On January 8th, the red baron brought us part one of his 2014 draft previews. He took an in-depth look at three pitching prospects with Kodi Medeiros, a left-hander out of Waiakea High School in Hawaii, likely being his favorite. Well, Viva El Birdos reached out to Medeiros for an interview, and he was very helpful—providing us with thoughtful answers for each of our ten questions.
Viva El Birdos: Do you pattern yourself (repertoire, mechanics, etc) after any pitcher(s) and if so, who?
Kodi Medeiros: I don't necessarily pattern myself after anybody else, this is just how I've always pitched. But I have studied video from many pitchers that I feel have similar mechanics and arm angle as I do. Chris Sale and Madison Bumgarner are two very good pitchers at the Major League Level right now, and Dontrelle Willis was a pitcher that dominated for quite a few years pitching from the same arm angle as me. When studying those pitchers it never seems like the hitters can get comfortable off them because they aren't used to seeing the ball from that angle. And all of my pitches have a lot of action and movement on them which makes it even more difficult.
VEB: We've read that your advisor is Kolten Wong's agent. Have you spoken with Kolten about what to expect from college and minor league life?
KM: Yes, Kolten Wong and his brother Kean both have my advisor David Matranga as their agent now. I haven't spoken to Kolten a lot about the differences because he has been gone playing so much but David played baseball in college, and he also played in the Major Leagues so we have had some great talks about what I can expect in both college and professional baseball. His knowledge about the game and the life of a baseball player has been very valuable to me and me my family. We have learned so much about what to expect and how to prepare for my future.
VEB: Do you feel that it is a disadvantage being from Hawaii in your development?
KM: I think it can be if you are unable to do any traveling when you are younger. I was very fortunate and was able to play on some travel teams that came to the mainland and played in tournaments so we could play against some better talent.
VEB: What is your go-to pitch in your repertoire (the one you go to most to throw strikes, get outs, etc)?
KM: I feel confident in all my pitches, and I'm continuing to work to make all of them better. I guess it would depend on the situation as to what pitch I would go to. However, because of the movement on my fastball and the speed I can throw it, I feel hitters will have a hard time making solid contact with it consistently. I always feel confident with a well located fastball.
VEB: What pitches of your arsenal need to the most improvement to make the jump up to next levels?
KM: I feel I have 4 pitches right now that I could use to get hitters out at the next level. My fastball and my slider have always been very good pitches for me but this summer I've worked very hard on my changeup, and I had a lot of success with it in Jupiter most recently. If I had to choose one pitch, that's a pitch that I can continue to work on and develop so that I will be able to consistently work deep into games as a starter at the next level. I'm also working on refining a cut fastball that I can throw to both sides of the plate. Those are the two pitches that I will continue to work on and develop so that I will be able to consistently work deep into games as a starter at the next level.
VEB: Have MLB teams started scouting you heavily yet? Have you talked with anyone from the Cardinals?
KM: Yes, after all of the major events I attended this past summer we have had almost every team come in my house for a visit or give us information to fill out. The Cardinals are one of the few teams we haven't heard from yet.
VEB: Do you have a difficult time maintaining a consistent release point with your pitching delivery?
KM: No, I don't feel I have a problem with it at all. My mechanics and release point feel very natural to me. I think it's big advantage because of the movement I get on all my pitches at that angle and hitters don't seem to like it.
VEB: Are there any organizations you don't want to play with (don't need to know names) and if so, does his agent communicate that? (i.e. is there a two way flow of discussion going on?)
KM: No I wouldn't say that, it would be an honor to play for any of them one day.
VEB: How do you care for your arm now that you know you are a top prospect? (Pitch counts, types of pitches, training etc.)
KM: I have always worked really hard on my training but I've added a few things. I still do a lot of total body strength training especially my core and legs, but I have added a great band program for my arm that has been very helpful. Alan Jaeger showed me a bunch of exercises along with a long toss program that I feel has taken my pitching to a new level. My arm always feels strong and my stamina has increased as well. I will have a pitch count in every game, and that will increase as the season goes on.
VEB: Have you signed with an agent? Or are you keeping your options open till the draft? Does your family play a role in this decision?
KM: No, I have not signed with an Agent. I'm keeping my options open and my family is a huge part of every decision I make.
All of us at Viva El Birdos are grateful for the thorough responses Kodi provided for this interview. We wish him the best in his senior season and look forward to tracking his progress after the draft. You can find him on Twitter: @kodi_medeiros. If you were unable to check out Medeiros' highlight video in the red baron's post or just want to watch it again, I have included it below:
Until next time...