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 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 drafted and signed Cease (see Transactions below).
In July 2018, Dylan represented the White Sox in the All-Star Futures game.
In 2015, Baseball America 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 the third-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." (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. He 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 ‘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 who 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. (Dan Santaromita - September 10, 2019)
- In 2020, Dylan "ceased" the effectiveness of righthanded batters. Cease limited righthanded hitters to a minuscule .202 average. The righthander was just the 16th pitcher in White Sox history with at least 12 starts in a season to hold righthanded hitters to a .202 average or lower.
Lucas Giolito also did this, making him and Cease the first Sox pitchers to hold righthanded hitters to a .202 average or lower since Esteban Loaiza in 2003. (Oct 19, 2020 - SoxNerd)
In 2020, Cease became just the eighth Sox pitcher to lead the American League in walks.
More than once this season, in the quiet hours before games, Dylan 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. "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)
ALMOST A NO-HITTER
Sept 3, 2022: History was just an out away: Cease nearly no-hits the Twins. Two outs in the ninth inning, two strikes away and only Luis Arraez separated Dylan Cease from history in a 13-0 White Sox victory over the Twins before 31,655 fans on a Saturday night at Guaranteed Rate Field.
The White Sox right-hander had kept the Twins hitless through 8 2/3 innings, But on a 1-1 slider that got just a little too much of the plate, the American League’s leading hitter dumped a single to right-center to prevent Cease from becoming the 21st pitcher in franchise history to throw a no-hitter or a perfect game.
Dylan Cease came one out away — one Luis Arraez ninth-inning single — from throwing the 318th no-hitter in MLB history, and 21st in White Sox history, as his team trounced the rival Twins 13-0. Cease’s performance nearly marked the third straight season in which the Sox have had a starter throw a no-hitter.
With Lucas Giolito in 2020, Carlos Rodón in 2021 and now Cease in 2022, all three outings have served as emphatic confirmation of an emerging truth: This is one of the elite starters in baseball this season. Cease is the only one who’s never been to an All-Star Game, but this is the kind of performance that puts him in line for a higher honor. And it may have been the result of a certain form of superstar treatment.
Cease’s twin brother, Alec, watching from home, certainly thought it was happening, only for history to repeat itself. When they were 12 and in Little League in Georgia, Alec was one out away from a no-hitter, when a single over the head of their second baseman ended his bid. In Chicago, 14 years later, Dylan stood against the best contact hitter in the league, and uncorked his best pitch — maybe the best pitch in the sport – only for Arraez to turn history into mere brilliance in the same way.
“It would have meant a lot,” said Cease.
“Now he knows my pain,” quipped his brother. (Fegan-TheAthletic.com-September 3, 2022)
Nov 16, 2022: Cease finished second for the AL Cy Young Award, with Houston’s Justin Verlander capturing his third career honor, as announced on MLB Network.
Verlander received all 30 of the first-place votes for 210 points, followed by Cease at 97 points with 14 second-place votes, 10 third-place votes, five fourth-place votes and one fifth-plate vote. He recalled watching Verlander pitch for Detroit as a rookie when Cease was around 10 years old, making the results all the more surreal. (S Merkin - MLB.com - Nov 16, 2022)
Jan 17, 2023: Cease would be a coveted addition to any 2023 World Baseball Classic roster.
The 27-year-old White Sox right-hander fanned 453 over 349 2/3 innings covering the last two seasons, posting a 2.20 ERA during the 2022 campaign and finishing second in the American League Cy Young voting. He was on the 50-man WBC interest list for Team USA and Team Israel, with Jewish heritage in his lineage, but in a Zoom conference, Cease explained why he passed on this special opportunity.
“Yeah, I decided not to,” Cease said. “I was looking forward to it, but it made more sense to prepare for the season. It’s definitely a huge honor and exciting any time you get the opportunity to represent something bigger than yourself like that.
“It’s a really big deal. But a lot of it is just the unfortunate reality of having to weigh not what’s more important but essentially what I’m preparing for, and it made more sense not to risk anything and to prepare for the season.” (S Merkin - MLB.com - Jan 17, 2023)
The White Sox are in desperate need of a good news story. For that, they turn to pitcher Dylan Cease, who will share his love for art on Wednesday with some lucky students.
Cease will serve as a volunteer instructor at Misericordia, a local nonprofit serving adults and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The White Sox ace said he picked up painting late last year after visiting an art museum in Kansas City. He had walked in feeling like he needed a breather, and walked out feeling so inspired that he got his own art supplies and started painting.
"I kept doing artwork that I was impressed that I could do, because I have no artistic ability whatsoever. But just somehow, through effort and just perseverance, I kept making these paintings that I was really proud of. So it was like just kind of a fun, therapeutic, creative outlet that I really, really enjoy," Cease told CBS 2's Ryan Baker during spring training.
Cease said he's given away some of his paintings, and he is considering more charity work with his art. (CBS Chicago Team - Aug. 9, 2023)
July 2014: The Cubs signed 6th-round pick Dylan Cease, out of Milton High School in Georgia, for $1.5 million. Keith Lockhart was the scout.
July 13, 2017: The White Sox traded LHP Jose Quintana to the Cubs; acquiring 2B Bryant Flete, RHP Dylan Cease, LF Eloy Jimenez, and 1B Matt Rose.
Jan 13, 2023: Cease and the White Sox avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one-year deal for $5.7 million.
- Jan 11, 2024: Cease and the White Sox avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one-year deal for $8 million.