chin-Feng Chen, considered the Dodgers' top prospect, is doing nothing to harm that lofty rating.

Chen, 22, is hitting .324 with 10 doubles, two home runs and 18 runs batted in for double-A San Antonio as of Saturday. He also has 13 stolen bases.

The Dodgers shelled out $680,000 to sign Chen a year ago, and he hasn't disappointed them.

A year ago, Chen tore up the Class-A California League with San Bernardino. He became the first 30-30 player in the league's history, with 31 home runs and 31 stolen bases. He also hit .316, scored 98 runs and drove in 123.

The one knock on Chen is a below-average throwing arm. The Dodgers project him as a left fielder.

At triple-A Albuquerque, Duke pitchers are handling their bats as well as they are handling opposing batters.

Onan Masaoka went six innings Wednesday, giving up three hits and one run in a 4-1 victory over Fresno. He also gave the Dukes a 1-0 lead with a third-inning home run.

It was Masaoka's first victory of the season. He is 1-0 with a 4.32 earned-run average in four starts.

The following night, Jamie Arnold went seven shutout innings in a 6-0 victory. He also keyed a four-run third inning with a bunt single, dropped perfectly down the third-base line, that loaded the bases.

Arnold is 4-1 with 2.41 ERA in six games, five of which are starts.

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