Coach George

Dylan Cease - SP CHC

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Supposedly a kid dripping with upside. Fastball in the high 90s, maybe even 100mph and a really good curve.

He's only 20 years old and had to have TJ surgery which knocked down his 2014 draft stock. He's supposedly healthy and really impressive. I included him in my top 100 and I've seen his name popping up quite a bit lately.

He's the type of under the radar prospect that I love to target. Should be interesting to follow.

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Any idea where he's starting in the MiLB this year? I live in South Bend and would love to see him come this way so I could see him in person a bit.

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I'd have to think he'll be headed to shortseason A ball since he only pitched 24 innings in rookie ball last year.

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I was wondering that myself...I really don't have an answer. I think they'll take it easy on him innings wise due to his injury history.

I'll definitely be following him very closely.

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Great tout, one of the arms I really like at the lower levels.

I think the Cubs will likely still handle him with kid gloves, at least early. He's never thrown more than 3 innings in a game, and never thrown above the AZL league.I think,at least initially, it would benefit him tostay at extended spring, and fine tune some of his mechanical issues. If they want to be aggressive with him, then he may go to Fort Wayne. My gut tells me that he stays behind after they break camp, and spends a month or so in extended. whether he waits there until June and goes to Eugene, or he then gets called up to Fort Wayne is anyone's guess....

But this is a player I'm sure that Cubs fans should be excited about.

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According to Josh Norris of BA, he's throwing between 97-100 on a back field game today. He actually shared some video via periscope. Sounds awfully impressive.

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Thank you for sharing these articles. Interesting this writer postulates that he is going to start at South Bend.

Yeah, I noticed that. I know South Bend isn't exactly prime time but that's better than him sticking in extended spring training. It will be very interesting to follow his progress. I'd love to see him pitch this year.

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http://2080baseball.com/2016/03/cease-wows-scouts-with-commanding-intrasquad-showing/

But the curveball wasn’t quite there last summer. I saw Cease pitch at least a half dozen times in 2015, and he snapped off maybe two or three good curves. He would later say he just never quite got the feel for it. And his command was erratic. But all of those things were to be expected of 20-year-old in his first pro season. The Cubs were ecstatic that he was healthy, making the proper mechanical adjustments, and regaining his arm strength. If anything, they felt he was ahead of schedule.

Optimism about Cease was already in full bloom before spring training even started this year, but I hadn’t seen him pitch until about a week ago, in a live BP session. There was no gun on him, but he was obviously throwing hard. That was no surprise. What did surprise me, though, was that on a 1-2 count, Cease buckled well-regarded prospect Eddy Julio Martinez with a nasty hook that had excellent break and depth. Cease would throw a few more plus curves in that session – perhaps more than he threw during his entire Rookie League season in 2015.

Then it got really interesting this past Wednesday, when Cease started an intrasquad game on the Cubs’ Mesa Riverview back fields. With dozens of scouts and the Cubs front office in attendance, he gave everyone what they were hoping to see. One scout told me that Cease sat at 98 mph, and another told me he had him consistently between 96 and 99 mph. Granted, this was over two-inning, 37 pitch outing, but still, pretty damn impressive. He also had scouts buzzing about that same plus curve he displayed in that live BP session I saw for myself a week ago. Cease was particularly interested in his curveball Wednesday, checking in with the pitch charters after he was finished for the day. One told Cease what he was seemingly hoping to hear — that all the curveballs were below 80 mph. “They were good.” chimed another.

Cease didn’t throw his changeup , but when he threw it in his bullpen session earlier in the week, it was rather fringy. But considering the velocity difference between his fastball and his curveball, Cease may only require an average changeup to flash to lefties on occasion. He does show a feel for the pitch already, and he’ll have plenty of time to work on it as he moves up through the Cubs’ system.

As for his command in the intrasquad, it was still not as sharp as scouts had hoped. The Cubs challenged Cease by having him face a lineup of top hitting prospects such as Gleyber Torres, Ian Happ, Eloy Jimenez, Donnie Dewees, and Martinez. Torres and Happ in particular demonstrated solid plate discipline in their at-bats versus Cease. Torres drew a full count walk. Next, the polished Happ quickly jumped ahead 2-1 in the count before Cease threw what may have been the best curve he would throw all day. Happ just spat on it as it tumbled out of the strike zone.

It was a lesson Cease will need to learn as he continues to make progress. Major league hitters – and even advanced minor league hitters – will make him get his fastball over early in the count. They won’t bail him out by chasing the pitch nearly as often as the lower-level talent Cease had previously faced in high school or Rookie League ball.

I asked a few experienced scouts about the command of his fastball and none were the least bit concerned. “He’s exactly where he should be right now”, said one. “He’s hitting all the markers”, said another (markers that I interpret as being the return of his arm strength, improved curveball, and clear progression since last fall). In fact, that Cease was more eager to see what the velo was on his curveball with the charters, tells me that this was a specific development goal set for him during the offseason.

