So says Adam Rubin:
Mets acquire SS Chin-lung Hu from the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for lefthanded pitcher Mike Antonini
The Taiwanese shortstop Hu -- MLB's first Taiwanese infielder -- will turn 27 in February and has hit .303/.333/.421 in 1,135 Triple-A at-bats in the Dodgers system, but he did so in two very good hitters parks in Las Vegas and Albuquerque. Hu was Baseball America's #55 prospect prior to the 2008 season and has done little of consequence in 191 big league plate appearances.
In August 2009, Baseball Prospectus' Kevin Goldstein had this to say about Hu:
Once one of the better shortstop prospects in baseball, Hu is a plus-plus defender who had a monster season at the plate in 2007, but since then, he's gone backward at the plate while getting jerked between both the majors and Triple-A, as well as multiple positions.
Hu has been added to the Mets 40-man roster, bringing the current roll to 39.
Antonini was an 18th-round pick by the Mets in the 2007 amateur draft. The left-hander is a fly ball pitcher with good control and underwhelming strikeout rates throughout his minor league career. He turned 24 in August. John Sickels ranked him the 18th best prospect in the Mets system before the 2009 season.
This is most likely a move for shortstop depth as the Mets are dealing a finesse lefty for a contact-hitting shortstop with a good glove but little patience or power. If you're the sort of fan who's still waiting for the Mets to make some kind of splash this offseason, this sure isn't it.
UPDATE: Got this scouting report from our friend Eric Stephen at SB Nation Dodgers site True Blue LA:
Hu simply doesn't hit, but his defense is good enough at SS (or 2B) to be a major league utility infielder. I mean, if Juan Castro can keep getting jobs, the standard isn't high. Hu had a very good 2007 season offensively split between Double A and Triple A, but that is looking more and more like a fluke.
He started at SS for about a month after Rafael Furcal went down in 2008, but redefined the Mendoza Line (he was hitting .159/.224/.206 on June 7 when he got optioned back to the minors) and his fate was pretty much sealed ever since. He has battled some bad luck at inopportune times. He battled vision problems in 2008, which contributed to his poor hitting, and in 2010 he was in line for a call-up but had a broken nose and Nick Green got the call instead.
Empirically, he seems to overswing too often and strikes out too often to be a major league regular, but his glove is legit.