Bingham native and Valley High School graduate Cody Laweryson has spent the 2023 baseball season pitching for the St. Paul Saints, the Triple-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. Through Aug. 8, Laweryson has a record of 3-4, with a 4.68 ERA. He’s struck out 50 batters in 50 innings of work. Photo courtesy of Rob Thompson/St. Paul Saints

Eleven miles.

All that separates Cody Laweryson from realizing his dream of playing Major League Baseball is a phone call and eleven miles. That’s the distance between where the Bingham native currently plays —  at CHS Field for the Triple-A St. Paul Saints —  through I-94 West to Target Field in Minneapolis, home of the Minnesota Twins.

Though Laweryson, a pitcher and former Valley High School and University of Maine standout, is so close, he tries to do everything in his power to not think about the next move — and ultimate goal — in his career.

“The biggest (challenge) is trying not to think about it too much,” said Laweryson, a right-hander who stands 6-foot-4 and weighs 205 pounds. “I’m just thinking about the task at hand, just thinking about the opponent we’re about to play. I just think about my game plan going into every single day. Just staying where I’m at, staying in the present. … Just thinking about trying to execute pitches. The rest will handle itself if I go out and handle my job.”

In 31 appearances this season, nearly all in relief, Laweryson, 25, owns a 3-4 record with a 4.68 ERA. In 50 innings of work, he has struck out 50 batters and has issued 23 walks. His walks-plus-hits per innings pitched (WHIP) is 1.48. With the exception of a cancelled COVID-19 season in 2020, Laweryson — a 14th round pick (No. 419 overall) of the Twins in 2019 — has steadily risen through the ranks of the Minnesota organization. Each level presents new challenges for Laweryson, and Triple-A has been no different.

“It’s definitely been a lot bigger of an adjustment than I even imagined,” Laweryson said. “Jumping even from high-A to Double-A last year was definitely an adjustment, talent-level wise. But I feel like I have been able to adjust better from Double-A to Triple-A, just because of all the guys who have so much more experience than I do, facing 28- to 30-year olds every night. The hitters (at the plate) have a very advanced plan of what they want to do against me, every single time they face me. That’s been the biggest adjustment for me. But overall, I think I’ve been getting better and better.”


Laweryson had his best season as a minor leaguer in 2022. Pitching for the (high-A) Cedar Rapids Kernels and the (Double-A) Wichita Wind Surge, Laweryson had a combined 6-0 record, 1.62 ERA and 111 strikeouts in 94 2/3 innings of work. He particularly thrived with the Wind Surge, going 5-0 with a 1.06 ERA, with a 0.94 WHIP.

But as Laweryson was pitching to top prospects in the High-A and Double-A levels, he’s now facing both future major leaguers and players with MLB experience trying to fight their way back into the league. Laweryson has tried to learn as much as he can both from his coaches and veteran players on the Saints roster.

“I think the biggest (lesson) is just trying to be as consistent as possible,” Laweryson said. “Being able to adjust to what hitters are doing, it’s a huge cat-and-mouse game. If you go up and face a guy the first time around and throw him the same (sequence of pitches) the second time around, he’s probably going to get you that second (at-bat). You’ve got to have a better game plan from night to night, playing the same guys every night. Especially with our schedule — we play teams six times in a series — so we’ve had to have different game plans nearly every time we face a (hitter) every night. If I go out and throw three fastballs (in the first at-bat), he’s likely going to be hunting fastball the next time.”

Valley High School graduate Cody Laweryson has been used as a relief pitcher this season for the St. Paul Saints, the Triple-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. Through Aug. 8, Laweryson has a record of 3-4, with a 4.68 ERA. Photo courtesy of Rob Thompson/St. Paul Saints

As part of that game plan, Laweryson has been working on a new pitch this season — a mix of a cut-fastball and slider, as Laweryson describes it — that he throws with his fastball, slider and changeup. Laweryson’s fastball sits between 90-94 miles per hour.

“Being able to add that fourth pitch, being able to throw that to left-handed hitters, has been really important for me,” Laweryson said. “The changeup is still coming along really well, I’m just trying not to use it a ton. Being able to use all four pitches, I’ve had to do that a lot more, especially (in Triple-A), because I’m not the hardest thrower. I wish I could have 95 (mph on the fastball) in the tank, but I don’t necessarily have that right now, so I have to go to other pitches earlier (in the count) than earlier in my career, when I could use the fastball more often.”

Another sign of Laweryson’s promising future came before the regular season, when he made several appearances for the Twins during spring training. It was Laweryson’s second consecutive spring making at least one appearance for Minnesota, a confidence boost that bright days are ahead.

“I was definitely a lot more confident this time around,” Laweryson said. “Going in the first time, you’re a little bit nervous. You get out there and it’s a deer-in-the-headlights kind of thing. You get shocked by the competition that you’re facing, guys you’ve been watching on TV  your whole life. The second time around, there’s a lot less nerves.

“I’m just thinking, ‘I’m here for a reason,'” Laweryson continued. “I can go out and attack guys and still get guys out at a high level.”

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