Cade Obermueller offers intriguing potential as a starter

Cade Obermueller was an undersized and lightly recruited left-handed pitcher in high school. The Iowa City, Iowa, native didn’t let it impact him. Instead, it motivated him to hone his craft.

Iowa was one of the programs to offer Obermueller a chance to play at the college level. Obermueller has excelled in his nearly two years at Iowa, developing his skill set, as well as physically and mentally, under the direction of highly-respected pitching coach Sean McGrath.

Photo of Cade Obermueller courtesy

Obermueller pitched four scoreless innings with seven strikeouts and two walks allowed against Lehigh in his first start of the season on Sunday. It was a notable first start for the talented sophomore left-handed pitcher who enters this spring season with plenty of external expectations.

Obermueller has made tremendous strides since high school to position himself as a professional prospect. Scouts project Obermueller, a draft-eligible sophomore, as a potential early-round pick in July’s MLB draft.

“Early in high school, I wasn’t strong and wasn’t throwing hard,” Obermueller said. “My dad kept preaching that we are late bloomers, and it’s going to come. I didn’t really believe that, but it happened. It’s been really cool to see my progression. I’ve worked my tail off. It’s really rewarding seeing myself get better.”

Iowa has turned into an ideal fit for the local product. Obermueller grew up a passionate fan of Iowa, especially since his father, Wes, played at Iowa before being a second-round pick in the 1999 MLB draft.

Growing up with a father who played college baseball and then played five years in the major leagues, most notably with the Milwaukee Brewers from 2003-05, has aided Obermueller’s development on the mound.

“It’s been unbelievable,” Obermueller said. “He’s helped me so much. He never forced me to play baseball or anything. He’s just been the best positive role model I could ever ask for.”

Obermueller is an intriguing pitcher with a ton of potential. He flashed his ability last season as a freshman. He worked primarily as a reliever and posted a 4.91 ERA with 36 strikeouts and 19 walks allowed in 22 innings. After the spring season at Iowa, Obermueller excelled in the Cape Cod League, recording a 1.83 ERA with 35 strikeouts and 11 walks allowed in 19 2/3 innings.

Obermueller is a 6-foot, 162-pound left-handed pitcher who throws a fastball, slider and splitter from a smooth and easy delivery and low arm slot. He displays starter traits and has plenty of potential remaining.

The lefty primarily relies on his excellent fastball, slider combination. His fastball sits in the low-90s but touched 97 mph in the Cape Cod League last year. His slider is a true outpitch with sweeping action in the low-80s. In the offseason, he worked on his splitter, which he believes can be another nasty pitch in his arsenal.

Obermueller is an intriguing pitching prospect due to the quality of his pitch mix and the deception in his delivery.

“The deception, I just feel like I’m very unique,” Obermueller said. “That is my strength. Not a lot of hitters have seen guys like me. That is what I’ve heard from a lot of different hitters. It’s just a difficult look.”

In preparation for his sophomore season, Obermueller worked on his command. He has made strides in that area and anticipates throwing more strikes this spring.

“I just need to keep filling it up,” Obermueller said. “I’ve been throwing the most strikes I’ve ever have. I just need to keep doing that. That’s going to take us to the next level is me pounding the zone.”

Iowa has one of the best starting rotations in college baseball. Besides Obermueller, junior righties Brody Brecht and Marcus Morgan are Iowa’s top two pitchers and potential first-round picks in July’s draft. All three starting pitchers are Iowa natives.

Iowa posted a 44-16 record to qualify for the NCAA Tournament last season for the first time since 2017. It also marked Iowa’s sixth tournament appearance in program history. The Hawkeyes lost in the regional final to Indiana State to end their season.

The Hawkeyes have the pieces to advance in the tournament and potentially reach the College World Series for the second time in program history this season.

“We have a lot of Iowa guys, and we just have a lot of pride in Iowa,” Obermueller said. “Our No. 1 goal is to win. We want to win for the state and each other. It’s really been crazy how we push each other. We just find a way to get the best out of each other in a positive way. It’s really cool.”

Read more in-depth stories on top 2024 MLB draft prospects at Baseball Prospect Journal.

Video of Cade Obermueller.

Dan Zielinski III has covered the MLB draft for nine years. He has interviewed 518 of the top draft prospects in that period, including four No. 1 overall picks. Multiple publications, including Baseball America, USA Today,, The Arizona Republic and The Dallas Morning News, have quoted his work, while he has appeared on radio stations as a “MLB draft expert.” Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.

Dan Zielinski III
Dan Zielinski III
Dan Zielinski III is the creator of the Baseball Prospect Journal and has covered the MLB draft since 2015. His draft work originally appeared on, a sports website he started in December 2011. He also covered the Milwaukee Brewers as a member of the credentialed media for four years. Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.

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