It’s that time of year for everyone to re-do their organization’s top prospects list. Here at Reviewing The Brew, we’re going to rank our top 15 Milwaukee Brewers prospects.
Kicking off our Milwaukee Brewers Top 15 Prospects list is right handed pitcher Cody Ponce, coming in at #15.
Ponce, a 2015 second round pick, was left off the Brewers 40 man roster this offseason despite his eligibility for the Rule 5 Draft. Luckily for the Crew, he was not selected and remains in the organization.
#15 Cody Ponce
Ponce is 6’6″, 240 lbs, which gives him a large frame to pitch from with a lot of moving parts. But he’s figured out his delivery and is an intimidating presence.
He had a strong 2017, where he finished with a 3.14 ERA in 25 starts. But in 2018 in Double-A, his stats regressed a little bit. He finished with a 4.36 ERA in 29 games covering only 95 innings.
Ponce has a four pitch arsenal, including a fastball in the low 90s, a cutter, a curveball, and a changeup. His cutter is the best of his secondary pitches and grades out as a 55 on the 20-80 scouting scale, meaning it’s above average.
As long as Ponce can continue to refine his command, he has a bright future ahead of him. He’s got the ideal size for a starting pitcher and has a full complement of pitches.
When Could We See Ponce In Milwaukee?
Now 24, Ponce should see time in Triple-A this season and if that goes well, he could end up in Milwaukee’s bullpen by the year’s end. He’s still a starting pitcher in the long run, but if he were to make the 2019 Brewers roster at any point, it would likely be as a reliever.
If all goes well in 2019, Ponce could be trying to push for a big league rotation spot in 2020. There may or may not be an opening for him as the Brewers have a lot of starting pitching depth. But with a strong season, he could turn himself into a trade candidate if he can’t wiggle his way into Milwaukee’s plans. He didn’t have enough upfront value for a team to select him in the Rule 5 Draft in December, but with another year of development to go, he could turn into a more highly valued prospect.
While Ponce has a ceiling of a mid-rotation starter, he’s had an up and down minor league career. In 2015, he had a 2.29 ERA. He followed that in 2016 with a 5.25 ERA. Then in 2017, he posted a 3.14 ERA, which was followed by a 4.36 ERA in 2018. He has yet to put together back to back quality seasons, which is why he isn’t higher on this list.
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This is a key year for Ponce’s development. If he gets back to his successful ways in Triple-A, Ponce will end up seeing time in the big leagues this year. If he doesn’t, and he struggles in the high minors, he could effectively remove himself from the Milwaukee Brewers future plans.