DYLAN Edward CEASE
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Nickname:   N/A Position:   RHP
Home: N/A Team:   WHITE SOX
Height: 6' 2" Bats:   R
Weight: 200 Throws:   R
DOB: 12/28/1995 Agent: N/A
Uniform #: 84  
Birth City: Milton, GA
Draft: Cubs #6 - 2014 - Out of high school (GA)
YR LEA TEAM SAL(K) G IP H SO BB GS CG SHO SV W L OBA ERA
2014 - DL - Tommy John                            
2015 AZL AZL-Cubs   11 24 12 25 16 8 0 0 0 1 2   2.63
2016 NWL EUGENE   12 44.2 27 66 25 12 0 0 0 2 0   2.22
2017 SAL KANNAPOLIS   9 41.2 35 52 18 9 0 0 0 0 8   3.89
2017 MWL SOUTH BEND   13 51.2 39 74 26 13 0 0 0 1 2   2.79
2018 SL BIRMINGHAM   10 52.1 30 78 22 10 0 0 0 3 0   1.72
2018 CAR WINSTON-SALEM   13 71.2 52 82 28 13 0 0 0 9 2   2.89
2019 IL CHARLOTTE   15 68.1 75 73 32 15 0 0 0 5 2   4.48
2019 AL WHITE SOX   14 73 78 81 35 14 0 0 0 4 7 0.271 5.79
2020 AL WHITE SOX $213.00 12 58.1 50 44 34 12 0 0 0 5 4 0.234 4.01
Today's Game Notes
  • July 3, 2021: Dylan Cease would currently be considered the No. 5 starter in the White Sox rotation when viewing the talented group as an entire entity. It’s a distinction the 25-year-old doesn’t mind when considering the company he’s keeping.

    “Lance [Lynn] has been here for a decade, Dallas [Keuchel] has been here for a decade,” Cease told MLB
    .com prior to Saturday’s contest. “Carlos [Rodón] and [Lucas Giolito] are no-hitter and All-Star guys. “We go out there and we are all trying to be No. 1s. But it’s definitely not a slap in the face to call me the No. 5 on this team.

    Cease is slated to start Monday at Target Field against the Twins and then should pitch in Baltimore before the All-Star break
    . The right-hander features a 7-3 record with a 3.75 ERA, having struck out 103 and walking 35 in 81 2/3 innings.

    It’s a far better feeling for Cease than the 2020 season, when he finished with a 5-4 record and 4
    .01 ERA over 12 starts, but also walked 34 in 58 1/3 innings. Cease readily admitted in the offseason not being happy with his second-season results and worked diligently to make changes, ones that are now showing up on the mound.

    “Yeah, I’m executing at a pretty high clip right now
    . It’s night and day different from last year,” Cease said. “There’s always room for improvement. I’m going to keep trying to reach that next level. “I like the shape of my pitches. I like the fact that I’m able to execute and throw my offspeed for strikes. I’m at the point where I can feel good throwing a 2-0 slider for a strike if I have to. It’s head and tails different from last year where I was trying to throw anything in the zone. I never feel like I’m out of a count.
     
    Those 81 2/3 innings and 16 starts represent big league single-season highs for Cease
    . But he isn’t worried about moving into full-season territory in the second half when he approaches 30 starts with this American League Central-leading team.

    “Oh, yeah, I feel great right now
    . I’m 25. That’s what I’m built for,” said a smiling Cease. “My goal is to keep executing at a high level. Stay on the field and continue to not lose any focus and stay with my process so I keep building.

    “We are going to have to see at that point
    . I have to maybe relax my lifting more. Right now, it’s not something I’m super concerned with.” (S Merkin - MLB.com - July 3, 2021)
Personal
  • In 2013, Cease's junior year at Milton High School in Georgia, he and his twin brother, Alec, led the team to a state title.

    "I always had someone to play ball with and always had someone to  compete with," Dylan said of his twin, Alec. "There was never really any down time."

  • In 2014, as a senior in high school, Dylan committed to Vanderbilt University.

  • In 2014, the Cubs signed Cease (see Transactions below).

  • July 2018: Dylan represented the White Sox in the All-Star Futures game.

  • In 2015, the Baseball America Prospect Handbook rated Cease as the 28th best prospect in the Cubs organization. But they moved him all the way up to #5 in the winter before 2016 spring training. He was at #4 in the offseason before spring camps opened in 2017. After moving to the White Sox Dylan was rated their 10th best prospect in a strong farm system in the spring of 2018.

