College Baseball Countdown: 84 Days to Go- Kyle Cody

Photo by UK Athletics

Photo by UK Athletics

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Publicly, Kentucky head coach Gary Henderson probably gives a measured, laid-back answer to any questions about his thoughts on starting pitcher Kyle Cody deciding against signing with the Minnesota Twins as the team’s compensation round B draft pick and instead returning to Lexington for another season.

Privately, though, I’m betting Henderson had a happy dance on call and ready to go when he learned of Cody’s decision. And if he didn’t, perhaps he should have.

Cody returning is a big deal.

The guy is most definitely a potential ace, and we saw some flashes of that potential during the 2015 season, even as he was just never quite able to maintain the consistency needed to be a true front-line starter in the SEC.

He finished the season with a 4.91 ERA and ended up allowing 27 extra-base hits, including 9 home runs, in 66 innings of work. Those aren’t stats to write home about, but on the other hand, he struck out 63 and walked just 17 in those innings, and those are the stats that are indicative of his true potential. On top of it, of course, he has outstanding raw stuff, hence being selected as high as he was despite an up-and-down season.

What makes Cody’s return even better for the Wildcats is that it means that their entire rotation from last season will be back on campus.

Dustin Beggs, who was drafted in the 32nd round by the Mets this past summer, has also chosen to return for his senior season. Certainly, his choice to spurn pro ball for another year (after having also done so as a 17th-round pick out of high school) is worth celebrating in the Bluegrass State. Last year, he was 7-4 with a 3.65 ERA, all the while leading the team in innings pitched with 93.2. Also back is Zack Brown, who was 6-6 with a 3.48 ERA as a sophomore in 2015.

Together, they have to be considered one of the top starting rotations in the SEC heading into 2016, and that alone could be reason enough to consider them something of a dark horse contender in the conference next season.

About the Author

Joseph Healy
Growing up in Houston, Joe Healy was introduced to college baseball at a young age, and it was love at first sight. Like most good love stories, that love has only grown throughout the years. When he's not at the ballpark, he enjoys tacos, college football during the fall, and the spectacle that is American politics. He holds a B.A. in political science from Sam Houston State University and a Master's in Public Administration from Southern Illinois University- Edwardsville.