The more Cody Laweryson saw big league scouts watch him pitch at the University of Maine this season, the more he realized he was closer to his dream of getting drafted by a Major League Baseball club.

Early Wednesday afternoon, that dream became a reality.

With the 12th pick (419th overall) of the 14th round, the Minnesota Twins selected Laweryson in the Major League Baseball draft, ending a few anxious days for Laweryson and his family.

“I’m just relieved,” Laweryson said. “I was just hoping to be picked at any point.”

Laweryson became the second Maine player to be selected in the 2019 MLB draft. Deering High School senior Trejyn Fletcher was selected in the third round, 58th overall, by the St. Louis Cardinals.

With a fastball sitting in the low 90s, Laweryson recently completed a strong junior season at the University of Maine. The 6-foot-4, 205-pound pitcher was used exclusively as a starter by the Black Bears, earning all-America East Conference status. Laweryson went 5-5 in 14 starts, with a 2.85 ERA and 79 strikeouts in 72 2/3 innings. Opponents hit just .224 against Laweryson this season.

Laweryson was home in Moscow when he got the news. He said John Wilson, Minnesota’s area scout, had called a few times in the morning to let Laweryson know he was on the Twins radar for early on day three of the draft.

“(Wilson) had been calling me pretty much all morning, letting me know where they were,” Laweryson said.

Ryan Copp, Laweryson’s former coach with the Maine Lightning, an AAU team in Portland, said scouts liked Laweryson for a few reasons. One, growing up in Maine, Laweryson has relatively few innings pitched when compared to players his age from other parts of the country.

“You look at pitchers from the Northeast and they have low miles on their arm. I think that’s a quality they like,” Copp said.

Copp added that Laweryson’s greatest asset may be his mental makeup.

“He’s a quiet kid. He just goes about his business,” Copp said. “Cody possesses that internally to strive and do whatever it takes to get better. You can’t put a radar gun on a guy who goes out and competes every single day… He’s shown very good potential and growth, and he has intangibles you don’t have to teach.”

Scott Laweryson, Cody’s father, was at work when his son texted him with the news that the Twins had called a few times. Scott made it home in time to celebrate when the news broke.

“I’m trying to put my head around it,” said Scott Laweryson, Cody’s baseball coach at Valley High School in Bingham. “I’ve just watched him work real hard for so long.”

Laweryson drew motivation watching some of his Maine teammates get drafted over the years, most notably shortstop Jeremy Pena, who went to the Houston Astros in the third round of the 2018 draft.

“Pena, he led by example,” Laweryson said. “To watch him put in work every day, I was inspired.”

Used primarily in relief his first two seasons with the Black Bears, Laweryson leaves Maine with 12 career wins and three saves.

Laweryson said he expects to sign a contract sometime in the next few days and join the Twins rookie camp in Fort Myers, Florida. From there, he would get assigned to a minor league team. The Twins have a rookie league team in Fort Myers, the Gulf Coast Twins, and the Elizabethtown (Tenn.) Twins, of the Appalachian League, which opens the 2019 season June 18.

Laweryson said he’s not sure where the Twins will send him, but he’s eager to get started.

“This is everything I dreamed of,” Laweryson said. “This is another step in the right direction.”


Comments are not available on this story.