Later in the 2020 MLB draft sits a true wild card. Victor Mederos has a ton of potential although he has not been seen too much because of injuries and the Covid-19 pandemic. The right-handed pitcher has a good frame. He stands at six-feet, three-inches tall, and he weighs 220 pounds.
Everyone has moments throughout their lives that shape who they become as people. Mederos endured the experience of fleeing Cuba at six years old. He fled with his mother and older brother in order to join his father in Miami. That experience has undoubtedly had an effect on shaping his perspective as a player.
Despite injuries, Mederos impressed on the showcase circuit. He flashed his potential in several events, and he was named the MVP of the Under Armour All-America game. MLB.com ranks him as the 99th-best prospect in the draft. He has a verbal commitment to the University of Miami to fall back on if he does not sign with the team that drafts him.
Mederos has a solid three-pitch repertoire that features a good fastball-slider combination. His fastball sits in the mid-90s with sink, consistently reaching 96 MPH, and he has a loose arm. His velocity is not quite as high when he comes out of the stretch, but he draws his power from a high leg kick and an ability to engage his hips from a strong lower half.
He throws a power slider that sits in the 85-87 MPH range, but he can manipulate the pitch well enough to add and subtract velocity on it. When he subtracts the velocity, the slider resembles more of a slow curveball. Both his fastball and slider grade as 55/80.
His repertoire rounds out with a changeup that shows potential at a 50/80 grade. It has good sink to it although he does not throw it as much so it still needs some development.
Mederos’s changeup can be viewed as a strength or a weakness depending on the mindset. On one end, it has the potential to be a good pitch as he starts using it more. On the other hand, it is the weakest link to his repertoire right now because it still needs time to develop. Continuing to develop the pitch will be a focus of his as he progresses past high school.
The lack of exposure is alarming for Mederos right now. Although he had success on the showcase circuit, he dealt with an arm injury during his junior season and had his senior season cut short. Every prospect had to deal with the abbreviated 2020 season, but he has now gone consecutive years without a full season under his belt. It would have been reassuring to see him pitch a full 2020 season after the injuries last year, but that was not meant to be.
Additionally, he will need to work on his control. Scouts grade it at a below average 45/80.
An interesting comp to Victor Mederos is Detroit Tigers pitcher Spencer Turnbull. The two men are similar physically at the same height and close to the same weights. Scouts think that Mederos has the ability to develop into a sinker/slider pitcher in the future. Turnbull’s three most frequently used pitches are a fastball at 44.8% of the time, a slider at 20.7% of the time, and a sinker at 19.5% of the time.
Turnbull’s velocities match up with what Mederos currently throws, as well. His average fastball velocity sits in the mid-90s, and his average slider velocity is 86.5 MPH.
Victor Mederos is a bit of a wild card in this year’s draft because of his injuries as a junior and shortened season as a senior. He will be a project, but the potential is there and the arm will play at the next level.
Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images