Five Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects That Could Make Their MLB Debut In 2020
By Marty Leap
Pitcher Cody Ponce
Leading up the the trading deadline this past July the Pittsburgh Pirates traded starting pitcher Jordan Lyles to the Milwaukee Brewers. In return, the team received pitching prospect Cody Ponce.
When the Pirates acquired Ponce he was at the Double-A level. After allowing 4 runs on a home run, a walk, three hits, and six strikeouts in 6 innings of work for the Altoona Curve, Ponce was promoted to Triple-A Indianapolis.
In his first taste of Triple-A ball, Ponce posted a 5.30 ERA and a 5.39 FIP in 18 2/3 innings of work. Ponce posted a 8.5% walk rate and a 24.4% strikeout rate in these 18 2/3 innings of work. Most interestingly, these 18 2/3 innings came across four starts. The team appears to be stretching Ponce out as either a starting pitcher or a long reliever.
Like Cederlind, Ponce is pitching in the AFL this offseason. In four starts this AFL season Ponce has posted a 2.50 ERA in 18 innings of work. He’s allowed 20 hits, two home runs, three walks, and he has struck out 19. These numbers indicate that of a pitcher that is turning a corner in their development.
It would be a surprise if Ponce does not earn an opportunity with the Pirates at some point in 2020. Rather it be as a starter, a reliever or both, Ponce should get an opportunity this upcoming season.