Let’s take a look at some of the less talked about prospects in the Milwaukee Brewers farm system. First up, we have a righty from California named Cody Ponce.
The Milwaukee Brewers used the 55th pick of the 2015 MLB draft to select Cody Ponce out of Cal Poly Pomona. At that time, he stood 6’5″ and weighing 230 plus pounds. Ponce already looked like a beast of a man when he took the hill. Expectations were high for him coming out of the draft, so far he has not disappointed.
Since being drafted Ponce has grown an inch in addition to bulking up into the 260’s. Now he looks even more intimidating on the mound. According to MLB.com, Ponce throws three average or better pitches (fastball, cutter, and curveball) while also having one slightly below average pitch (changeup).
With his four pitch repertoire, if he can master his changeup, he could be a very nice piece to a big league rotation in the future. Having the cutter will help him against lefties. The curveball will keep hitters off balance. This shows the foundation is definitely there. Although he still has a way to go before getting there, he should enjoy a good Major League career.
His stature on the mound can elicit visions of Jimmy Nelson. But make no mistake, Cody Ponce is no Jimmy Nelson. If he can keep the ball down consistently though, he could be very effective. His changeup will make or break his career, in my opinion. If he masters that pitch, and refines the other three, he will be a player to watch out for.
He is in his third year with the Milwaukee Brewers organization. Still just 23 years old, there is plenty of time for Ponce to figure things out. This season, playing for the Carolina Mudcats in advanced A ball, Ponce is 7-6 with a 3.42 ERA and 79 strikeouts with only 20 walks. Very solid numbers across the board.
With his size, and natural ability, Ponce should be a middle of the rotation type pitcher at worst. That being said, an approach similar to what the Milwaukee Brewers have taken with Josh Hader this season, should not be a surprise.
A role in the bullpen isn’t always a bad thing either. Look at what Milwaukee was able to acquire after trading former top starting pitching prospect, tunred star closer, Tyler Thornburg this winter; Travis Shaw and a slew of good prospects.
Cody Ponce is a name to keep an eye out for. Due to the quality of talent right now in Milwaukee’s farm system, he should have a chance to grow. The Brewers haven’t produced a lot of homegrown starting pitchers in recent years. Here’s to hoping Cody Ponce can be like Jimmy Nelson and Yovani Gallardo, and buck that trend.