In 2014, the Milwaukee Brewers used their first round pick on a high school kid out of Hawaii.
Fast forward to present day and Kodi Medeiros is preparing for another season in the minors. The 21 year old now has four seasons under his belt, and things are starting to come together. While his standing in the 2018 MLB Pipeline prospect rankings is not yet known, he sat at the 23rd rank in the Milwaukee Brewers organization in 2017.
His numbers show struggles, but they also show a lot of progress. Medeiros just completed his second season in Advanced A ball, and his ERA is down from just under six to just under five. However, the number to look at is how the opposing teams hit against him. Their batting average went from .300 in 2016 to .241, in more innings, during the 2017 season. That says a lot about the future for young lefty.
In the past, Medeiros has done a couple of Q&A sessions for Reviewing the Brew. He once more was a good sport and agreed to another one.
Q: Being drafted out of high school has to be a pretty big adjustment. Now that you’ve been in the league a few years, are you feeling more comfortable?
Kodi Medeiros: “Yes, I am for sure feeling more comfortable than when I first started back in 2014. Back in Rookie ball coming from high school, especially from Hawaii, I didn’t exactly know how to pitch yet. I had the tools for it, but didn’t quite know how to use them. In high school all I ever did was throw what my catcher put down. In high school you can get away with a lot.”
Q: As you’ve gone through the system, there’s been a mixed use of you as a starter and a reliever. Do you prefer one over the other?
Kodi Medeiros: “In my 2014-2015 seasons I’d have relief outings as well, but I never preferred them as I wasn’t prepared to come out of the bullpen as compared to starting. But this year my thoughts on relieving changed a lot. As of now I love doing both. I’m just going to do whatever the Brewers tell me to do and take it from there.”
Q: After being drafted in the first round, and sitting in the top prospect rankings for the organization, is there a lot of pressure to perform? Or are you able to tune it out to focus on the task at hand?
Kodi Medeiros: “Honestly, I know I’m there on the list, but I just know I am in the same boat as everyone else. I try not to put any added pressure on myself but to just focus on playing baseball.”
Q: To shift gears away from playing, coming from Hawaii you are not close to any MLB team. Growing up, who did you root for? And who were some of your idols on the field?
Kodi Medeiros: “When I first started playing baseball in 2006 I was a Red Sox fan. But after a couple of years I actually strayed away and I never found another team to root for growing up. I liked David Ortiz and Randy Johnson.”
Q: From 2016-2017, your numbers saw a general increase. Was there a difference in feel between the seasons?
Kodi Medeiros: “I feel I learned a lot more about my mechanics and I was able to have more repeatability and consistency during my outings in 2017. In 2016 my delivery got away from me and I wasn’t able to fix it right away.”
Q: One last question, At only 21 you are still a pretty young prospect. After four seasons there are definite signs of growth in your game. What has been the biggest part of the learning curve so far?
Kodi Medeiros: “For me, I’d say being able to go out every outing and have good control, and shape my slider.”
Being 18 in the professional ranks is not easy. Now, at 21, it is clear that the former first rounder is learning every bit about pitching to ensure success. Thank you again to Kodi Medeiros for taking the time to talk to us.