    Cease moved back up to #3-best prospect in the White Sox system in the winter before 2019 spring training.

  • Dylan on the Futures game:

    I pitched in big league ballparks during high school, and appeared in the All-America Game at Wrigley Field and another game at Petco Park.

    But it was different pitching in Nationals Park during the Futures Game in 2018. It definitely was the biggest crowd to see me pitch. I guess that's what it will be like in the big leagues, in terms of cameras and people staring at you. It was a unique experience. It was a little uncomfortable at first, but I wasn't nervous about it.

    I was told I would throw the ninth inning; I knew I probably wouldn't get the full inning. At the onset, I just wanted to throw strikes with the nastiest pitches I could, and I was able to retire the two guys I faced.

    It was cool to be around all those talented players. I felt like everyone was throwing 98 mph with good off-speed pitches. There were eight homers in the game. So obviously, everyone could hit. It was great to see my Birmingham teammate Luis Basabe hit a homer off a 102 mph fastball from [Reds prospect] Hunter Greene. 

    It shows you what top-notch competition looks like. I can use that experience to help me prepare for future endeavors like that. I felt grateful to be on the field with those guys. 

    I know Sox fans are following us in the Minors. I'm just trying to keep focused on my process. I need to be locked in right now in terms of what I have to do to get to the big leagues. It's very easy to start daydreaming, and then all of the sudden, you realize you're not that locked in.

    I'm glad everyone is excited in Chicago, because it definitely makes it more fun. Hopefully, we're all up there as soon as possible to help the White Sox win.  (Cease as told to Ed Sherman - mlb.com - 7/20/18)

  • In 2018, White Sox GM Rick Hahn acknowledged Dylan's consistency, praising his ability to continue pitching well after a promotion to Double-A Birmingham.

    "We really viewed him entering this year," Hahn said, "a kid with electric stuff, kid with a very high ceiling and someone who had yet to be able to physically take the ball every fifth day. Dylan has dominated early at a good placement level for his age. He forced the issue and we brought him up to Double-A—where he's continued to pitch as well, if not even better."  (Gelman - mlb.com - 7/30/18)

  • 2018 season: Named the White Sox MLB Pipeline's Pitcher of the Year, Cease actually produced better numbers once he reached Double-A and finished the year with a 2.40 ERA, .189 batting average against. and an 11.6 K/9 rate.

  • 2019 Spring Training: The Cactus League split-squad starts for Dylan Cease and Lucas Giolito took place 19 miles apart in Arizona. But there still was a competitive kinship between these two talented young White Sox starters.

    “Competition between teammates will always bring the best out of teammates,” said Giolito. “Always trying to compete in whatever we do, whether it’s our outings, in the weight room, showing each other exercises, trying to outlift each other, outrun each other.

    “All those things kind of come together and bring the best out of all the players. That’s what’s important is having a good camaraderie but also some friendly competition along the way.”

    “There’s no like ‘I hate you and I want you to fail so I’m better,’” said a smiling Giolito. “That doesn’t breed anything good at all. It’s all about supporting each other, but at the same time, egging each other on and if you see someone slacking off in one area, then you give them a little kick in the butt and get them back on track.” (Scott Merkin -MLB.com - March 5, 2019)

  • MLB debut (July 3, 2019): Cease tossed five innings at home against the Tigers, allowing three runs while striking out six to earn the win in his big league debut. 

  • “Dylan's not a guy that loses confidence very easily. He's very focused and assured of himself, comfortable in his own skin.”  –White Sox manager Rick Renteria on Cease's struggles in 2019

  • Dylan is one of the key young pieces of the White Sox future, but he’s also a strong believer in meditation and yoga.

    In the interview, Cease explains that he does 20 minutes of meditation and breathing techniques every morning.

    “I want to see how I function,” Cease said. “I want to see how my mind functions. I want to see how my body functions and kind of be the observer of everything and not necessarily entangled in it.”

    Cease admits it’s something he doesn’t like to talk about much because “everything thinks it’s strange.” It’s definitely not the norm for a pitcher.

    “Complete opposite of anything we’ve ever been in taught in our society,” Cease said.

    Cease discovered Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, a yogi with over 2 million followers on Twitter. Last year, he took part in a four-day program at one of Sadhguru’s centers about 90 miles southeast of Nashville. “I’ve always had a lot of questions about life,” Cease said.

