Ian Bedell had a jam-packed summer. An 18-year-old right-handed pitcher from Davenport, Iowa, Bedell was away from home for two and a half months, participating in baseball showcase events.
After finishing his junior year of high school on May 31, Bedell left for Cincinnati to play with the Midland Redskins on June 4 and stayed with a host family for two months in Kentucky.
While playing with Midland, he played in numerous tournaments across the country.
His summer ended with a trip out to California to play in the Area Code Games and the Perfect Game All-American Classic in August. Bedell’s parents joined him in California, ending the two months they were apart.
“It was a great experience,” Bedell said. “I did the underclass games for Perfect Game the year before so I knew some of the people going into it. One of my main goals was the Area Code Games and the Perfect Game All-American Class, and I ended up making both of them. They were both great events.”
At one point during the summer, Bedell wasn’t even sure if he’d be able to play in the Area Code Games, due to his busy schedule.
“I didn’t plan on doing the Area Code Games, even though it was my goal from the winter,” he said. “I was playing with Midland, and I was never going to make a tryout.
“Luckily our representative was at PG National Showcase (in Fort Myers, Fla. in mid-June)
when I pitched. He saw me and I did very well there. He said (to me), ‘You’re on the team. See you in Long Beach.’ I got pretty lucky to make Area Codes.”
Committed to the University of Missouri, Bedell is one of the top high school baseball prospects in the country. He’s excepted to go in the early rounds of the 2018 MLB First-Year Player Draft next June.
“My whole life I’ve pictured myself pitching in the MLB,” Bedell said. “But also at the same time, you grow up wanting to pitch in the College World Series.
“I love the attention I get from scouts. It’s really cool to see the Blue Jays emailing you or the Pirates wanting to interview you or any of these teams contacting you. You’re a kid from Iowa and all these teams are contacting you, it’s pretty special to see all these MLB teams interested in me.”
Bedell knows deciding between college baseball and the professional ranks will be difficult, but said his parents are letting him make the decision when the time comes.
“You have to do what’s best for you,” he said. “Both my parents would like to see me at college. I had a dad that went to the U.S. Naval Academy and a mom that went to Baylor and has a master’s degree. … At the same time, they know that the MLB Draft is something that could set up my life forever.”
A 6-foot-2, 198-pound righty, Bedell throws a four-seam fastball, two-seam fastball, circle changeup, 12-6 curveball and a slider. His fastball tops out at 95 mph.
Bedell likes to run his two-seamer in on right-handed hitters and away from lefties. He uses his four-seam fastball to attack hitters on the outer half of the plate.
His best off-speed pitch is his circle changeup. Bedell has a good feel for it and tends to throw it lower in the zone to get batters to hit a ground balls.
Bedell’s biggest strength is his ability to pitch inside, he said.
“A lot of pitchers don’t like to work in and personally I don’t care if I hit you because it’s not going to affect me,” he said.
With the MLB Draft about nine months away, Bedell wants to improve his strength and stamina, while refining his breaking pitches.
“I want to work on my curveball because it’s not sharp enough to be a SEC or minor league level curve,” he said. I’m still developing my slider, and I’m starting to get a better feel for it so it moves.”
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