If you're older than 30 and/or grew up in the Philadelphia area, you recognize Cam Bedrosian's last name and by now have figured out that he is the son of former major leaguer and one time Cy Young Award winner Steve "Bedrock" Bedrosian. Bedrock bestowed most of his best qualities on the Angels newest reliever, including the name (Cam's actual given middle name is Rock), fastball, and comfort throwing in high-leverage situations, but not his height, with Cam coming in three inches shorter than his father's listed 6'3".
Cam was a first round selection by the Angels in 2010, though even coming out of high school and with the majority of his development in front of him, he was thought to project as a reliever because of his delivery and lack of secondary pitches. Before ever reaching full-season ball, however, Bedrosian had Tommy John surgery and missed all of 2011. He returned in 2012, where he was used as a starter with disastrous results.
A move to the bullpen in 2013 helped, as Bedrosian saw his strike out rate spike to almost twice what it had been as a starter. Effectiveness did not follow, however, as extra base runners led to an elevated ERA. His fastball command has been a question since his high school days, and the development of a new cutter that was not yet refined didn't help him throw strikes.
Something clicked in the Arizona Fall League, however, and Bedrosian has carried over a strong October into what has been a truly dominant 2014 season. Starting the year in High-A ball, Bedrosian struck out 15 of the 20 batters he faced, forcing a promotion in just five appearances. He came back down to Earth slightly upon a promotion to Double-A, but still managed to reside somewhere in the stratosphere, striking out 30 of the 65 batters he faced in 14 appearances for Arkansas. His control reached new levels of success in the minors this season and there was a direct correlation between his ability to throw strikes and miss bats.
It was enough to warrant a promotion to the major leagues, and in his first big league appearance, Bedrosian picked up right where he left off in the minors, tossing a scoreless inning with a strike out.
Bedrosian isn't going to strike out nearly the 17 batters per nine innings he was fanning in the minors, but he does have swing-and-miss stuff, especially now that he can command it. As a shorter pitcher, he'll need to work down in the zone to help create some downward plane and keep the ball in the ballpark, but he's made great strides in his ability to do so. The slider has come a long way and the cutter was a good addition to help him combat lefties. The big key, however, is his ability to command his 93-94 mph fastball, and as long as he can do that, he can pitch in late innings.
His opportunity to get saves will depend much more on the guys around him in the Angels bullpen, but the stuff is there to pitch in the ninth inning at some point should he get the opportunity. For now, Bedrosian will have to prove that he can maintain his progress against better competition and continue to throw quality strikes at the big league level.