A second-round pick out of Kentucky in 2015, Cody agreed to a $1 million bonus with the Twins, but the club nixed the deal because of elbow concerns that arose in his post-Draft physical. Cody returned for his senior season and signed with the Rangers in the sixth round for $150,000, then quickly emerged as one of the best starting pitching prospects in Texas' system before he was diagnosed with ligament damage in his elbow during Spring Training in 2018. He tried to rehab before undergoing Tommy John surgery that July and didn't take the mound again until he made his big league debut 25 months later, when he struck out all three Mariners he faced.
Cody sat at 96 mph with his fastball and 84 mph with his slider in his first game back, in line with the stuff he showed before having his elbow reconstructed. As a starter in the past, he showed the ability to carry a 93-96 mph heater deep into games and top out at 98, using his 6-foot-7 frame to create steep downhill plane. His slider operated at 82-85 mph, getting harder and sharper after he turned pro, and he dominated lower-level hitters with it.
Cody had displayed the upside of a No. 3 starter before he got hurt and Texas may try him again as a starter in the future. He had the makings of an average changeup and provided consistent strikes. But his delayed start and injury also meant that he didn't reach the Majors until he was 26, and he offers immediate value as a reliever with two big league pitches.
Scouting grades: Fastball: 60 | Slider: 60 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 50 | Overall: 40
A second-round pick by the Twins in 2015, Cody agreed to a $1 million bonus that fell through when a post-Draft physical raised concerns about his elbow. He returned to Kentucky for his senior season, signed with the Rangers for $150,000 as a sixth-rounder the following June and swiftly emerged as one of the most advanced pitching prospects in the system. He hurt his elbow last spring and tried to rehab it for two months before undergoing Tommy John surgery in July.
When healthy, Cody had a 93-96 mph that topped out at 98, maintaining his velocity into the late innings and using his 6-foot-7 frame to create steep downhill plane. His 82-85 mph slider had added power and bite after he turned pro and did a better job of staying on top of it. Texas had him dial back the use of his slider to work on commanding his fastball and improving his changeup.
Cody dominated down the stretch in 2017 and was on course to reach at least Double-A last year before he got hurt. He has a history of throwing strikes and had begun to demonstrate improved command and the possibility of becoming a No. 3 starter. Because has made only five starts above low Class A and will be 25 when he pitches in his next game, the Rangers could shift him to the bullpen.
Scouting grades: Fastball: 60 | Slider: 55 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 50 | Overall: 45
Cody was the best pitching prospect in Wisconsin in 2012, but slid to the Phillies in the 33rd round because he was set on attending Kentucky, where he blossomed into a second-rounder three years later. The Twins backed out of a $1 million deal because of elbow concerns that arose in his post-Draft physical, however, so he didn't turn pro until a year later as a sixth-rounder. After signing for $150,000, he emerged as the best advanced right-handed starting pitching prospect in the Rangers system until he injured his elbow this spring and had Tommy John surgery in July.
With his strong 6-foot-7 frame, Cody can maintain 93-96 mph fastballs deep into games and reach 98 with steep plane that generates swings and misses as well as groundouts. His 82-85 mph slider has gotten sharper and harder in pro ball as he has done a better job of staying on top of it. He overmatched lower-level hitters with it so easily that the Rangers limited his use of it early last year so he could focus on commanding his fastball and refining his changeup.
After Texas let Cody use his slider more often, he went 7-0 with a 1.33 ERA and 93 strikeouts in 74 1/3 innings over his final 12 starts of 2017. Unlike many tall pitchers, Cody has a history of throwing strikes. If he can continue to command his pitches like he did at the end of last season, he could be a No. 3 starter.
Scouting grades: Fastball: 60 | Slider: 50 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 50 | Overall: 45
Cody started the Cape Cod League All-Star Game in 2014 before going in the second round a year later to the Twins, who scuttled a $1 million deal when they didn't like how his elbow looked in a post-Draft physical. He returned to Kentucky for his senior year and signed with the Rangers for $150,000 as a sixth-rounder in 2016. He has remained healthy and quickly emerged as one of the best starting pitching prospects in the organization.
Cody maintains a 92-95 mph fastball deep into game and throughout a season, and he has climbed as high as 98. He generates his velocity with little effort and his 6-foot-7 frame creates difficult angle and plane. His low-80s slider can be a solid pitch at times, and his feel for his changeup continues to improve as he uses it more often in pro ball.
It all comes down to consistency for Cody, who has the makings of a workhorse starter in the middle of a big league rotation. When he commands his fastball and both of his secondary pitches are working, he can look even better than that.
Scouting grades: Fastball: 65 | Slider: 50 | Changeup: 45 | Control: 50 | Overall: 45
Cody started the Cape Cod League all-star game in 2014, highlighting a summer in which he positioned himself as a likely first-round candidate for the 2015 Draft. He struggled early that spring before rallying late in the season and going in the second round to the Twins. Negotiations broke down over concerns about his elbow, so he returned to Kentucky for his senior season, during which he started slowly but finished strong once again.
Cody's stuff has looked pretty much the same as it did a year ago. He has one of the better fastballs among college starters, working at 92-95 mph and hitting 98. He generates easy velocity with a 6-foot-7, 245-pound frame that also creates difficult angle and plane on his pitches.
His slurvy breaking ball has been a little less sharp this spring, though Cody shows a solid low-80s slider when he stays on top of the pitch. He rarely employs his changeup but has shown some decent feel for it in the past. He throws enough strikes and has a ceiling of a workhorse starter, though some scouts think his inconsistent command means he'll have more success as a high-leverage reliever.
Scouting grades: Fastball: 65 | Slider: 55 | Changeup: 45 | Control: 50 | Overall: 50
As a huge right-hander who didn't experience much success in his first two years at Kentucky yet has a chance to become a first-round choice following his third, Cody is following Alex Meyer's career path. But while Meyer significantly improved his slider and command as a junior, Cody struggled for much of this spring before getting back on track in mid-May.
A Wisconsin high school product drafted in the 33rd round by the Phillies in 2012, Cody had the highest radar-gun reading (97 mph) at the 2014 Cape Cod League All-Star game. His 6-foot-7, 245-pound frame allows him to generate velocity with little effort and maintain it deep into games. He usually works at 93-96 mph and uses his height to throw on a tough downhill plane.
Cody has continued to impress with his velocity in 2015, but his lack of command has led to his fastball getting hit more than it should. He'll show flashes of improvement with his low-80s slider and some feel for his mid-80s changeup, but both secondary pitches remain inconsistent. He'll profile as a workhorse starter if everything comes together, and if not, his fastball could approach triple digits if he's used as a reliever.