    Sadhguru passed along his congratulations when Cease picked up his first MLB win in July. (Dan Santaromita - September 10, 2019)

  • 2020 Season: Dylan ceased the effectiveness of right-handed batters, for the most part, in 2020.

    In a season where he became just the eighth Sox pitcher to lead the American League in walks, Cease limited right-handed hitters to a minuscule .202 average in 2020.

    The right-hander was just the 16th pitcher in White Sox history with at least 12 starts in a season to hold right-handed hitters to a .202 average or lower.

    Lucas Giolito also did this making he and Cease the first Sox pitchers to hold hold right-handed hitters to a .202 average or lower in a season since Esteban Loaiza in 2003.  (OCTOBER 19, 2020 - SOXNERD)

  • More than once this season, in the often quiet hours before games, Chicago White Sox pitcher Dylan Cease was spotted throwing around a disc.

    This, by itself, was nothing unusual. Baseball players import different equipment from other sports all the time just to have some fun before games, screwing around with footballs, soccer balls, rugby balls and frisbees.

    But while this was fun for Cease, it definitely wasn't just screwing around. He is super into disc golf.

    "I try to play as much as I can," Cease told NBC Sports Chicago last week. "My brother got me into it. ... I didn't like it at first because I was terrible at it. And then I kept going with him because it was just fun and I liked seeing how he shaped shots. And then I started getting into it more.

    "This offseason, it was really warm, so I was able to play like four days a week. Back home (in Georgia), I'll do my lifting and all my yoga stuff, and in my free time, I'll go play as much as I can. I love it."

    It's turned into something of an impressive side project for Cease, who has a giant collection of discs, a list of top players who send him swag and an appreciation of and from those in the disc-golf community.

    "A lot of the disc-golf community's baseball fans," Cease said. "I'll buy a disc on ebay, and someone will message me like, 'Hey man, appreciate you growing the sport.' I'm like, 'Wow. OK, they recognize me.'"

    If you're part of that community, or just enjoying a day outside, you might spot Cease and some other White Sox players playing in Chicagoland. Cease said that he's trying to get some of his teammates into the sport, too, with Lucas Giolito being receptive. He's played with Michael Kopech and Jimmy Lambert, too. He's hoping Dallas Keuchel will come out with him at some point. (Vinnie Duber • June 8, 2021)

           TRANSACTIONS

  • July 2014: The Cubs signed 6th-round pick Dylan Cease, out of Milton High School in Georgia, for $1.5 million, via scout Keith Lockhart.

  • July 13, 2017: The White Sox traded LHP Jose Quintana to the Cubs for 2B Bryant Flete, RHP Dylan Cease, LF Eloy Jimenez and 1B Matt Rose.
Pitching
  • Cease has a lively 92-101 mph high-spinning FASTBALL with late sink, that earns a 70 grade on the 20-80 scouting scale. He gets good spin on a 78-80 mph wipeout 12-to-6 power CURVEBALL that flashes above-average (55 grade) with impressive shape, depth and tilt, getting swings and misses as a chase pitch. He has a rarely-used SLIDER that is a 40, at best. He also has a  81-83 mph CHANGEUP that is 50 grade. He slows his arm  on that sinking changeup, which when combined with slow times to the plate, could make him an impact closer candidate if he falls short of his No. 3 starter ceiling.

    He has only 40 control. Dylan's heater earns a 70 grade, easily coming out of his hand with some deception. His curve gets a 55 or 60 grade.

    The caveat with Cease has always been syncing his delivery, commanding his fastball and throwing strikes. If that ever comes together for Cease, he could be lethal thanks to his plus mid-80s slider (15 percent swinging-strike rate) and dramatically improving changeup (14 percent). Refining his curveball will be essential to give him a secondary weapon in a lower velocity register.

  • His heater explodes through the hitting zone with late life, though his command of the pitch is below-average, and he misses his spots by wide margins at times. He comes at hitters from a high arm slot with a whippy-quick arm speed.

    “I think it’s just executing pitches better, to be honest,” Cease said. “I changed my curveball to more of a spiked curve and it seems to have improved. I feel if I was (in the majors) right now, I could compete.” (Spring, 2019)

  • 2019 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball 51.5% of the time, his Change 9%; Slider 20.9%; and Curve 18.6% of the time. Average velocity: 4-seam 96.7 mph, Change 83.4, Slider 84.8, and Curve 79.6 mph.

