Draft Preview: RHP Cody Sedlock - University of Illinois

Cody Sedlock

School: University of Illinois
Position: Right Handed Pitcher
Height/Weight: 6’4”/ 210 lb
B/T: R/R
D.O.B.: 6/19/1995 (20 years old)
Previously Drafted: N/A

2016 Stats: 5-3, 14 G, 2 CG, 101.1 IP, 2.49 ERA, 80 H, 116 K & 31 BB (as of 6/3/16)

Scouting Reports:

“Though Sedlock was primarily a reliever on a deep Illinois pitching staff in his first two college seasons, he has all of the ingredients to start. He throws four pitches, fills the strike zone, generates a lot of groundouts and has a strong 6-foot-4, 210-pound frame.

Sedlock’s best pitch is his heavy sinker, which sits at 91-93 mph when he starts and can reach 96 in shorter stints. He also can miss bats with his low-80s slider. Sedlock’s curveball and changeup aren’t as effective, but they have their moments as well.” –MLB Pipeline

“Sedlock spent his sophomore season in the Illinois bullpen, along with 2015 first-rounder Tyler Jay, and was touching 96 mph as a long reliever last spring. For an absolutely loaded Bourne Braves club on the Cape, Sedlock stretched out to start and was 90-94 mph for most of the summer. His success has continued this season as Sedlock has struck out 29 percent of hitter he’s faced and holds his stuff deep into games.

Sedlock and Illinois pitching coach Drew Dickinson worked to keep his front side closed longer during delivery, making Sedlock more deceptive. Sedlock has held his velocity this spring and will flash a plus slider. Sedlock’s curveball and changeup are works in progress, and he leaned on the fastball and slider out of the pen last year, so he hasn’t had enough reps for us to expect a starter’s repertoire from him just yet.” – Keith Law ESPN (Insider)

Scouting Grades: 

Note: These grades are summations based on available scouting information from sources such as Baseball America, MLB.com, and Fangraphs.

(Present/Future value, 20-80 scale)

Fastball: 65/70
Slider: 55/65
Curveball: 45/55
Changeup: 45/55
Control: 55/60
Overall: 55/60

Prospect Overview and Future Outlook: 

A year removed from their best season in the program’s history, University of Illinois finished the year 28-23 and did not qualify for the Big Ten Tournament. However, you can’t pin that on Cody Sedlock, who emerged from the Illinois bullpen to become the rotation ace and was recently named the Big Ten Pitcher of the Year. It was the second consecutive year that an Illinois pitcher won the honor, as #6 overall 2015 draft pick Tyler Jay took the 2015 title. Like Jay, Sedlock was a former reliever who spring-boarded into starting (and into scouts’ eyes) via a fantastic Cape Cod League performance. Sedlock spun a 3.41 ERA with the Bourne Braves over 29 innings and never looked back as he stormed through his Junior year at Illinois. Sedlock was the definition of a workhorse as he averaged 8.9 innings and a 1.01 ERA against Big Ten opponents and racked up a program record 116 strikeouts. The highlight of his season came against future Big Ten Champion Ohio State on April 22nd, when he went 10.2 scoreless innings and struck out 14 Buckeyes to help the Illini earn the win.

Sedlock’s best pitch is a heavy sinker, which he throws 91-93 and holds that velocity deep into games. While he was relieving, it was common for him to hit mid-90’s consistently with his fastball. His second best offering is a low to mid-80’s slider that he buries effectively with good tilt. He flashes a changeup and a curve, but according to scouts they are are not as advanced as his slider and are still developing. This is common for converted relievers, as Sedlock only needed to rely on his fastball and slider coming out of the bullpen for the Illini in 2014 and 2015.

Sedlock maximizes his 6’4” frame and pitches from a downhill plane. This is most apparent on his sinker, which has good downward movement. Sedlock’s delivery (video here) has improved since his bullpen days but isn’t completely clean. He has a whip-like delivery with his arm dragging behind. Sedlock has worked hard on improving his delivery, and specifically on keeping his front side closed, which would make him more deceptive. Because of his delivery and lack of an average 3rd offering, some scouts are concerned about his long term outlook as a starter. However, his solid frame and durability during the 2016 season paints a more optimistic picture.

Sedlock’s future projection has a wide range of outcomes mainly dependent on the development of his changeup and curveball. Oftentimes during the 2016 season Sedlock completely ignored his changeup and according to a Baseball America report he admitted he only threw his changeup four times during one particular start. While that was understandable in college considering his sinker and slider are his best pitches, that won’t get the job done in the pros against more advanced hitters. If an organization is able to develop Sedlock’s secondary offerings into average or above-average pitches, he can pound the zone with his plus sinker and slider while keeping hitters off balance with a four pitch arsenal. In that best case scenario, Sedlock could become a frontline starter. If he isn’t able to develop those secondary pitches, his floor is a strong reliever with a 1-2 punch of his sinker-slider.

Draft Day:

Sedlock has been ranked anywhere from 20th (ESPN) to 36th (Baseball America) but is consistently going higher than the rankings in mock drafts. Keith Law has mocked him as high as #14 overall and he was projected at the #17 selection in the latest MLB.com mock. If these projections ring true, Sedlock will be not quite strong enough a prospect to be taken at #10 but perhaps too desired to fall to #26. However, the White Sox were shocked to see Spencer Adams fall to pick #44 of the 2014 draft when he was widely projected to go in the 20’s, so crazier things have happened.

The White Sox have shown an affinity for college starters in the past two drafts, selecting Carlos Rodon and Carson Fulmer in 2014 and 2015, respectively. Sedlock would fit that bill as he was a highly productive workhorse at Illinois and presents significant upside if properly developed. Chicago has earned a rightful reputation of being an organization that does an excellent job developing pitchers and Sedlock, who is an Illinois native, would be a prime candidate to further enforce that idea.

I would be quite surprised if the Sox surveyed their board when they are on the clock at #10 and called Sedlock’s name, but their compensation pick at #26 would be a completely different scenario. Johnathan Mayo of MLB.com linked the Sox to Sedlock and said they would love to see him fall to #26, and I think they would be very pleased to take the local product there. It remains to be seen if the other MLB teams would allow that to happen, but Cody Sedlock is definitely a name to keep an eye on as the first round progresses.

*Interested in other possible future White Sox? Check out our other published draft profiles below and keep an eye out for ones that are upcoming.*

C Zack Collins, Miami
RHP Dakota Hudson, Mississippi State
LHP Braxton Garrett, Florence HS (Alabama)

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Filed under: Draft Coverage

Tags: Cody Sedlock

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