October 25, 2013
Scouting the Draft: Quick Hits - Kodi Medeiros in Jupiter
Day 2 of the 2013 WWBA World Championship, hosted by Perfect Game USA, featured one of the the most highly anticipated starts of the event. Pepperdine commit Kodi Medeiros took the hill for the Ohio Warhawks, facing Chandler Baseball, in the team's second game of the tournament. Medeiros saw his draft stock skyrocket this summer, building on each outing throughout the summer circuit and establishing himself as a potential first round target.
For many evaluators the three-inning start was the longest Medeiros outing observed to date, with the results doing little to settle the starter vs. reliever debate that perpetually surrounds the side-slinging lefty. Medeiros maintained low-90s velocity through his first two innings of work before dropping into the upper-80s for inning number three (punching out the final batter he faced on a low-and-out 91 mph heater on the black). He showed two plus secondaries in his 81-83 mph disappearing changeup, and a 79 mph wipeout slider with hard, late action. His fastball boasts lots of dance out of a low slot, and is incredibly difficult for hitters to center -- particularly when paired with a changeup/slider combo that show release and plane deception with the heater.
While the raw stuff is highly impressive, there is still some question as to whether Medeiros will be able to regularly maintain that stuff through longer outings and subject to shorter periods of rest. Additionally, today's longer outing exposed some potential issues with consistently hitting his release point across multiple innings, as the promising prep arm slipped into a few batters' worth of wildness with both his fastball and breaker before righting the ship. The ease with which he throws and the quality of his arsenal give Medeiros plenty of firepower to turn over lineups, but the arm slot and body frame are non-traditional for a starter, and some evaluators will be slow to warm to the idea of shelling out early-first round money for a prep arm that does not fit cleanly into the starter template. While evaluators will debate his ultimate role, no one can dispute the fact the Medeiros has established himself as one of the top arms of interest in the entire draft class.