Player Profile: Cody Stull
(photo via Twitter, @LHP1814)
In the midst of his junior season at Belmont Abbey, left-handed pitcher Cody Stull took part of his second “Scout Day” in hopes of being noticed by a big league organization. After gaining attention the year before at this event, all eyes were on him this time around. As he recalls, all of his pitches were working and he was hitting his spots at will, which shouldn’t be a surprise since he was in the middle of arguably his best season as a college pitcher.
When he got done, awaiting him at his locker were 13 questionnaires from scouts who were interested in drafting him. It was at that moment the now 24-year old realized his childhood dream of becoming a professional baseball player would become a reality. “That was the moment it kind of set in and it took me by surprise for sure,” Stull said.
Stull was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 29th round of the 2014 draft and reported to rookie ball shortly after. In his first taste of pro ball, he shined at a time where many pitchers struggle with the larger workload. Pitching mainly out of the bullpen, he held hitters to a .182 average while posting a 1.47 ERA and recording 27 strikeouts in 18.1 innings.
“It felt like a little bit of an extended season,” Stull said. “I wanted to come in and keep pitching like I did in college. Just hit my spots, change speeds and help my team compete.”
After starting in college, Stull had to develop a new mindset to pitch out of the bullpen which is now his calling card. He doesn’t mind high leverage situations or going from zero to a hundred on the mound, something starters don’t deal with very often. However, he is able to feed off those pressure situations and likes it better than starting now that he has done both.
Despite not having overpowering stuff, Stull has a knack for striking hitters out. He averages over a strikeout per inning so far in his pro career using a low 90s fastball and a good changeup. This offseason he worked on a breaking ball to complement these two in addition to a better pick-off move. Even with his success punching hitters out, he doesn’t consider himself a strikeout pitcher since his fastball isn’t overpowering.
“I don’t consider myself a strikeout pitcher, more pitch to contact guy,” he said. “I’m not really trying to strike everybody out, just be the kind of player I can be.”
Stull begins the 2016 season with the Stockton Ports, where he will come out of the bullpen in high leverage situations as he continues to climb his way up in organization.