Player: Kodi Medeiros
Drafted by: Milwaukee Brewers
DOB: 5/25/1996 (Age: 18)
Height/Weight: 6'0", 185 lbs
School: Waiakea HS (Hawaii)
College Commitment: Pepperdine
Kodi Medeiros is going to make some small history when his name gets announced in the 2014 MLB draft. Kolten Wong was the last player from the state of Hawaii to be taken in the first round when St. Louis popped him at No. 22 overall in 2011. The last high school player taken on Day 1 from the Aloha State was Bronson Sardinha in 2001.
The left-handed pitcher has a commitment to pitch for Pepperdine, which is an excellent fallback plan considering the campus' location on the beaches of Malibu, California. He was a breakout star at the Perfect Game National showcase last June, vaulting him into the first-round mix this year.
Full Scouting Report
Note: Numerical scores are on the conventional 80-point scouting scale, with the current score first and projected score second.
There are two schools of thought on Medeiros that make it hard to project what his future role is; excellent athlete with easy-to-repeat mechanics and has youth on his side, having just turned 18 prior to the draft.
The downside is that Medeiros doesn't offer physical projection as a 6-foot, 185-pound pitcher; has a low, three-quarters angle that makes it difficult to command the fastball consistently, though it does give him extra movement on the pitch and added deception.
Boasting one of the best fastballs of any prep pitcher in the 2014 draft, Medeiros succeeds thanks to deceptive arm action and movement; doesn't overpower hitters, working in the 90-92 mph range, but can touch 94 when mph when he needs it; plus movement and low arm action make the heater difficult to square up; athleticism and ability to repeat delivery help him control the pitch.
Another pitch that succeeds thanks in large part to the arm action; slider has the potential to be a swing-and-miss offering against advanced hitters; incredible break on the pitch, at times too much, as it will end up in the dirt or so far out of the strike zone that hitters won't chase it; if he can rein the movement in, perhaps by toning down the arm action without losing deception, it's going to be a monster pitch.
Given how effective Medeiros' fastball-slider combination is, the changeup suffers because he just doesn't have to throw it; not much to it right now; some downward dive when the pitch is on, but it's got a long way to go before turning into something hitters respect.
It's rare to find a pitcher with the kind of low three-quarters arm slot that Medeiros features who has even average control, at least as a starting pitcher; could move to the bullpen and dominate on the strength of two plus pitches and not having to turn over a lineup three times; athleticism and ability to repeat the delivery give him more upside than a typical pitcher with that kind of delivery; won't ever have better than average control, but that's enough to be effective given the quality of his fastball and slider.
One thing that hasn't been touched on a lot in this profile is Medeiros' size; athletic and contains all the moving parts of his mechanics well, but when you are 6 feet tall, keeping the ball down can be difficult because you aren't getting much plane on the heater; even more true in his case due to the arm slot, which doesn't lend itself to getting plane anyway; fastball moves so much that it might not matter in the long run, but it's not something you see every day; needs to work on keeping the slider and changeup under control so hitters at least respect them enough to swing.
MLB Player Comparison: Madison Bumgarner (Note: comparison based on physical tools, not actual ceiling)
In some ways, Medeiros is further along than Madison Bumgarner was when San Francisco drafted him 10th overall in 2007. The Giants' ace didn't have a quality breaking ball coming out of high school.
Medeiros doesn't have the same ceiling as Bumgarner due to lack of physical projection, but he can be a poor man's version of the All-Star thanks to the fastball-slider combination and deceptive arm angle.
Projection: No. 3 starter on first-division team
MLB ETA: 2018
Chances of Signing: 80%
Sometimes a polarizing prospect wants to test the college waters in order to improve their stock three years down the road. Medeiros wouldn't be wrong to play at Pepperdine, for many reasons, but would be risking his future potential due to an injury or might plateau if professional coaches aren't able to fix the command issues. It's in his best interest to get into pro ball right now in order to maximize his upside.