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A fastball without cease.

Byline: Steve Mims The Register-Guard

Dylan Cease may have thrown 100 miles per hour in high school.

"I can't confirm that," the 20-year old Eugene right-handed pitcher said. "But I know for sure that I did in spring training."

When Cease hit one of baseball's magical marks on the radar gun, it was a sign that he is back to full strength after a shortened rookie season following Tommy John surgery.

Cease was expected to go in the first few rounds of the 2014 Major League Baseball draft out of high school in Milton, Ga., but fell to the sixth round after teams found out he needed surgery. The Chicago Cubs drafted Cease and convinced him to skip his commitment to play at Vanderbilt by giving him a signing bonus of $1.5 million, which was twice as much as any other sixth-round pick and more than any player selected in the third, fourth, or fifth rounds.

The Cubs paid under the slot amount for Kyle Schwarber in the first round to have extra money to spend in later rounds. Fourth-round pick Carson Sands and fifth-rounder Justin Steele - who both pitched for the Ems last year - were the only players drafted in those rounds to get a signing bonus of more than $1 million and Cease received more money than both of them.

"I had no idea what was going to happen going into the draft," said the 6-foot-2, 190-pound Cease. "I got a call saying they were going to take me so I went with it. I was really excited about Vanderbilt, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity with the Cubs."

Cease had to wait more than one year after he was drafted before making his pro debut last year with Mesa in the rookie-level Arizona League.

"I signed with the Cubs knowing I needed surgery and then I got it and had rehab for a full year in Arizona," Cease said.

Cease started eight of his 11 games last season, but never threw more than three innings. He pitched 24 innings and went 1-2 with a 2.63 ERA and 25 strikeouts.

"It took me a while to trust it again, but I wouldn't say I was worried," Cease said. "I did a lot of rehab and strength and conditioning so I knew it was going to come back."

Cease started the season opener for the Emeralds and will be back on the mound Thursday when Eugene begins a five-game homestand against Spokane.

"I definitely have a better feeling for everything this year, especially my curveball," he said. "My first year back I was building up arm strength and throwing more fastballs. I didn't throw more than five innings during spring training but I built up real well. This season will be my first test of innings to see how it goes. I feel like I am back to being a normal pitcher again."

Cease throws faster than a normal pitcher while also mixing in a curveball and change-up.

"The fastball is definitely my best pitch," he said. "I will hit 100 every once in a while and sit at 96 or 97 if I am feeling good."

Cease may send the pitch speed on the scoreboard at PK Park into triple digits.

"That would be awesome," he said. "I am going to try and throw strikes to get guys out, but if that happens, it would be a bonus."

Dylan Cease might have thrown 100 miles per hour in high school.

"I can't confirm that," the 20-year old Eugene right-handed pitcher said. "But I know for sure that I did in spring training."

When Cease hit one of baseball's magical marks on the radar gun, it was a sign that he is back to full strength after a shortened rookie season following Tommy John surgery.

Cease was expected to go in the first few rounds of the 2014 Major League Baseball draft out of high school in Milton, Ga., but fell to the sixth round after teams found out he needed surgery. The Chicago Cubs drafted Cease and convinced him to skip his commitment to play at Vanderbilt by giving him a signing bonus of $1.5 million, which was twice as much as any other sixth-round pick and more than any player selected in the third, fourth, or fifth rounds.

The Cubs paid under the slot amount for Kyle Schwarber in the first round to have extra money to spend in later rounds. Fourth-round pick Carson Sands and fifth-rounder Justin Steele - who both pitched for the Ems last year - were the only players drafted in those rounds to get a signing bonus of more than $1 million and Cease received more money than both of them.

"I had no idea what was going to happen going into the draft," said the 6-foot-2, 190-pound Cease. "I got a call saying they were going to take me so I went with it. I was really excited about Vanderbilt, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity with the Cubs."

Cease had to wait more than one year after he was drafted before making his pro debut last year with Mesa in the rookie-level Arizona League.

"I signed with the Cubs knowing I needed surgery and then I got it and had rehab for a full year in Arizona," Cease said.

Cease started eight of his 11 games last season, but never threw more than three innings. He pitched 24 innings and went 1-2 with a 2.63 ERA and 25 strikeouts.

"It took me a while to trust it again, but I wouldn't say I was worried," Cease said. "I did a lot of rehab and strength and conditioning so I knew it was going to come back."

Cease started the season opener for the Emeralds and will be back on the mound Thursday when Eugene begins a five-game homestand against Spokane.

"I definitely have a better feeling for everything this year, especially my curveball," he said. "My first year back I was building up arm strength and throwing more fastballs. I didn't throw more than five innings during spring training but I built up real well."

Cease throws faster than a normal pitcher while also mixing in a curveball and changeup.

"The fastball is definitely my best pitch," he said. "I will hit 100 every once in a while and sit at 96 or 97 if I'm feeling good."

Cease might send the pitch speed on the scoreboard at PK Park into triple digits.

"That would be awesome," he said. "I'm going to try and throw strikes to get guys out, but if that happens, it would be a bonus."
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Title Annotation:Ems Baseball; Emeralds' fireballer Cease believe his arm strength is back to where it was before his 2014 surgery
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Jun 23, 2016
Words:1113
Previous Article:Local News.
Next Article:Cook awaits his draft fate.
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