After a year where the Milwaukee Brewers surprised by taking three big time high school players last June, the Brewers had another big finish to their draft on day one this year. First they selected a five-tools outfielder in Trent Clark and then they closed out the night by taking two high-upside college arms. With the 40th pick they took Nathan Kirby (who I wrote about earlier) and with the 55th pick of they took a Division II arm in Cody Ponce. Here is a look at Ponce’s tremendous potential.
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Not only does the 6’5”, 235 lbs Ponce come with great size, but he also comes with a big time fastball that can pump into the upper-90’s. Though he has never been drafted and played Division II ball, he had such a strong arm that he was even considered to have first round potential. Before the draft, MLB.com listed Ponce as the 32nd best player available so the Brewers were again able to select a player whom they not only had their eyes on, but was thought to be taken much earlier.
Here is video of Ponce from earlier in the season that shows his tremendous upside.
He has a power fastball, but is believed to still have work to do with his secondary pitches. If he can continue to build off of his cutter, he has all the makings of a top of the rotation arm. Although he played against a lower competition all year, Ponce still dominated keeping his ERA under two all year long and he proved well against better competition all summer long in the Cape.
While many may criticize Ponce for being a D-II pitcher, pitchers most recently like Jordan Zimmerman were D-III stars and been able to have very successful careers. The Brewers made great moves all night long for the second straight year and by taking Ponce, they have finished night one with a bang.