Cody Kukuk

WenZink

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Apr 23, 2010
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Born: April 10, 1993 (21)
Height: 6-4 Weight: 200+

Throws Left
Drafted in the 7th round 2011, and signed out of Lawrence FS KS high school with a bonus of $800,000
 
 
Surprised to see that there's no thread for this kid.  He's been in the system since 2011 and even has a DUI arrest (charges dropped.)  He's making his first start at Salem today and is a high-ceiling young lefty, with control/character issues and we could be ignoring the next Bo Belinsky.
 
Kukuk wasn't signed until mid-August of his draft year, and then, the following spring was suspended from baseball activities after a DUI arrest in Ft. Myers in May 2012.  (Charges dropped because of lack of probable cause for being stopped)  So he lost out on almost a year of early development.
 
Kukuk is however a high-ceiling prospect with a fastball with movement, that sits in the low-90s and touching 94/95.  He has slider-in-progress that is slightly sloppy but has fooled a lot of 19/20 year-olds.  And has worked successfully on a change-up.  He's been hard to hit, so far, by batters in the GCL and Low A.  His K/9 rate has always been over 9.  His problem has been control; last year, in 24 starts at Greenville his BB/9 was 6.8, but in 24 IP at the same level, this year, he lowered his BB/9 to 4.5 and that earned him his promotion to Salem.
 
He's described as having an "easy delivery," and youtube clips confirm this; the type of pitcher who looks like he's making a lazy warm up toss until the ball comes in at 93.  The DUI arrest may have been the proverbial blessing-in-disguise for a 19 year old kid who thought he knew it all (and had $800 grand in the bank).  Although less of a certainty, he may have the highest ceiling of any Sox pitching prospect at A+ or above (even Owens), although the thing to watch is if he can get his BB/9 to 4.0 or lower.
 

WenZink

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Apr 23, 2010
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Well, at the very least, following Cody-K should be fun.
 
Kukuk's Salem A+ debut tonight vs Lynchburg: 4 IP, 2 H, 2 R 2 ER, 4 BB, 4 K and 4 WP plus 1 HBP.  Both hits were singles (opp batters went 2/15).  No pitch count/breakdown given.  Also 2 stolen bases off him.  May have to bring in Crash Davis to catch him, but no reports of hitting the Lynchburg mascot.
 
I'm assuming he was more amped up than usual.  Look forward to his next start when he's settled in.
 
And regarding a nickname, too bad Nuke LaLoosh is taken.
 

WenZink

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Apr 23, 2010
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Plympton91 said:
Nuke LaKukuk?
 
Better than my version which was Kuke LaLoosh.  Of course I just realized Nuke was a righty in Bull Durham, although he should have been a lefty.  But this kid definitely deserves a nickname.  He's hard to hit, hard to catch, and, at times, hard to watch.  My kind of prospect.
 

WenZink

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Cody Kukuk's start 5/8 vs the Carolina Mudcats @ Salem (Salem wins 18-2)
 
Cody earns his first win in High A ball: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R 1 ER, 5 BB, 3 K and 2 WP.
 
- compared to his first start he allowed no stolen bases, although it may be due to his catcher (Hernandez) getting used to his slider in the dirt.
- 5 walks in 5 innings, brings his total for 2 games with Salem to 9/9, which obviously needs some work.
- On the plus side, all but two of the 15 outs he recorded came on ground balls and K's.  He was able to induce 3 GIDPs  over 5 innings.
- He left the game with a 16-1 lead, and did sit a long time between innings.  4 of the 5 walks allowed came in the last 2 innings he pitched.
- In 9 total innings of work, Cody has only allowed 5 hits, all singles.
 
Weirdest inning:
Carolina Top of the 4th



  • Jeremy Lucas walks.
  • Anthony Gallas walks. Jeremy Lucas to 2nd.
  • Jerrud Sabourin walks. Jeremy Lucas to 3rd. Anthony Gallas to 2nd.
  • Alex Monsalve grounds into a double play, third baseman Jonathan Roof to second baseman Reed Gragnani to first baseman Tim Roberson. Jeremy Lucas scores. Anthony Gallas to 3rd. Jerrud Sabourin out at 2nd.
  • James Roberts flies out to center fielder Matty Johnson.
 

WenZink

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Apr 23, 2010
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Evan Brunell in a puff piece about high-ceiling Sox prospects includes our boy, Cody Kukuk: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2045832-boston-red-sox-prospects-who-have-the-highest-ceiling/page/5
 
I get a kick about Brunell's concluding sentence "Just 21, the raw stuff is there for the 6'4" starter to supplant Jon Lester as the best Red Sox left-hander of all time, but it will take a while for Kukuk to reach that potential."  Yeah, sure,  So I guess that's why the Sox are playing hardball with Lester.  They have his clone down in A ball!?
 

