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2017 Prospect Year In Review: Kyle Cody

Two first names, one breakout season.

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Kyle Cody scouting report and 2017 year in review

[Hello, LSB. It’s your best friend, Coylio. With the regular season coming to a close for all of the Rangers’ Minor League affiliates I wanted to keep yall updated with how the kids fared in 2017. I’ll be posting these sporadically over the next couple-few weeks. I plan on being pretty casual with it; they’re not going to be in any particular order, I’ll be grouping some together, and I’ll be mixing in the more serious prospects along with guys who are just fun to read and write about, or ones whose seasons contained some intrigue. Today we’ll be having a look at the breakout 2017 season of pitcher Kyle Cody]

Since I’m sure much of LSB didn’t have a google alert on Kyle Cody from the time he was drafted, we can start this one from the beginning.

Cody was drafted thrice, in the 33rd round in 2012 by the Phillies after his senior year at McDonnel Central Catholic HS in Chippewa Falls, WI (mouthful), in the 2nd round by the Twins in 2015 (which fell through after the Twins didn’t like the look of his elbow in his post-draft physical), then finally by the Rangers in the 6th round last year after his senior year at the University of Kentucky, where he started 42 games across 4 years.

Upon being drafted last summer the Rangers sent the 21-year-old Kyle straight to Spokane, where he had a bit of a rough go of it across 12 games (9 starts), but he also flashed some decent stuff and struck out over 10 per 9. But overall, he eluded pretty much every Rangers’ prospect lists, Cody flying under the radar until 2017, viewed as possibly an interesting piece but not considered a particularly promising young arm.

He was sent to Hickory to start 2017, and actually had a rough first month and a half or so. But he started to find his groove around the start of June, and he kept getting better and better as the season went on. On June 17th, he started a game vs. the Lakewood Blueclaws and pitched a gem, allowing 2 baserunners across 8 innings while striking out 8. He went on a tear after that, allowing only 2 earned runs over his next 5 starts while striking out batters at a great clip and rocking a .143 BA against. He was named the Rangers’ Minor League Pitcher of the Month for July. Cody was healthy all year and pitched with consistency and was rewarded with a late-season callup Down East for a month with the Wood Ducks.

And he actually pitched even better the next level up, according to the numbers. He posted a 2.05 ERA in 5 starts with the Ducks, fanning 10.3 per 9 and limiting walks. He didn’t allow a home run at the A+ level, and only allowed 4 over 95 innings in Hickory. The Rangers let him eat, too, throwing at least 89 pitches in all 5 starts. It was just a great, snowballing type of season for Cody, who seemed to get better with the more attention he was garnering.

When you see Cody pitch the first thing that’s going to stand out is the size. At a Sadzeckian 6’7”, 245, he’s a fairly imposing figure, and he’s got an easy delivery that yields a ton of downward action. He throws a fastball that sits 92-95 and it stays at that level as he works deep into games. He also throws what looks to be a promising slider, and a change that’s showing improvement.

If I had to guess I think the Rangers see Cody as one of the only pitchers in the organization immune to their new, slower development process for pitchers. Cody profiles as a workhorse type. He works deep into games and pitches efficiently and he’s shown he can hold up to higher pitchcounts. He’s also an experienced 23-year-old, with 4 years in a good baseball conference and now a pair of pro-ball seasons where he’s compiled 35 starts. It wouldn’t surprise me if they keep his High-A career rather short and start him at Frisco in 2018.

I love guys like Cody. He doesn’t project to be a 1 or 2 or maybe even a 3, but he looks like he could be the best kind of BORP, one who isn’t gonna blow anyone away with his stuff but he could be a dependable innings-eater who throws strikes and works deep into games. He’s made a name for himself after his 2017 campaign and you’re definitely going to see him on some preseason rankings next year, I would guess slotting in somewhere around the top 10-13 on Rangers lists. It’s hard to believe, but if he continues to shove and things fall right (remember the lack of quality SP depth at the Rangers’ higher levels), he could debut with the big boys sometime in 2018.

Thanks for reading. Now I’m gonna post some Kyle Cody pictures and you guys can tell me if you think he has Matt Harrison Face.