It’s always sad to see promising pitchers succumb to injury. One of the players that was promising to be an interesting one to follow was St. Louis Cardinals 2020 fourth round pick, Ian Bedell.
Well, unfortunately, Bedell hasn’t thrown in a game since May 9th. According to CBS Sports he recently went under the knife for Tommy John surgery, effectively ending his 2021 season and beyond.
Choosing Bedell might be a weird decision when it really comes down to it. These video breakdowns work best with the most recent video possible. Unfortunately there is an issue with the stream on his May 9th appearance where he threw two solid innings out of the bullpen, so I had to settle for his one other outing where he struggled through 0.2 innings in his professional debut. However, even in struggles a pitcher can show what he has.
It may not seem like it from his two walks and one hit batsmen in 2.2 innings of work prior to injury, but in college Bedell showed really good command. Call it nerve, or lingering pain from the injury, that is hopefully still going to be there. His arsenal consists of a fastball, curveball, and changeup. The fastball comes with a two-seam variation and both are reported to have similar velocity.
Bedell’s fastball and variation don’t pop much via GIF, and truly in the one start I had access to watching they were consistently getting barreled up. It is worth noting at times he would effortlessly paint the corners, so the command was still there in flashes. In terms of velocity, the pitch sits in the low 90’s, generally.
What gets fun is his secondaries. Believe it or not, his first professional strikeout came via the changeup.
In all reality the changeup acts as his third pitch. Against lefties he will deploy it as his main secondary, which makes sense. He attempted his curveball against a lefty in this start and it was smacked for a double. Don’t let that fool you, it’s a filthy pitch.
The first breaking ball worth showing was actually one he doubled up on. The first was hit hard, but foul, and he came back with a nasty curve that dropped out of the zone. It earned an ugly swing.
That is just the first of a few notable changeup. I only grabbed one other one, and it was his second of two strikeouts on the game. It’s similar to that one, but it’s so fun that it’s worth seeing twice, right?
One of the things to like about the Mizzou product is his age. For a pitcher coming out of college, he’s relatively young. He’ll be just 22 in September. There’s a couple positives to that. He’ll be 22ish, hopefully, by the time he returns from surgery. Also, there is still time for him to physically mature. The hope there is to add a few ticks of velo to his fastball.
Above average command with a mid 90’s fastball and at least an average breaking ball is a good start to a decent starters profile. That is what is so intriguing about Bedell. There a skills there to make him a great value in the fourth round for the Cardinals.
From here, I just wish the best on the road to recovery to Bedell. His return will be one I watch closely when the time comes.