Player: Michael Cederoth
Drafted by: Minnesota Twins
DOB: 11/25/1992 (Age: 21)
Height/Weight: 6’6”, 215 pounds
School: San Diego State
Previously Drafted: 41st round, 2011 (Diamondbacks)
As a 6’6” right-hander with a fastball that reaches triple digits, it’s hard to comprehend how Michael Cederoth could struggle at any level. However, that unfortunately was the case last season, as the sophomore went 3-9 with a 4.25 ERA and 48 walks in 95.1 innings (15 starts).
However, the flame-throwing right-hander seemingly found his niche this spring as San Diego State’s closer, saving 20 games and posting a 2.28 ERA with 55 strikeouts and 28 walks over 51.1 innings (32 appearances).
While there likely will be some teams interested in developing him as a starter at the professional level, Cederoth’s overall lack of control and previous success as a closer has him destined for a long-term bullpen role in the major leagues.
Full Scouting Report
Note: Numerical scores are on the conventional 20-80 scouting scale, with the current score first and projected score second.
6’6”, 215-pound right-hander struggles to control long limbs and repeat mechanics, like most pitchers of similar size; too many moving parts to delivery; effortless arm strength; has yet to figure out the necessary effort to consistently throw strikes; shows monster potential when everything works in sync.
Boasts one of the best fastballs in this year’s class, consistently working the mid-to-upper 90s; bumps triple digits with ease in short bursts out of the bullpen; pitch gets on opposing hitters quickly thanks to his long limbs and extension toward the plate; tries to reduce velocity in favor of command when working as a starter.
Best secondary offering regardless of future role; thrown with power in 81-85 mph range featuring late, swing-and-miss break that is ideal for missing bats; struggles to consistently get on top of pitch; flashes plus potential when he throws it right.
Curveball registers in the mid-to-upper 70s with a big, 12-to-6 shape and good downer action; pace of offering gives hitters too much time to recognize and adjust; will linger up in the zone when not finished correctly; struggles to repeat release point and consistently get on top (much like his slider).
Changeup is present but raw and the least-used pitch in his arsenal; still developing a feel for the pitch, but it will flash average potential in the mid-80s with decent fading action; doesn’t shy away from throwing offering despite overall inconsistency.
Inability to control long limbs and moving parts in delivery impedes control of entire arsenal; upper and lower halves rarely work in sync; complicated, high-maintenance mechanics limit his ceiling as a starter.
Command projects as below average due to body type, arm action and mechanics; could still have the chance to be successful with improved fastball command; fringy command profile for late-inning reliever.
MLB Player Comparison: Johnny Hellweg
Cederoth compares to Johnny Hellweg as a tall and lanky right-hander with electric stuff but little clue as to where the ball is going once it leaves his hand.
Projection: Late-inning reliever
Major Leagues ETA: Late 2015
Chances of Signing: 75 percent
Cederoth has the potential to move quickly as a reliever but will likely be a multiyear project for any team that believes in his untapped potential as a starter. Regardless, whoever drafts him will do so for the pure arm strength and hope that the rest falls into place. He could potentially return to San Diego next year for his senior season with the goal of improving his stock as a starter, but the fact that he was forced to the bullpen early this spring doesn’t bode well for him in that scenario.