White Sox pitching prospect had a solid end to his first season in the organization. What should fans expect of the former Cubs top pitching prospect?
During the 2017 season, the Chicago White Sox made two blockbuster trades. One involved Jose Quintana (Cubs), and the other included three players heading to the New York Yankees. In total, the South Siders brought back two top 100 prospects, one of which we will discuss in this article.
Now, since you have an idea of what will be discussed, it makes sense to divulge his name: Dylan Cease. He is a right-handed starting pitcher in the Sox farm system, who has a big fastball that is capable of touching triple digits. Another asset of Cease’s would be his devastating curveball, however much of his game is raw at the moment. How raw? Let’s take a look.
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By looking at Cease’s 2017 season via statistics, there is one number that jumps off the page-strikeouts. He fanned 126 batters in 93.1 innings, which equates to 1.35 per inning. That is a frightening statistic to look at once he develops. This is considering his talent level and feel for the game are not equal at the moment.
Here is where his game will need to take a step forward over the coming years, in the stamina department. Cease underwent Tommy John Surgery in 2014. This ended any hope of him being the top 10 pick many thought he could be that upcoming June. Regardless, Cease was drafted by the Cubs and received a $1.5 million signing bonus although he was a sixth-round pick.
With that said, Cease only posted a Quality Start Total (QST) of three this past season. Even worse, his Yearly Quality Percentage (YQP) was dreadful. It didn’t even reach 15 percent (13.6 percent to be exact). Keep in mind both the Sox and Cubs were being careful with him, so those numbers aren’t that relevant.
The one area where Cease concerns me most would be his win/loss record. Regardless of the fact he didn’t throw very many innings, Cease only won a single game while losing ten. Any baseball fan can tell you that is not good, however, his ERA and WHIP were solid (3.28 and 1.26 respectively).
Before we wrap up, Cease is a pitcher to keep an eye on down the road. Given he may not have posted a single Magnum Start all year, he very well could sometime in the near future. Cease has the talent of a front-line starter, however, he needs to develop the finer points of his game before you will see him in the major leagues.
All in all, you could have several future All-Stars in the Sox farm system right now. From Michael Kopech to Alec Hansen and Cease, a dominant starting staff may be on its’ way to Guaranteed Rate Field. Proper development and luck will play a factor in their progress and ultimately MLB stardom, so we will have to wait a bit for this. Let’s hope the wait is worth it, Sox fans.