Position: Right-handed Pitcher
Satterwhite, the Tigers second round pick, has long been considered a premium draft prospect, when he was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 37th round of the 2005 draft. He would have gone much, much higher had he not been set on going to college at Mississippi. Cody was the Gatorade Player of the Year in Mississippi as a high school senior, while also earning All-State and All-Metro honors. In his high school career, he finished with a 13-4 record and a 2.56 ERA, with 194 strikeouts in just 111 prep innings. From the moment he became a varsity starter, Cody dominated, throwing a no-hitter in his first start on the mound. Satterwhite also lettered in football, basketball, and soccer during his career at Hillcrest Christian.
At Mississippi, Cody got off to a blazing start by going 11-2 in 60 innings of work as a freshman; earning Freshman All-American honors. He did not shy away from the pressure of the post season as a freshman, notching a 3.09 ERA over four appearances for the Rebels. Working as a reliever for Ole Miss his sophomore season, Cody earned All-SEC 2nd team honors and was named to the USA National Team as they participated in the PanAm Games. The highlight of his second collegiate season may have been nine scoreless innings of relief as part of a 17 inning marathon against arch rival Mississippi State.
Named to the Brooks Wallace Award watch list heading into his junior year, Satterwhite was again viewed as a potential high-round selection. Working primarily as a starter for the first time in his college career, Cody finished the season 3-5 for a disappointing Bulldog team, and had a 5.33 ERA while walking 38 hitters in just 72 2/3 innings of work.
Satterwhite has excellent raw stuff and a great pitcher's frame. His mechanics are clean and loose, and he has a great arm action that is wonderfully quick. He can rush things a bit too much, getting too far in front of his arm at times, causing him to lose command and his stuff to flatten out. As a starter this spring, Cody's fastball sat at 92-95, but has touched 99 in relief in the past. When he doesn't overthrow, he gets good movement low in the zone and his fastball can be absolutely dominating.
Cody's curveball has plus potential as a hard downer thrown at 76-78. He struggles to command his curve at times which can cause him to rely too heavily on his heater. He has begun to add a slider to the mix, but he must gain more consistency for it to become a truly reliable pitch. Satterwhite has played with a change-up in the past, but has yet to find anything that will work consistently.
Overall, Cody has the frame and raw stuff to be a frontline starting pitcher in the big leagues, but his command lags so far behind that he may struggle to achieve that status. He has had trouble carrying his velocity deep into games, but there is hope that he may be able to work through that once part of a pro conditioning program. If all else fails, he has the stuff and mentality to become an intimidating closer or setup man.
Performance Level Team W-L ERA G GS SV SO BB IP AVG CLG
Cody's been healthy to date and his clean mechanics with little effort leave optimism that he can avoid injuries in the future. His arm is still fresh, having been used as a reliever for two years, and the Tigers will likely be cautious with him over the next 18 months.
After three years at Ole Miss, Cody should be another pretty easy signing for the Tigers. If brought into the fold quickly, he should start out at Oneonta at a minimum, with a chance to start higher after he works out in front of the organization's staff. Expect the Tigers to try Cody as a starter during the first stages of his career, with hopes that they can help him sort things out enough to become a legitimate starting pitching prospect.
Mark Anderson is TigsTown's Managing Editor and feature Minor League writer. He can be reached at Mark@TigsTown.com.