Cody Ponce

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Cody Joe Ponce

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Biographical Information[edit]

Pitcher Cody Ponce played for Team USA before making his major league debut in 2020.

Ponce had a 3.09 ERA as a high school senior. [1] He was 5-2 with 6 saves and a 2.23 ERA as a freshman in college, tying the school record for saves; he did not allow a homer in 48 1/3 innings and walked only eight. [2] He was second to A.J. Quintero for saves in the California Collegiate Athletic Association. He was 4-5 with a 3.36 ERA as a sophomore, now mostly used as a starter. In the Cape Cod League, he was 4-1 with a 2.82 ERA for the Brewster Whitecaps. He tied for 3rd in the loop in wins. [3] Baseball America rated him as the league's #3 prospect, behind Walker Buehler and Kyle Cody. [4] He

As a junior, he was 5-3 with a save and a 1.44 ERA, striking out 67 in 62 1/3 innings and not allowing a home run. Had he worked 2/3 more innings, he would have qualified for the CCAA ERA lead and his mark would have paced the circuit. [5] The Milwaukee Brewers took him in the second round of the 2015 amateur draft. The scout was Josh Belovsky. [6]

He split the summer between the Helena Brewers (2 R in 5 IP) and Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (2-1, 3 Sv, 2.15). Baseball America rated him Milwaukee's #9 prospect entering 2016. [7] He missed part of the summer with forearm inflammation and had a rough year at 2-8, 5.25 for the Brevard County Manatees.

In 2017, he was with the Biloxi Shuckers (2-1, 1.53 in 3 G) and Carolina Mudcats (8-8, 3.38), walking only 30 in 137 2/3 innings. He was second in the Carolina League in ERA (behind Brock Hartson). Among Milwaukee minor leaguers, he was 4th in ERA and tied Taylor Jungmann for 2nd in wins. He spent all of 2018 with Biloxi, going 7-6 with a 4.36 ERA.

Ponce began 2019 with Biloxi (1-3, Sv, 3.29, 44 K in 38 1/3 IP), moving back to relief. He was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Jordan Lyles and pitched for the Altoona Curve (Sv, 4 R in 6 IP) and Indianapolis Indians (1-3, 5.30) in the Pirates system. They sent him to the Peoria Javelinas of the Arizona Fall League and went 2-1 with a 2.35 ERA. He was then picked for the US squad for the 2019 Premier 12. Starting their opener, he shut down the Dutch national team on two hits (by Hendrik Clementina and Sharlon Schoop) in five shutout innings to beat Rob Cordemans, who was playing in the Olympics when Ponce was a year old. Noah Song relieved him. [8]

He made it to the Pirates in 2020 thanks to expanded rosters during the COVID-19 pandemic. In his debut on August 2nd, he was the 9th pitcher used in a 2-1, 11-inning loss to the Chicago Cubs. Relieving Sam Howard in the 11th, he retired Anthony Rizzo. Javier Báez then singled in David Bote, who had started the inning on second base as the additional runner under the new extra-inning rules.


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