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Breaking Down Xavier Cedeno

Not even I am a big enough glutton for punishment to do something like this: breaking down a player who's not even on a big league roster using Pitch F/X.

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It is, however, a fascinating read. When the Astros signed Xavier Cedeno last year, no one really reacted to it. When he started taking off in April and May, I assumed he was one of the players included in a trade with Colorado (like Jonathan Aristil).

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Nope, Cedeno was just another minor league free agent who signed in Houston and then took off. His stats were eye-popping, but certainly scouts were skeptical about him. After all, he was just breaking out now without overwhelming stuff?

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Using Pitch F/X, we can see exactly why Cedeno was effective. He has a good curveball, he uses different arm angles to confuse batters and he works the plate well. That's usually a recipe for success, but his 87-90 MPH fastball isn't.

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Still, there's enough here to be intriguing. I already hoped Cedeno would get a chance next season to pitch for Houston again, but now I'm pulling for him more. 

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Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.