After not being selected in the Major League Baseball Draft last summer, Cody Sedlock could have altered his plans and taken the junior-college route.|
"That," the 2013 Alleman graduate said, "was never in my mind."
Rather than rescind his commitment to the Illinois baseball program, Sedlock stuck to original destination. As his freshman season comes to a close, there is more than enough evidence that his decision is proving to be a good one.
"Three years will help a lot," Sedlock said on Thursday. "Plus, the development here will be greater. I really do think these three or four years will do a lot for me."
By going undrafted, Sedlock could have attended a junior college and been eligible for next month's draft. When he stuck with is commitment to the Fighting Illini, it meant he had to wait three years before re-submitting his name.
Through all the temptations, Illinois provided the best opportunity.
"I really do enjoy school and I get such a great education," Sedlock said. "Even if someone said that (junior college) was the best route, I wanted to come here and go to school."
A familiar face helped Sedlock reach that conclusion.
Thomas Lindauer, a 2010 Moline graduate, went undrafted out of high school before attending Illinois. Three years later, the Houston Astros selected Lindauer in the 23rd round of last year's draft after being named the All-Big Ten Conference shortstop.
The steps Lindauer took in his three years made Sedlock believe the same thing could happen to him.
"When I look at that," Sedlock said, "I want to improve like that."
Feeling stronger with a better understanding of how to pitch allows Sedlock to see his improvements since he first reached Champaign. Rather than trying to impress scouts, he is focused on making the adjustments needed to get better.
All that has helped him compile a 3.23 ERA in 11 appearances that have covered 30 2/3 innings. Sedlock has 29 strikeouts, 11 walks and surrendered 37 hits.
"I've had my ups and downs," Sedlock said. "I'm almost happy I've had these downs. Those make you better. My confidence has grown and my teammates do have trust in me. ... I'm happy, but I'm trying to get better."
Further motivation to improve came last month.
Sedlock earned the start against Missouri during a nonconference contest in St. Louis. Adding to the experience is the game being played at Busch Stadium. The four-inning start in which Sedlock struck out seven and allowed two earned runs came on a major-league mound.
That moment and that experience have not been forgotten. Sedlock is using that as a push "to keep getting better every single day."
Going pro is something Sedlock certainly wants to do. Pitching on a pro diamond helped reaffirm that goal. He will have to wait two more years for that opportunity.
Looking back, he is fine with that.
"I'm excited to see what (the future) holds," Sedlock said. "I'm really excited for everything. I'm trying to make every day count."
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