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)
- 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.