I also viewed mechanics that were, overall, solid, with the exception that he seemed to be pulling off toward his glove side, with his lead shoulder snapping down aggressively in his motion. That caused several fastballs to head outside against right-handers. Whether he was reaching back a bit more in this outing, or whether he was simply going full bore knowing that he was on a pitch count, either could be a reason for this mechanic to present as it did. But regardless, everyone seemed to think was easily fixed. My opinion was that he was reaching back for a little extra, and that in a starter’s role, smoother mechanics will have him sitting 2-3 mph less than what the guns were telling scouts on Wednesday.

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Some interesting notes on Cease including a scout's perspective via John Arguello's site: http://www.chicagonow.com/cubs-den/2016/04/daily-cubs-minors-recaps-happ-brockmeyer-hr-cease-starts-for-ext-st-cubs/

  • Dylan Cease threw mostly fasrballs and curves today. The FB was at 95-97, touched 98 but he struggled to get a feel for his curve early on, throwing it a bit too hard at (82-83), causing it to flatten out a bit and have some slurvy action. It was still pretty effective when he kept it down but it got hit hard once for a double when he left it up in the zone. He seemed to get a better feel for the curve in the 3rd, throwing it at about 78 mph and getting a sharper break. Cease went 3 innings, allowed one run on one hit and 3 walks while striking out 6. Sat with a scout who was impressed with Cease, saying he has work to do but a pitcher with his velocity and good rotation on his curve has a great foundation to build on. I told him about Cease's change, which is about 85-86 mph but relatively straight. He replied, "It doesn't matter. With his first two pitches, he just needs to keep the change down and keep hitters off balance. He doesn't need a 3rd swing and miss pitch. He can use that change to draw weak contact." This was especially encouraging because Dylan Cease told me the same exact thing when we talked last week. A 19 year old flamethrower who understands the importance of a change and drawing weak contact -- that was impressive to me. He also added, "It will make my fastball look faster." To which I replied, "That's a scary thought." The scout was not worried about Cease's inconsistent command, chalking up to youth, inexperience, and just needing to find a consistent release point. One last note on Cease, this scout is very good at the kinesiology and mechanics aspects of pitching, perhaps his area of greatest expertise. He told me that Cease's mechanics were pretty clean. Not perfect, he described a minor flaw, but said, "If I were to make a scale from 1 to 5 where 1 is perfect mechanics and 5 is a strong bet to blow out your arm, I would rate Cease a 2". That bit of news probably made me happiest of all.
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Has he been assigned yet? If not, when do people anticipate he makes his full season debut?

He's still in extended spring. Thinking he'll stay there until short season kicks off next month.

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Arizona Phil from www.thecubreporter.com on Cease's lastest start at extended spring training

RHSP Dylan Cease got the start for the Cubs and was dominating, easily retiring the first eleven Angels he faced (K, 3-U, K, 5-3, K, 3-U, 1-3, 4-3, K, K, 3-U) and firing four innings of one-hit shutout ball (the one hit being a ground single to CF with two outs in the bottom of the 4th). He issued no walks, struck out five, and posted a 7/0 GO/AO (seven weak-contact GO). None of the Angel batters hit the ball in the air against him.

Cease's fastball sat consistenly at 98-99 MPH from the gitgo, and he threw his 79-81 MPH curve for strikes time-after-time, mixing it effectively with his heater. He also threw one or two change-ups.

Cease threw 64% strikes (the highest percentage of strikes thrown in a game by Cease so far in his pro career - minimum 30 pitches), and not only did he not walk anyone, he went to three balls on only three of the 13 batters he faced. (I've actually seen Cease outings where he went to three balls on every batter he faced).

Today's outing may have been the most-dominating performance of Cease's pro career, rivaling his eye-popping ("Is that Arrieta?") outing versus the Brewers a couple of weeks ago.
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Through 2 starts in shortseason A ball he's put up some very good numbers. 8IP 5H 2ER 1BB 9K with a 6:1 ground out to fly out ratio. In the two starts his fastball has primarily been 96-98 and his Curveball 75-78.

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Tonight:

5 IP

1H

0 BB

0 ER

10 K

 

On the year in short-season A:

44 IP

2.22 ERA

1.16 WHIP

5.1 BB/9

13.44 K/9

 

Spotty command - He had a start in July where he recorded a single out by K and allowed 1 ER on 4 BB. That was his first game returning from an "undisclosed injury" that kept him out almost three weeks. Anyway tonight's dominant start has me wanting back on the wagon.

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On 9/6/2016 at 3:34 AM, bdy1 said:

Tonight:

5 IP

1H

0 BB

0 ER

10 K

 

On the year in short-season A:

44 IP

2.22 ERA

1.16 WHIP

5.1 BB/9

13.44 K/9

 

Spotty command - He had a start in July where he recorded a single out by K and allowed 1 ER on 4 BB. That was his first game returning from an "undisclosed injury" that kept him o ut almost three weeks. Anyway tonight's dominant start has me wanting back on the wagon.

 

First start:

4 innings pitched

3 BB
8 K's

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The guy can miss bats with the best of them, now it would just be nice if he could locate his stuff better. Until he can, he's more of a closer in the making then a SP prospect.

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