WenZink

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Lose Remerswaal said:
Good stuff.  Are you somewhere you are able to see him so you know about the slider in the dirt, etc?
 
I've listened to some of the radio play-by-play over his last two starts.  In his 1st start at least two of the SB's were on sliders in the dirt, I believe (play-by-play announcer not entirely reliable.) That and some scouting reports from his time in Greenville.  They're having him work on his changeup so that he'll have something else to throw besides fastball/slider.  He seems to be the kind of pitcher that doesn't give in when behind in the count.  He pitches from the stretch a lot, considering he walks so many, but he hasn't given up a hit with men on base in his two starts in Salem (7.2 IP).
 
I'm driving down to DC this summer and am tempted to make the trek out to Salem to see him.  Kukuk reminds me of the typical prospect from when I was a kid, before there was such a proliferation of college programs and thus more young, raw pitchers came right of High School.  And the really wild kids were usually left-handed.
 

Plympton91

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Salem is in Northern VA against the Potomac Nats for 9 games between May 30 and mid August, so if you plan it right you may not have to go all the way to Salem. Frederick, MD is also in the league and a much easier drive.
 

WenZink

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Apr 23, 2010
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Cody Kukuk's start 5/13 @ Wilmington (Wilmington wins 4-1)
 
Step back for Kukuk tonight. 2.2  IP, 3 H, 3 R 1 ER, 3 BB, 3 K and 1 WP. 65 P/35 strikes.
 
- Kukuk cruised through the first 2 innings, ahead in the count on all 8 batters he faced, with 2 soft hits allowed, and no walks.
- Walked #9 hitter to lead off the 3rd, runner stole 2nd, CF Aneury "The Butcher" Taverez) misplayed fly ball into 3 base error (his second in 2 innings) And then the wheels fell off: WP, BB, BB, H
- Kukok taken out when his pitch count in 3rd inning reached 34.
- According to play by play, WP was on slider and during his 3rd inning wildness, missed high and outside (arm side) to RH; umpire calling tight zone.
- Usual story of young pitchers cruising until adversity hits and then blowing up. If a kid can learn to deal with all the crappy conditions in A ball, he has a future.
- Learned that the Wilmington Blue Rocks mascot is Mr. Celery, which makes no frigging sense. http://minorleaguedugout.com/mrcelery.php
 


This start's featured inning: Wilmington Bottom of the 3rd

  • Terrance Gore walks.
  • With Raul Mondesi batting, Terrance Gore steals (11) 2nd base.
  • Raul Mondesi reaches on a fielding error by center fielder Aneury Tavarez. Terrance Gore scores. Raul Mondesi to 3rd.
  • With Bubba Starling batting, wild pitch by Cody Kukuk, Raul Mondesi scores.
  • Bubba Starling walks.
  • Hunter Dozier walks. Bubba Starling to 2nd.
  • Zane Evans flies out to left fielder Kevin Heller.
  • Johermyn Chavez pops out to second baseman Dreily Guerrero on the infield fly rule.
  • Jack Lopez singles on a line drive to right fielder Matty Johnson. Bubba Starling scores. Hunter Dozier to 3rd.
  • Pitching Change: Madison Younginer replaces Cody Kukuk.
  • With Cam Gallagher batting, Jack Lopez steals (7) 2nd base.
  • Cam Gallagher flies out to right fielder Matty Johnson.
 

mwonow

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Raul Mondesi - wow, there's a blast from the past! Wikipedia says this guy is one of two sons of the "real" Raul (both of whom also appear to be named Raul) playing in mlb now
 

WenZink

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Apr 23, 2010
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mwonow said:
Raul Mondesi - wow, there's a blast from the past! Wikipedia says this guy is one of two sons of the "real" Raul (both of whom also appear to be named Raul) playing in mlb now
The Raul Mondesi Jr - the younger, is the player in the above inning summary.  He's already playing in High-A and won't be 19 until this July.  He must be a slick fielder, because his OPS in Low A, last year, was only .651, so I have no other idea of why else they'd promote him at such a young age.
 

WenZink

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Cody Kukuk's start 5/20 vs Winston-Salem  (Winston-Salem wins 3-1)
 
6  IP, 5 H, 2 R 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K and 1 WP. 82 P/51 strikes.
 
Effective and efficient last night, even though he twice had innings extended by errors in the field.  High percentage of 1st pitch strikes and had 8-3 GO/FO ratio.
 
4 of the 5 hits were singles, but the one double he allowed was the first XBH he's allowed in Salem.
 
