I was a little bit perplexed on what to name this article. I didn’t want to call it the return of Cole Roederer because he’s been back from Tommy John surgery for over a year now.

Cole’s career has always been one promise and projection while waiting for everything to finally click in. It looks like we’re getting pretty close to him putting it all together this summer in Tennessee as Cole is getting that chance to play every day.

When Mr. Cole Roederer was drafted in 2018, it was a bit of a surprise that the Cubs took two high school players back-to-back. The other player was Brennen Davis and so the two will be inextricably linked for all of time. Both of them have had their ups and downs with injuries, but this summer Cole is showing glimpses of the player the Cubs thought they had drafted back in 2018.

Cole debuted in the Arizona Summer League in 2018. He showed a lot of promise hitting .275 with five home runs and 24 RBIs in 36 games. When he arrived in South Bend, the next spring, it was a surprise as many thought that he would go to Eugene as the next logical step in his development. The Cubs felt secure in sending him to South Bend, which at that time was low A.

Cole struggled for most of 2019. He would flash power from time to time but he struggled to consistently maintain a high level of performance for a month at a time. He lost weight as he struggled with just the grind of a 140 game season. Still, he persevered. He caught the final out in the championship game against Clinton to win the Midwest League Championship as Cole had an OBP over .400 in the 7 games of the playoffs.

Then the pandemic came. 

Many of us in the blogging community thought that Cole was going to be assigned to the alternate site in South Bend that summer to help with his development as one of the top prospects in the system. Unfortunately, that did not happen. So we had to sit and wait for next year. He and his dad built a batting cage back in California and he kept active with that and lifting weights.

When baseball resumed in 2021, Cole was back in South Bend, now High-A, but his season only lasted a couple of weeks before it was announced he was undergoing Tommy John surgery. He would miss the rest of that season. Usually, Tommy John does not happen to a lot of position guys. But it does happen and it can have a career altering affect,  

Cole’s return to baseball was a little strange. He went to Myrtle Beach first in early 2022 and killed it hitting over .400. Then he returned to South Bend for a short stint before eventually ending up at Tennessee. He did not play every day in 2022. In fact, he only played 53 games in Double-A. He hit .243 with eight home runs and 30 RBI.

In 2023, Cole has showed up on opening day along with a lot of other outfielders in Tennessee and he flashed his potential at times. He made the North Side Bound All-Star team in May but struggled in June and has bounced back in a big way here in July.

When you look at Cole’s monthly splits throughout his career, you will see that it’s very uneven from month to month. He will go from hitting in the .270s down to the .220s, but the power and RBI are usually there every month. What we are seeing in July that began in June is that he is walking a lot more and being more judicious as to which pitches he takes a swing at. He walked 8 times in June and then 8 again in July, but just in the first 8 games! Our little Cole Roederer is growing up. 

It’s still easy for me to dream on Cole Roederer just because of how he swings the baseball bat. It’s still a thing of beauty When he connects, it’s just one of those things that make you smile.

The promise of Cole is still there and I am still believing that he can get it done. What’s going to have to happen is that he’s going to need to get it done every month. 

Here is what MLB Pipeline said of his talent and potential way back in 2019.

Roederer has the raw tools to hit .280-.300 with 20-25 homers per season if he can adapt his approach. He has a quick, smooth left-handed swing that produces impressive exit velocities and he isn’t afraid to work deep counts.

That approach is starting to take effect, and hopefully it sticks. And if it does, I, for one, am going to be very excited to put his name down for the July All-Star team as well as the August All-Star team and so on and so on….