Profiling 2014 MLB draft: Michael Cederoth


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San Diego State pitcher, 2014 MLB Draft Michael Cederoth, is a talented arm with a lot of upside.

Cederoth
Michael Cederoth could be one of the top pitchers taken in the 2014 draft. (bigleaguefutures.net)

In 2011, the big hurler was drafted in the 41st round by the Arizona Diamondbacks, but elected to play for the Aztecs instead. San Diego State might not be a baseball powerhouse, but with Stephen Strasburg and now Cederoth, they’ve churned out some power arms in recent years.

Michael Cederoth, a 6-foot-6, 210-pound right-hander, has the size baseball personnel covet. It didn’t take him long to establish himself in the Aztecs rotation, and the 67 1/3 innings he threw his freshman year were the second most on the team. He managed a 20.1 percent strikeout rate along with a 15.7 percent walk rate. In his sophomore year, Cederoth threw 95 1/3 innings in 15 starts. The strikeout and walk rates improved to 27.3 percent 12.0 percent, respectively.

Cederoth uses a herky-jerky delivery with a high leg kick and some back turn. Throwing from a high three-quarters arm slot, he gets very good downward plane on his pitches. He gets very good extension. Cederoth uses a big arm swing, which results in the ball dipping well below his waist before he delivers. With most pitchers, this would be a difficult delivery to repeat, but Cederoth is a very good athlete, and stays pretty consistent with his motion. Still, his delivery probably will be tinkered with at the next level.

His fastball is an easy plus pitch. It works consistently in the mid-90s, and has reached triple digits. Also, with his over-the-top delivery, it has good sinking action when he locates it down in the zone. With the elite velocity, he also can use the fastball up in the zone. The secondary pitches are more of a work in progress. His mid-80s slider and change-up show potential, but currently are average. They lack the depth or action to regularly fool more developed hitters.

Even at his current size, it’s easy to see the muscular but lanky Cederoth getting bigger and stronger.

The Strasburg comparisons may be inevitable with Cederoth’s solid frame and electric fastball. However, his secondary pitches and command are far less developed at this point. He lacks the polish of other college arms such as Aaron Nola. Nevertheless, Michael Cederoth has big potential, and, with a solid junior year, could be one of the first college pitchers taken, behind Carlos Rodon and Tyler Beede.

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