Tournaments : : Story
Saturday, October 26, 2013

World Champ. Day 2 recap, Part 2

David Rawnsley        
Photo: Perfect Game

WWBA World Championship content hub

Contributing: Todd Gold, Frankie Piliere, Jheremy Brown

Follow the PG scouts on Twitter: @DavidRawnsleyPG | @TGold_PG | @FPilierePG | @JBrownPG

Players listed are in the class of 2014 unless otherwise noted

There was little doubt who the main attraction of the tournament would be this year, as Hawaiian lefthander Kodi Medeiros created a ton of buzz this summer on the showcase circuit. Medeiros took the mound at the Metrodome in the first game of the PG National Showcase as a relative unknown on the national stage, and two innings later was one of the most interesting and debated prospects in the 2014 draft class.

His background coming from the town of Hilo (pop. 50,000) added significant importance to his outing in Jupiter, as it is the only game setting in which he will have the chance to face a prospect caliber lineup before the draft. While he has shown flashes of brilliance in one and two inning stints in showcase settings this summer, this was Medieros' opportunity to dismiss the notion that he projects as a reliever long-term. Predictably, there was a massive scouting turnout.

With hundreds of scouts gathered to watch Medeiros on the big stage, he started the game off with a three-pitch strikeout to Trace Loehr, starting his fastball just off the low outside corner and letting the plus movement run the ball back over the corner for unhittable strikes. The next batter reached on an error before he shattered a bat to get a double play and was back in the dugout after throwing just six pitches (all for strikes). He threw all fastballs in the first inning, sitting 91-92, topping out at 94.

His second inning of work started in much the same way, punching out the first two batters, both on changeups. This was critical as it was a pitch that showed well at the PG National, but not at either of his other two major showcase outings – the Area Code Games and the PG All-American Classic. His changeup came out of the hand at 82-85 and featured severe late diving action. After having thrown 13 of his first 14 pitches for strikes, Medeiros made his first mistake, leaving a fastball over the plate to Blake Wiggins, who crushed a double that one-hopped the fence in left. After a six pitch walk – and a passed ball on a slider that the catcher was unable to handle – he got a ground ball to strand the runner at third. His fastball sat 90-92 in the second inning, breaking out his wipeout slider at 80-82 while throwing all three of his changeups that inning for strikes.

After a long layoff, while his teammates pushed across a run to put him in line for the win thanks to three walks and a single, Medeiros came back out for his third and final inning. His velocity dipped down to 89-90, touching 91. His command wasn't as sharp as he left his fastball up a couple of times after only missing up with it once in the first two innings, but he was also unleashed his breaking ball more frequently. But he did still throw eight of his 14 pitches that inning for strikes and finished the day with by striking out leadoff man Trace Loehr looking for the second time.

His three-inning stint will likely do little to quiet the debate about whether or not he profiles as a starter long-term. On the one hand, he accomplished the most important goal of the outing in that he showed that he could consistently throw a quality changeup for strikes, thus giving him three present plus pitches. But those who came in believing his future lies in the bullpen will point to his velocity declining a couple ticks by the third inning as evidence that he can’t maintain his elite stuff several times through the batting order.

What there is little doubt about however, is that Medeiros has the kind of stuff to be an impact arm in whatever role he is utilized and barring injury, it is difficult to envision a scenario in which he doesn’t come off the board in the first round.

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