  • 2020 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball 47.8% of the time, his Change 12.9%; Slider 30%; and Curve 9.3% of the time. Average velocity: 4-seam 97.7 mph, Change 83, Slider 85.2, and Curve 79.2 mph.

  • Dylan has a loose, but quick arm and a balanced, fluid delivery. The ball jumps out of his hand, but with easy velocity on his fastball . He has some effort in his delivery and tends to rush, leaving his arm dragging. The use of his lower half is a concern to some, who say he needs to adjust.

    His below-average command and control stems from a tendency to lose his release point, as well as below-average life on his fastball. He has some of the most electric stuff, but will have to tame it to remain a starting pitcher. (Spring 2017)

  • He's learning to repeat his mechanics more consistently. (Spring, 2017)

  • He is a student of the game and a great worker.

  • Cease should develop into a #3 or a #4 starting pitcher. With only fair command, he may have more success as a high-leverage relief pitcher. But, as of 2018, the White Sox are still molding him into a mid-rotation guy.

  • Cease on Cease: "I've definitely had a ton of growth this year. I'm happy with it, but I'm not fully satisfied. There's still more I can do to improve. I've been healthy, and that's a big thing. I'm getting better at executing my pitches.

    "At the higher levels, you have to make adjustments pitch to pitch. The more you have a good feel for how the ball is coming out of your hand, and you're able to locate it, the more success you're going to have. When you're pitching, you can't think your way to throwing strikes. It has to be something your body knows how to do. You feel that release point. Last year, I really didn't have a great feel with off-speed pitches. I was hit or miss with my fastball command. This year, for the most part, I've been throwing strikes with everything. It's really come a long way."  (Cease as told to Ed Sherman - mlb.com - 7/20/18)

  • 2018 Season: Cease dominated after a midseason promotion to Double-A Birmingham en route to being named MLB Pipeline's Pitcher of the Year.

    Dylan went 12-2, 2.40 ERA, and struck out 32.5 percent of the batters he faced—fourth-highest in the minors among qualified starters. His .187 opponent average was good for fifth in the minors as well, and he would have won both the Carolina League and Southern League ERA titles if he had enough innings to qualify. He has a hammer curveball with depth and power, and hitters can't try to sit on it because he can blow them away with a fastball that sits in the mid-90s and reaches triple digits.

  • In January 2019, Cease was named the prospect with the "Best Curveball" by MLB Pipeline.

    Cease has a hammer curveball with depth and power, and his mid-90s fastball is just as devastating. That combination helped him win recognition as MLB Pipeline's 2018 Pitcher of the Year after he posted a 2.40 ERA while ranking fifth in the Minors in opponent average (.189) and eighth in strikeout rate (11.6 per nine innings).

  • 2020 Season: Cease's season did not go well. Despite a fine ERA — a 4.01 mark that plummeted from the 5.79 number it was during his rookie campaign in 2019 — the young righty struggled mightily with walks, home runs and repeated jams, getting to the point where the White Sox looked elsewhere for a No. 3 starter in their playoff series against the Oakland Athletics.

  • June 12, 2021: With the win, Cease became the first pitcher in White Sox history -- and the first in MLB since 2008 -- to win his first eight starts against the same opponent.

    “The last couple of starts against them, I’ve really been locked in,” Cease said. “It’s just one of those things where if I’m executing pitches and bringing my ‘A’ game, I’m tough to hit.

  • July 3, 2021: Cease readily admitted in the offseason not being happy with his second-season results and worked diligently to make changes, ones that are now showing up on the mound.

    “Yeah, I’m executing at a pretty high clip right now. It’s night and day different from last year,” Cease said. “There’s always room for improvement. I’m going to keep trying to reach that next level. “I like the shape of my pitches. I like the fact that I’m able to execute and throw my offspeed for strikes. I’m at the point where I can feel good throwing a 2-0 slider for a strike if I have to. It’s head and tails different from last year where I was trying to throw anything in the zone. I never feel like I’m out of a count.” (S Merkin - MLB.com - July 3, 2021)
     

  • As of the start of the 2021, Dylan had a career record of: 9-11 with a 5.00 ERA, having allowed 27 home runs and 128 hits in 131 innings.
Career Injury Report
  • March–April 2014: Cease was out with an elbow injury.

  • July 2014: The Cubs signed Cease knowing he would need Tommy John surgery. He had the surgery on July 22, 2014.

  • April 14-16, 2021: Cease was on the IL.