Dylan Cease really couldn’t have done much more with his season. He needed to stay healthy for a full year, and he responded with 124 innings split between Winston-Salem and Birmingham.
And what a 124 innings they were. He posted a 2.40 ERA and struck out 160 batters to 50 walks, and besides a slight uptick in his walk rate (9.7 to 10.9 percent), all of his numbers improved in Double-A, including a whopping 38.6 percent strikeout rate with the Barons.
For this body of work, he was named MLB Pipeline’s Pitcher of the Year:
Across his first four seasons, the right-hander has totaled 377 strikeouts in 286 innings while sporting a 2.67 ERA. And while command does leave something to be desired, it’s worth noting that Cease did make gains with his control in 2018, issuing 3.6 walks-per-nine after posting a 4.2 mark at the Class A level in 2017.
Scouts expect that Cease will make further improvements as a strike-thrower as he continues to refine his delivery, which, at times, he struggles to repeat, thus detracting from his control and command. Meanwhile, adding more strength to his somewhat undersized frame should help to assuage any lingering concerns about Cease’s durability.
Buies Creek 3, Winston-Salem 1
(Buies Creek leads 2-0)
- Luis Robert went 0-for-4 with a strikeout
- Luis Gonzalez, 1-for-4 with a triple and two strikeouts.
- Nick Madrigal, 1-for-4.
- Blake Rutherford wore the collar and silver sombrero.
- Gavin Sheets and Ti’Quan Forbes were both 0-for-3 with a strikeout.
- Laz Rivera, 1-for-3 with a double and a strikeout.
- Lincoln Henzman: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
Billings 3, Great Falls 2
- Romy Gonzalez doubled, singled and struck out thrice.
- Lenyn Sosa went 1-for-5 with a strikeout.
- Amado Nunez, 2-for-4.
- Bryce Bush was 0-for-4 with a strikeout.
- Maker Feliz went 1-for-4 with a strikeout.
Kopech Tommy John surgery. Out all of 2019. That’s what happens when you cut your hair.