It’s time to put Cody Sedlock back on your radar. The Baltimore Orioles’ pitching prospect is having an unbelievable season down on the farm.
The 2016 MLB draft was the first year I really started paying attention to and digging into baseball’s draft process. I don’t consume a lot of college baseball, but I do consume hundreds of articles and scouting reports leading up to the draft to familiarize myself with as many players as possible. The real fun is researching these players as the picks roll in to see who stands out, based on initial glances. How did the Baltimore Orioles do in 2016?
The jury is still out on most of the 2016 class, with outfielder Austin Hays and left-handed pitcher Keegan Akin appearing to be the highlight of the class. My personal favorite is right-handed pitcher Brenan Hanifee, but I’m a little biased, having watched him since he was an 8th grader. But what about the first-round pick from 2016?
After a major injury and struggles in High-A ball, Cody Sedlock is dominating Carolina League competition and earning his way back on the radar as a legitimate pitching prospect.
Sedlock eased his way into the system after being selected by the Baltimore Orioles with the 27th overall pick. He made nine starts (three innings each) with the short-season Aberdeen Ironbirds, struck out 25 hitters, allowed a .158 batting average, and finished with a 1.07 WHIP. Then the wheels fell off.
Sedlock struggled in 2017 with the Frederick Keys, recording a 5.90 ERA, a 1.72 WHIP, and finishing with just 69 strikeouts in 90 innings. Carolina League hitters posted a .313 average against the former first-round pick. However, after skipping full-season A-ball and finding himself on the Injured List multiple times, Sedlock received a bit of a pass. Turns out, there was something seriously wrong with the former University of Illinois standout.
I vividly remember his first start of the 2018 season, coming on the road against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. He gave up three earned runs in four innings, but everything seemed off. His velocity was down, Pelican hitters were making contact with ease, and you could tell that Sedlock was hurting.
Turns out, Sedlock was suffering from thoracic outlet syndrome. Luckily, surgery wasn’t necessary and rehab worked well, very well.
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Sedlock is back with the Frederick Keys and playing tremendous baseball. The 23-year-old has made eight starts, is 3-0 with a 1.44 ERA, and is finally pitching as the Orioles expected when they originally drafted him.
In 43.2 innings of work, Sedlock has given up seven earned runs on 20 hits (.140 average) and owns a 41/14 K/BB ratio. More than 95% of runners who reach base have been stranded. He is getting stronger and more dominant with each start, giving up just one earned run in his last four starts, walking five and striking out 21. After giving up a home run in each of his first four starts, the ball has stayed in the yard for each of last four.
You won’t find Sedlock’s name on MLB Pipeline or Fangraphs’ list of top Orioles’ prospects for 2019, but he’s back and he’s strong. A few changes will need to be made before he’s promoted to Double-A Bowie. The Baysox already feature a starting rotation of Hunter Harvey, Alex Wells, Dean Kremer, Bruce Zimmermann, Zac Lowther, and Marcos Molina. The most important thing is that he’s healthy.