Last week saw the culmination of baseball players dreams come to a head. As the 2014 Major League Baseball Draft come to a conclusion, 40 rounds of players were made the newest members of professional baseball organizations across the Major Leagues.
The Minnesota Twins went to California with their 3rd round pick, 79th overall, to select a fire throwing right-handed pitcher from the University of San Diego. Michael Cederoth could end up being a rotational guy or continue the transition to the bullpen that he started with the Aztecs. With a fastball that makes 98 mph look easy, he’s a taller prospect who knows how to bring it.
Recently, I had the privilege of catching up with Michael, and it is my pleasure to introduce him to Twins Territory.
Puckett’s Pond: Pitching at San Diego State, much of your style has been linked to another hard throwing right-handed pitcher, Stephen Strasburg. What parts of his game are similarities to your approach, and what is different?
Michael Cederoth: It’s an honor first off, to even be mentioned in the same sentence as (Stephen) Strasburg, but he has done far greater things, not just pitching but for San Diego State, than I will ever reach. The makeup is definitely there with (us) both being from San Diego, and being hard throwing right-handers, so we do have the same approach. He started as a closer and finished as a starter, I was reversed. One different part of our game obviously was the command. He commanded the strike zone with every pitch since day one, and I still am growing in that aspect of my game.
PP: As a pitcher with a dominating fastball, what is your strongest second offering?
MC: My slider would be my secondary pitch. I have a curveball and change-up as well, but since moving to the closer role, I had to put my focus strictly into my two best pitches. Doing so, I increased my command and movement in my slider, making it my go to pitch after my fastball.
PP: Being from San Diego and playing in front of what would likely have been a home crowd most nights, do you have any fears about the weather or transition to Minnesota?
MC: Funny, I actually have family that live in Minnesota. My step mother is from there, and I have visited a couple of times. I have been to the old metrodome to see a Twins game
PP: With plenty of other major league teams in your backyard, what is your experience or knowledge of the Minnesota Twins?
MC: Like I said, I have always been a fan of Minnesota cause of the family I have from there. I am a die-hard Vikings fan and I always kept a close eye on the Twins as well. One of my favorite World Series to watch, is 1991 against the Braves.
PP: The last few days have likely been a whirlwind, did you do anything exciting for the draft or what was your 2014 MLB Draft experience like?
MC: Well, to be honest it was a crazy experience. I had family over for the first day of the draft, and unfortunately, I wasn’t chosen on the first day, but it was great having family there to support me. Not too long later, the following morning, I was drafted, and it was a huge sigh of relief, as well as excitement for what was coming next.
PP: Finally, past or present, which major league player do you most model your game after and why?
MC: Since I have been in a starter role and a closer role, I have two that I try to model after and learn from. As a starter, I admired Justin Verlander and his approach to game; also Jared Weaver. As a closer, I enjoyed looking at Francisco Rodriquez when he was an Angel, and broke the record that year
As Michael sets out to sign his first professional contract and begin his career as a professional baseball player, Minnesota Twins fans may not have to wait long before seeing their own stud fireballing prospect from the Aztecs.
Keep tuned in to Puckett’s Pond as we follow the path of Michael Cederoth as well as other 2014 Major League Draft picks on their path to their debut at Target Field.