Tigers Prospect Profile #24: Cody Satterwhite

Satterwhite jumped up to Lakeland quickly

Another one of the Tigers' recent high draft picks spent on a reliever, Satterwhite shows tremendous upside and a great arm. What's next for Satterwhite?

Cody Satterwhite
Position: Right-handed Pitcher
Height: 6-4
Weight: 205
Born: 1/27/1987
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

Background
Satterwhite, the Tigers second round pick, has long been considered a premium draft prospect, when he was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 37th round of the 2005 draft. He would have gone much, much higher had he not been set on going to college at Mississippi. Cody was the Gatorade Player of the Year in Mississippi as a high school senior, while also earning All-State and All-Metro honors. In his high school career, he finished with a 13-4 record and a 2.56 ERA, with 194 strikeouts in just 111 prep innings. From the moment he became a varsity starter, Cody dominated, throwing a no-hitter in his first start on the mound. Satterwhite also lettered in football, basketball, and soccer during his career at Hillcrest Christian.

At Mississippi, Cody got off to a blazing start by going 11-2 in 60 innings of work as a freshman; earning Freshman All-American honors. He did not shy away from the pressure of the post season as a freshman, notching a 3.09 ERA over four appearances for the Rebels. Working as a reliever for Ole Miss his sophomore season, Cody earned All-SEC 2nd team honors and was named to the USA National Team as they participated in the PanAm Games. The highlight of his second collegiate season may have been nine scoreless innings of relief as part of a 17 inning marathon against arch rival Mississippi State.

Named to the Brooks Wallace Award watch list heading into his junior year, Satterwhite was again viewed as a potential high-round selection. Working primarily as a starter for the first time in his college career, Cody finished the season 3-5 for a disappointing Rebel team, and had a 5.33 ERA while walking 38 hitters in just 72 2/3 innings of work.

The Tigers were aggressive with the hard-throwing righty, pushing him to High-A Lakeland after only three appearances in the Gulf Coast League. Cody did not allow an earned run while in the GCL, and didn't allow a run through his first handful of FSL appearances either. Satterwhite finished the summer with 20 2/3 innings pitched and a 3.92 ERA out of the bullpen. Though he still walked over five batters per nine innings, he also struck out 10.45 hitters per nine frames.

Scouting Report
Satterwhite has excellent raw stuff and a great pitcher's frame. His mechanics are clean and loose, and he has a great arm action that is extremely quick. He can rush things a bit too much, getting too far in front of his arm at times, causing him to lose command and his stuff to flatten out. In a relief role, Cody can work his fastball consistently at 94-97, and run it up to 99 with ease. He gets explosive late life on his heater, and it jumps out of his hand, on top of hitters.

Cody's curveball has plus potential as a hard downer thrown at 76-78. He struggles to command his curve at times which can cause him to rely too heavily on his fastball. He has begun to add a slider to the mix, and though it lacks consistency, it has flashed as a plus pitch at times. Satterwhite has played with a change-up in the past, but has yet to find anything that will work consistently.

There is little doubt about Cody's raw stuff, as it rates as some of the best in the system. With large steps forward in command, he could excel as a frontline, power starter, but his attacking mentality and wildness fit better at the back of a bullpen. The Tigers are planning to groom him in a relief role, and he has closer stuff that can get hitters out at any level.

See Satterwhite in action in his scouting videos:

Performance

Level

Team

W-L

ERA

G

GS

SV

SO

BB

IP

AVG

R

GCL Tigers

0-0

0.00

3

0

1

2

1

2.1

.400

A+

Lakeland

0-0

4.42

17

0

2

22

12

18.1

.232


Health Record
Cody's been healthy to date and his clean mechanics with little effort leave optimism that he can avoid injuries in the future. The Tigers can be more aggressive with Cody because they are planning to use him in relief. He won't be subject to strict inning limits as the season moves along, and will only be limited by the number of back-to-back games he pitches in 2009.

The Future
This rating has the potential to be very low for Satterwhite. He looked outstanding during the fall instructional league, blowing hitters away and attacking the lower half of the strike zone. If he can routinely throw strikes in 2009, he should be in Detroit by season's end.

His competitive nature and electric arm are ideal for the back of a Major League bullpen, and Cody and Ryan Perry could combine to form a positively lethal tandem closing out Tiger games in the near future. Satterwhite will likely head to Double-A Erie to start the 2009 season, and with any luck he will be knocking on the door to Detroit by this fall.

Mark Anderson is TigsTown's Managing Editor and feature Minor League writer. He can be reached at Mark@TigsTown.com.

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