Not a lot of players get drafted three times. However, in the days of signing bonuses and college eligibility loopholes, it does happen. Kyle Cody‘s situation is pretty cut and dry. Decided to go to college, didn’t sign after being drafted and then was drafted a third and final time after his Senior season.
Cody stands tall at 6-foot-7, 245 pounds. For comparison sake (everybody loves those!), Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda is 6-foot-7, 260 pounds and Cardinals All-Star Adam Wainwright comes in at 6-foot-7, 235 pounds.
Drafted out of his hometown Chippewa Falls’ Wisconsin’s McDonnell Central Catholic High School in 2012 by the Philadelphia Phillies, Cody was a 33rd round pick and decided to pitch for the Kentucky Wildcats. In 2015, he was selected in the second round by the Minnesota Twins but a late snag in negotiations (see below) broke down talks. This past summer the Texas Rangers made him 189th overall pick, selecting him in the 6th round of the 2016 MLB Draft.
I asked the burly right-hander about the draft process, things he learned at Kentucky the first and second time around, the debut behind him, the off-season ahead and what it’s like to have two first names.
What went into you electing to play College ball and then to return?
“Obviously it’s a great honor to be drafted but high school kind of allowed me to get a feel for the draft and understand what it was all about and know what to expect when my Junior year came around. When my Junior year hit, the Twins drafted me. At the beginning everything felt good but then I experienced a little setback. They said they saw something in my shoulder. That kind of just collapsed the whole conversation with them. I ended up going back to school which helped me in the long run. I ended up with a good organization in the Rangers and I’m very happy with it.”
What was the experience like the second time around?
“I think I grew up a lot my Senior year, I was put into more of a leadership role. I was in a bigger spot, I pitched on Sundays, it was pretty important because most of the time our Sunday game was our biggest game because it was to win the series. I feel like I grew being able to be in more pressure situations and knowing what to expect out of those.”
What was it like to be a part of a Playoff team in your first Minor League season?
“It was really cool being able to participate in the playoffs. It was definitely a more intense environment. Everyone wanted to win a lot more. Pressure was up, it just makes it more fun to go out there and compete with your teammates and try and get a ring. Obviously we didn’t get there but it was a good learning experience moving forward.”
Biggest adjustments from college to pro ball?
“The biggest thing for me was being able to pitch inside. In college with the metal bat it’s a little different pitching inside because they can still get inside the ball a little better with the sweet spot. With the wood bats you gotta be able to pitch inside and that was very effective for me this summer. Where I struggled was when I try to get inside I wouldn’t always throw it in there, I would kind of miss middle a bit too much and I think that’s where hits came into play. I just gotta keep working on getting inside and mixing in my changeup more.”
“I’ve been working out four times a week. I’m not gonna start throwing again until November. I took a few weeks off after the season just to catch my breath and get my legs under me, relax a little bit. Now I’m getting back into working out, trying to get a little bit stronger and maintain my weight.”
Goals for next season?
“I’m not really worried about stats. For where I want to play, I think that’s determined by how ready I come into Spring Training. If I come in ready, if I come in showing my abilities and showing all my talents, ready to work with all the coaches and staff to get better I think I’ll be happy wherever I go. I’ll be happy wherever I go as long as I come in ready.”
Did you grow up a Brewers fan?
But you’re a Rangers fan now, right?
“Oh, yeah!” *laughs* “I’m a fan of the Rangers now for sure. they gave me a chance. It’s been a little different now, I don’t really watch the Brewers much anymore, I stick to watching the Rangers. They tend to win a little more so it’s more fun anyways.”
You have two first names, does anyone poke fun at that?
*laughs* “Yeah, actually I do. They always say “the man with two first names.” They compare me to Ricky Bobby (Will Ferrell’s character from the movie Talladega Nights). I could really care less. It’s all in good fun and it’s good to laugh about.”