A former high profile draft choice, Cam Bedrosian has finally fought back through arm problems to put himself back on the track to being a quality prospect. Can he continue to make progress?
Position: RHP Highest Level: Advanced-A
Bats: R Throws: R Height: 6'0" Weight: 204
Age: 22 Born: 10/2/1991
2013 Rank: #27
2013 Season Stats
Low-A: 54.1 IP, 1-5, 7 SV, 5.30 ERA, 55 H, 22 BB, 4 HR, 69 SO, 3.11 FIP, .362 BABIP, 53.1 GB%
Advanced-A: 8.2 IP, 0-0, 0 SV, 0.00 ERA, 4 H, 7 BB, 0 HR, 9 SO, 3.89 FIP, .200 BABIP, 45.0 GB%
AFL: 9.1 IP, 0-0, 0 SV, 2.89 ERA, 5 H, 2 BB, 1 HR, 13 SO, 2.45 FIP, .222 BABIP
Fastball = A-
Bedrosian has been a hard thrower, even since his days in high school, but last season he reached entirely new heights with his four-seamer. As a starter (which he never should’ve been) Bedrosian was tossing it in at 92-94 when healthy. Upon being transitioned into a reliever, I saw Cam hitting 97 pretty routinely and generally sitting 95-96. As I pointed out last season, Bedrosian has a “jump” in his fastball, meaning once it leaves his hand and before it gets to the plate, it tends to rise rather than go at a downward angle. This often means that Cam’s fastball lives above belt-high, and it works with his velocity in the low minors. But once Bedrosian faces more elite competition he may be forced to keep the ball down more. Still, since becoming a reliever, no one’s been able to square up his fastball routinely, not even in the AFL when he faced elite prospects.
Offspeed Pitches = B+
After surgery, Bedrosian was never able to regain his feel for the soft-curve he used so effectively in high school. He never gained any feel for the change up either, so upon transitioning to the bullpen, he scrapped both pitches. Luckily for Cam, he has two other quality offerings in a “plus” cutter and “plus-plus” slider. He’s still gaining a feel for his cutter, but the movement on the pitch is undeniable, especially in on lefties. His cutter sits in the high 80’s and low 90’s. But Bedrosian’s best pitch is by far his slider. It’s the “fall off the table” variety that Kevin Jepsen employs, but Bedrosian’s is thrown harder, in the mid-high 80’s.
Control = C+
Bedrosian was able to cut his BB/9 down to an acceptable 3.6 in A Ball, however, in his short stint at Inland Empire he issued seven free passes in nine innings. Then Bedrosian went to the AFL, where he walked just two batters in nine appearances. It’s clear that 2013 was somewhat of a breakout year for Cam, and his progression in the control department was a big reason why. If he can continue to develop this tool, he can turn into an even more devastating late-inning reliever.
Command = D
He’s found the strike zone, but Bedrosian still isn’t controlling it yet. His fastball tends to flatten out at times which is dangerous when he leaves it up, his slider tends to end up in the dirt which isn’t a terribly bad thing, and his cutter switches off between the inner half of the plate on lefties and the batters box. Still, this was just his first year in relief and there’s certainly cause to believe he’ll improve.
Mechanics = B
I never liked Bedrosian’s delivery as a starter. He short-armed the ball and used a ton of energy to propel himself toward home plate. As a reliever however, this motion tends to work in his favor. He helps him control the running game and his pre-release motion doesn’t have a ton of moving parts, which suggests that once he learns to consistently repeat his mechanics, his command of his pitches will become deadly.
Performance = B+
Seeing where Cam came from as a first round pick and absolutely disappointing from there, it was refreshing to see him make the obvious switch to relief and see instant success as he did. Even though he tossed only 9 innings in the Cal League, his development and performance in the AFL suggests that he’s more than ready to make the jump to AA in 2014.
Projection = B–
The projection grade almost never favors relievers, even ones with quality stuff like Bedrosian’s. Still, he has the look of a late inning reliever, and that future really isn’t terribly far off. The biggest thing for him will be controlling his pitches within the strike zone. It’s what will separate him from becoming an elite major leaguer and a Jekyll and Hyde type of thrower like Kevin Jepsen thus far.
Grade as a Prospect = B-
These grades also do not favor relievers. Cam’s a hard thrower with command issues, so in that sense he’s pretty ordinary. But he’s young, has three quality pitches and made tremendous strides last season.
Estimated MLB Arrival Date = 2015
The Angels as an organization are bursting at the seams with relievers. Cam joins the highly touted R.J. Alvarez and Mike Morin as the promising future of a once great bullpen.
2013 in Review*
2012 was a lost year for Bedrosian as he worked his way back from Tommy John surgery, so 2013 was going to be a big year for his development. He showed the improvement the organization was looking for, but not before a very rough start. Cam started the year in Burlington's rotation. It did not go well.
Bedrosian lasted just two starts before the club finally gave in to what many considered was inevitable and moved him to the bullpen. From there, Bedrosian took off. That may be hard to buy into since he had a 5.30 ERA at Burlington, but 14 of the 32 runs he allowed came in those first two starts. Bedrosian actually posted a 3.28 ERA as a reliever for the Bees which is much more in line with his 3.11 FIP. More importantly than that, Bedrosian really seemed to reign in his control. As a reliever in Low-A his BB/9 was 2.91, which is nearly half of the walk rates he had posted in his first two minor league seasons. On top of that, he fanned 12.04 batters per nine innings, which is clearly pretty great and another real step forward for Bedrock, Jr. who had not missed a lot of bats prior to 2013.
Eventually, Bedrosian impressed enough to work his way into the closer gig for Burlington where he picked up seven saves before being promoted to Advanced-A Inland Empire. His numbers with the 66ers were not nearly as impressive, but it was a small sample size that was tainted two bad performances to close out the year.
Finally, Bedrosian got the big nod to report to the Arizona Fall League where Cam must've fixed whatever ailed him at Advanced-A. Facing the elite prospect competition, Bedrosian once again racked up a bunch of strikeouts and kept the walks to a relative minimum.
While Bedrosian did show improved control, he still is a work in progress from the command department. It is one thing to throw the ball over the plate, it is quite another to put the ball where you want it. As a result, he'll almost assuredly start the season back with Inland Empire where he will hopefully get a chance to close. If things go well there, he could quickly jump up to Double-A.
Closer is a role that people have mixed feelings on, but it still means something in the evaluation process because the player is pitching under pressure. Since Bedrosian projects to be a high leverage reliever, they need to start getting him used to those situations. They did begin the process with him in Burlington, but he has proven that he deserves to continue on in that role again this year, just at a higher level of competition.
If Bedrosian continues to make progress, he, R.J. Alvarez and Mike Morin would form the core of what could be a pretty exciting bullpen for the Angels starting in 2015 and beyond.
*As we do every year, the scouting reports and grades are provided by Scotty Allen while Garrett Wilson provides the 2013 in Review and Looking Ahead sections.