MLB Draft Primer: The 2016 College Pitchers

Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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MLB Draft: Illinois
Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports /

Last year the Pirates took Kevin Newman and Ke’Bryan Hayes with their first round picks.  Both these players were considered late rising prospects who were moving up draft boards as the day approached.  Cody Sedlock from the University of Illinois is one of the college arms that has risen in the last few months.  He is ranked number 32 on MLB Pipeline.  He has the frame that everyone loves at six-foot-four and 215 pounds.

Sedlock did not have a clear path to starting for the Illini in his freshmen and sophomore season. Because of this he pitched out of the bullpen for the team. However, this past summer Sedlock made the transition from the bullpen back to starting in the Cape Cod League.  He was very impressive according to scouts.

Showing that he could be an effective starter, Sedlock was given an opportunity to do so this year for the Illini. So far this year he has made 12 starts.  He is 5-2 with a 2.82 ERA.  Beyond those numbers he is even more impressive, his WHIP is a 1.14, and he has a K/BB ratio of 3.88.

So why is he ranked lower in the first round?  Those numbers are more impressive than the other players mentioned, but there is one key reason why he is not rated as high.  This is because he was a reliever his first two years at Illinois.  Essentially teams do not have a big enough sample size to go off of.  Some teams are questioning whether or not he can be a starter at the big league level.  Even if they do believe he can they know there is a lot of work to go into him as he has a lack of experience as a starter.

The Pirates could take him at number22.  First he most likely would sign for lower than the bonus slot.  Second, the Pirates have plenty of pitching in the upper minors and would be able take the time to develop him as a starter.  The last reason the Pirates could have interest in him is because his best pitch is a sinker.  His sinker sits 91-93 miles per hour.  The Pirates love pitchers who throw fastballs with movements on it.  The fact that he already throws an effective senior would make him an attractive option for the Pirates.  He also throws a curve ball and change-up.  Neither are considered plus pitches, but the pitches do show positive signs.  He will need to continue to develop them and become more comfortable with throwing them.

Sedlock seems to be the biggest project pitcher our of the four mentioned.  However, the Pirates typically like to take the project players.  They view those types of players as easy to mold.  If they take a polished college arm they may not have a lot of flexibility in changing the way they pitch.  Sedlock is raw as a starter, but has the proven this year that he can be an effective in doing so.  If the Pirates feel that they can develop him then picking him number 22 would not be much of a reach.

Next: What is most logical?