Alex Speier, in his minor league round-up mentions Cody's "mid-90s fastball, swing-and-miss slider and changeup." http://fullcount.weei.com/sports/boston/baseball/red-sox/2014/05/21/red-sox-minor-league-roundup-taking-stock-of-anthony-ranaudo-brian-johnson-daniel-mcgrath-dominate-blake-swihart-southpaw-slayer-injuries-for-deven-marrero-wendell-rijo/
 

WenZink

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Apr 23, 2010
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Cody Kukuk's start 5/25 vs Potomac  (Potomac wins 10-6)
 
4.2  IP, 9 H, 7 R 5 ER, 2 BB, 6 K and 1 WP.
 
An almost unrecognizable line for a Cody Kukuk start, where he showed good control but got hit hard.  He gave up his first home run in A+ ball.  He left the game in the 5th with two on and two outs and the reliever (Kyle Martin) promptly let both inherited runners score.
 
Leave it to Alex Speier to spot the sliver lining:  Kukuk has now just allowed 3 walks in his last 2 starts (10.2 IP)  And, in fact, Cody may be instructed to throw more strikes, and forget about being "effectively wild."  Hopefully his BAA will moderate without sacrificing control over the next few starts.
 

mabrowndog

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I wouldn't be surprised if tomorrow night's start is his last at this level.
 
Clearly I jinxed him. Kukuk lasted just 3.2 innings vs Carolina, allowing 3 ER on 2 H and 6 BB in his worst outing in over a month. If the Sox brass had any thoughts of promoting him, that certainly put on the brakes.
 
Last night he bounced back with 5 scoreless IP on 2 H and 6 K, though he did issue 4 BB. However, a couple of them came with runners on 2nd & 3rd, lending credence to the thought that perhaps he was asked to pitch around those batters even if it meant loading the bases. He was able to wriggle out of any jams and departed with a 1-0 lead.
 
In his last 7 starts: 31.1 IP, 6 ER, 21 H (just 2 XBH -- both doubles), 19 BB, 2 HBP and 41 K for a 1.71 ERA and a .194/.323/.213/.536 line.
 

riboflav

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Five assailants? Four victims? A safe? Cash taken? It's like a scene out of True Detective.
 

billy ashley

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WTF:
 
Kukuk has had a great deal of trouble commanding his stuff, but he's got talent. The guy is a popular sleeper prospect... the kid has no idea where the ball is going but his fastball and slider have both flashes plus. Kukuk missed a bunch of time due to a DUI and now this...
 
kid's got talent... life ain't fair.
 

Rovin Romine

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billy ashley said:
WTF:
 
kid's got talent... life ain't fair.
 
People seldom "stumble into" home invasion robbery scenarios.  Perhaps he'll raise the "but I thought the guys were taking me paint-balling defense."
 
If Kukuk is charged like all his co-defendants are, it seems he's looking at 4 counts of 7 years (average for each count) and 1 count of 5 years (average sentence.)  It's possible a judge can run those consecutively. 
 
Kansas uses a grid based sentencing system.  http://sentencing.ks.gov/docs/default-source/2014-forms/2014_nondrug_grid.pdf?sfvrsn=0   Those are particularly quirky. 
 

billy ashley

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I meant "life ain't fair" in the sense that anyone on this board give most anything to be as talented as he is... total god damn waste. This is his second arrest since joining the org.
 
Between he and Denney... we've got a decent amount of wasted talent in the lower minors. Lets just hope that Devers doesn't have a meth lab we don't know about, or Chavis has any links to human trafficking or that Jason Garcia has any links to ISIS.
 
Apologies for any confusion.
 

Sampo Gida

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santadevil said:
 
Looks like he went through that bonus pretty quickly.
 
Lost a lot if it to Uncle Sam.  What do they pay minor leaguers not on the 40 man? Something like 10K a year?  No excuse for that though.
 

WenZink

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Apr 23, 2010
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In the words of Chester A. Riley, "What a revoltin' development this turned out to be."
 
Kukuk was/is a pitching prospect with a high ceiling, even if he was something of a lottery ticket.  But with the Sox system deep with an abundance of middle of the rotation prospects, they could have give him time to mature. 
 
I guess it's always possible he was just being the "lookout."  Worked for Clay.  Maybe his "friends" duped him into taking them over to the house, and left him in his car.  It certainly sounds like it isn't too hard to dupe Cody.  Then again, even in that best case scenario, he's still probably toast as a Sox prospect.  After his DUI arrest (charges dropped, btw) he was certainly on double-secret probation, and yet here he is hanging around with a bunch of thugs. 
 
Kind of makes you wonder about the Sox', in-house counseling program for troubled "Youts" that screw up after being drafted.  Last I heard, Jon Denney was still on the Inactive List.
 
If Cody has any of his bonus money left, it's all going to some criminal defense lawyer.