This is the fifth in my series of 2014 MLB Draft profiles. This time, Kodi Medeiros from Hawaii is up. He’ll be on the mainland soon enough.
6’0, 185 pounds
DOB: May 25, 1996
Waiakea High School
Baseball America: 35
MLB Draft Insider: 53
Perfect Game: 31
Scouting Baseball: 36
Slot recommended bonus (No. 22): $1,980,500
Editor’s note: All information of draft prospects compiled from internet sources, scouting reports and video.
Full disclosure: I was born in Hawaii (on the Big Island), so I’m sure I have at least some bias when it comes to ranking Medeiros. But he has the stuff to back up this ranking.
Medeiros doesn’t have prototypical size for a starting pitcher, but he’s still able to sit in the 90-92 MPH range with his fastball. It has been clocked as high as 95 MPH. He gets a lot of arm-side run to it, making a potentially plus-pitch. He can also sink it pretty well. As a shorter pitcher, he’ll have to work on commanding the pitch, sinking it and putting it where he wants, as he doesn’t have elite velocity or downward plane to make a ton of mistakes with it.
His slider is a high-70s pitch that has frisbee-like qualities. It isn’t a conventional slider by any means. Randy Johnson‘s slider comes to mind when watching Medeiros. Of course, it comes out of a completely different release point, seeing as Johnson has a good 10 inches in height on Medeiros. It almost has lateral movement (3-9), as he throws his pitches from a low three-quarters arm slot. He gets so much movement on it that it’s sometimes hard to command and keep in the strike zone.
Medeiros also has a competent changeup that shows at least average potential. It sits in the 80-82 MPH range and has some fade against righties. It probably won’t be much of a weapon against lefties — something that could be said about almost every left-hander with a changeup.
Medeiros has an unconventional delivery, as he delivers his pitches from an extremely low arm slot. It’s almost sidearm. He’s able to repeat the unorthodox delivery surprisingly well. With some professional instruction, he could clean up the minor faults in his delivery to make it more sound and repeatable, which would lead to better command.
Logan White may or may not pull the trigger on a guy like this in the first round. He isn’t big or projectable, but he does have two potentially plus-pitches and the makings of an average third pitch. He’s a prep arm with good velocity and a good feel for pitching. He has also drafted prep lefties early in the past (Scott Elbert, Clayton Kershaw), so there’s a chance Medeiros could be the guy.
(Check the breaking ball he throws at about the 2:30 mark)
Medeiros is committed to Pepperdine University, but I haven’t heard much in the way of signability concerns for the native Hawaiian. At worst, he’s a nasty left-handed reliever in the majors. At best, he’s a middle-of-the-rotation starter with a chance to be a No. 2. Because he lacks ideal size, there’s almost no question that he’ll be available at No. 22. Some would call it a slight overdraft, but I’d be just fine with the Dodgers popping him in the first round. He’s No. 4 on my big board.