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July 30, 2014

Scouting the Draft

The Cape League All-Star Game

by Al Skorupa


This year’s Cape League All Star Game was interesting from both a scouting and talking point perspective. The league and managers did a great job picking the best prospects, which hasn’t always been the case in previous years. The biggest name that scouts were excited to see was Kentucky’s Kyle Cody. Cody has been brilliant for Wareham and seems to be the consensus best arm on the Cape this summer. He showed some overpowering mid-90s heat on Sunday night.

It’s another Cody who is probably the biggest helium guy on the Cape this year: Cody Ponce. The big righty from Cal Poly Pomona has been a revelation. There are always pop-up guys on the Cape, but Ponce was a bit of a surprise to even ardent college baseball followers. He wasn’t a highly regarded recruit. He wasn’t even the top arm on his high school team and he played JV as a junior. As a freshman in college he was largely used out of the bullpen. He saw only 48 innings that year and he didn’t even start the 2014 season in the weekend rotation for the Broncos. Even making 11 starts this spring, Ponce didn’t post eye-popping strikeout numbers (49 Ks in 71.1 IP). Nor did he generate a tremendous amount of buzz. That has all changed this summer.

Ponce is an imposing figure at 6-foot-6 and 240 lbs. The first thing you notice is that he’s much more athletic than most pitchers that size. Most evoke adjectives like “lumbering,” “uncoordinated” and the occasional “big stiff” on scouting reports. That’s not Ponce, who moves very well. Ponce does a fairly good job repeating his easy, balanced delivery. His velo comes easy and he doesn’t need to exert a lot of effort. With his size, back hip load, front shoulder tilt and high three-quarters arm slot Ponce always pitches with great downhill plane. Hitters have a devil of a time elevating his pitches.

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<< Previous Article
Eyewitness Accounts: J... (07/30)
<< Previous Column
Scouting the Draft: 20... (06/11)
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Next Article >>
The Lineup Card: Nine ... (07/30)

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