Cody Deason (middle) went from playing catcher to pitching midway through his junior season. The change paid off — now he’s one of the country’s hottest prospects. (Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown)
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley New sports editor
Nordhoff Ranger power-pitcher Cody Deason has been busy collecting college scholarship offers this summer, and more are on the way. After being named the Tri-Valley League Pitcher of the Year as a junior, Deason was recently named to the Milwaukee Brewers’ Area Code baseball squad.
Deason and his Brewer teammates are in Long Beach this weekend taking on some of the country’s best high school baseball players. In order to make the team, Deason was required to try out and being named to the team is a monumental accomplishment in itself. He said, “There were about 450 players at the tryouts and we only have 28 roster spots, so I was pretty excited to make the team.”
The Milwaukee Brewer team is made up of Southern California players and there are seven other major league baseball-sponsored teams that are comprised of players from other parts of the United States.
The teams are: Chicago White Sox (Midwest players), Cincinnati Reds (Pacific Northwest players), New York Yankees (Northeast players), Oakland Athletics (Northern California players), Texas Rangers (Texas and Louisiana players) and the Washington Nationals (Southeast and Virginia players).
Deason is one of 14 pitchers on the Brewers’ staff, which is done to limit the number of pitchers they will have to throw during the offseason. “I expect to come out of the bull pen and because we have so many pitchers, we’ll probably only throw two innings at a time,” he said.
As a junior for the Rangers, Deason recorded a 5-2 record with a 2.98 ERA. In 47 innings pitched, he gave up just 31 hits while striking out 56 batters. Deason’s 94 mile-per-hour fast ball has college coaches and professional scouts drooling over his talents. So far Deason has a full-ride scholarship offer from the University of Nevada-Reno as well as partial offers from the University of Oregon and UC Santa Barbara. “I am supposed to be hearing from a bunch of other schools with offers soon,” he added.
Deason may have a difficult decision ahead if he can continue to climb the 2015 MLB draft boards and right now, that is his goal. “I want to continue getting better and improve my fast ball. I am looking to go in the draft and hopefully in the first two rounds,” he said.
With so much riding on baseball, NHS fans will not be seeing Deason on the gridiron this fall. He said, “I am done with football. I am just going to focus on baseball now. Last season Deason was a key member of the NHS team and finished his season with 21 tackles and a quarterback sack.
As for Area Code Baseball, he is having a blast playing for the Brewers. “It is really something and I’m having a great time. Yesterday we got tons of New Balance gear, it was just like Christmas,” he said.
In his first game, Deason helped the Brewers to a 5-4 victory over the Texas Rangers Monday night. He threw one inning and struck out two Texas batters.
© Ojai Valley News, 2014