Kentucky righty, who stands 6-foot-7, joins Illinois lefty Jay on Day 1
By Rhett Bollinger
MINNEAPOLIS -- With the No. 73 overall pick in the 2015 First-Year Player Draft on Monday, the Twins went with another college pitcher, as they drafted right-hander Kyle Cody from the University of Kentucky.
It marked the second straight college pitcher taken by the Twins, who selected University of Illinois left-hander Tyler Jay with the No. 6 overall pick. Both are Midwesterners, as Jay is from Lemont, Ill., while Cody is from Chippewa Falls, Wis.
The Draft continues on Tuesday with Rounds 3-10. The MLB.com preview show begins at 12:30 p.m. ET, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 3-10 beginning at 1 p.m. ET.
Cody, ranked as the No. 40 overall Draft prospect by MLBPipeline.com, is a hard-throwing 6-foot-7, 245-pounder. The 20-year-old posted a 4.91 ERA with 63 strikeouts and 17 walks in 66 innings this season as a junior, making 12 starts and two relief appearances.
"He's huge," Twins scouting director Deron Johnson said. "He's got a really big fastball. He runs it up to 96-97 [mph]. He is a starter. He had some struggles early in the year but started coming on late. He's got a slider and a decent feel for a changeup. But his best pitch is his hard, sinking fastball."
With his large stature, Cody is able to maintain his velocity, but has had trouble with his command, which has drawn comparisons to another hard thrower from the University of Kentucky, top Twins prospect Alex Meyer. Cody had a career 4.39 ERA with 130 strikeouts and 50 walks in 162 innings in three seasons at Kentucky. But Johnson said Cody reminds him more of Twins right-hander Mike Pelfrey than Meyer.
"His walk numbers aren't bad," Johnson said. "His overall stats weren't great, but I think that was because of just a couple starts. I saw him in Santa Barbara and he struggled, but he pitched really good down the stretch."
Cody joins three former University of Kentucky pitchers in Minnesota's organization in Taylor Rogers, Logan Darnell and Meyer. He also fits the mold of recent picks by the Twins, as they've gone with hard throwers the past few years, especially in 2014, when they took college relievers Nick Burdi, Jake Reed and Michael Cederoth.
"We've been kind of been trending toward power arms," Johnson said. "It's a philosophy we've gone to the last few years. A lot of our scouts are scouting that way as well."
Cody was taken in the Competitive Balance B round, and the Twins have $839,700 to spend on the pick. Like Jay, the Twins don't foresee any issues signing Cody. It's the second time Cody has been drafted, as he was taken in the 33rd round by the Phillies in 2012, but didn't sign.