Okay, we need to talk about Kodi Medeiros. If you read the mock draft article you would have seen that the Royals are heavily tied to prep Hawaiian Kodi Medeiros. I don't think I've seen a name more tied to one team this year than Medeiros to the Royals. Because of the strong ties I think it's time we do an article specifically about the guy.
Kodi Medeiros - LHP
Waiakea High School, Hawaii
6'1" 190 lbs
May 25th, 1996
Kodi rose to national prominence during his sophomore season when his school won the state championship on the back of his complete game eight strikeout, three hit, shutout.
Medeiros is one of the best left handers in this draft. He's likely in the second tier of lefties since Brady Aiken and Carlos Rodon are leading the pack, but those guys are elite level talent and being second to them is nothing to be ashamed of.
Medeiros throws from a low, almost side arm, slot and has a very heavy fastball with arm side run and some sink. It's a groundball pitch that he pounds the zone with and it did enough damage that hitters during the Perfect Game showcase were constantly talking about it afterwards. He usually sits low-90's with the pitch and can hit 95-96 with a little extra torque.
His second pitch is his slider that scouts have given a 60-65 grade to and is one of the best breaking balls in the draft. It's truly damaging and some attest it could get major league hitters out right now. My favorite quote on it comes from minorleagueball's Matt Garrioch:
His slider is in the main course. It's a 76-78 MPH nasty offering. It's an expletive pitch. The first time I saw it live, I swore. From the angle he delivers it, it can be unhittable. Lefty hitters won't stand a chance hitting the ball that starts behind them and ends up on the outside corner. Right-handers could swing and miss and it could hit them in the chest. It is amazing. It has tight spin, late break and enormous movement both horizontally and vertically, although the bulk of it is horizontal due to his low ¾, almost sidearm delivery.
His third pitch is a changeup that has some promise to it, but at times can struggle to hit the zone. It's currently below average, but in time could become to be average.
Medeiros is a Pepperdine commit and he's one of the youngest players in the first round group as he just turned 18 last week.
So we've got a young prep lefty with two plus pitches and a potential average offspeed dealing; why is this guy a late-first rounder?
Many clubs are hesitant on his mechanics and delivery as well as his command profile that needs refinement. He's not wild and he certainly has control, but at times he's unable to wrangle his pitches into the spots he wants.
The other detractor is his delivery angle and mechanics. He has a sling delivery and long arms that adds to his deception against lefties, but does little for righties. That scares clubs because the ability for righties to exploit platoon splits there.
He's a commit to Pepperdine, but if he's taken in the first round then he's going to sign.
The track record of Hawaiian players is small as Brandon League and Jerome Williams are probably the best pitchers in the past decade from Hawaii. Of course there is also Shane Victorino.
I was at one point lethargic on Medeiros because of the talk of him ultimately being a reliever and the platoon splits that generally are seen on low arm-slot guys. I'm a little conflicted on him, but the more I watch and read about him the more I'm coming around on the stuff and profile.
He's going to be a guy that you hope it can work out a bit, but he's not a large project. He needs innings and the command profile needs to come around. He'll eventually pitch in the big leagues but the question will be will he spend his games in the dugout or the bullpen.
If he starts on the mound then he could be a steal at the Royals rumored #28 pick. Taking an eventual reliever isn't too bad at #28, especially coupled with whatever happens with the Royals pick at #17, but he'll get his chance on the mound to prove himself.