While everyone has some extra time on their hands due to the COVID-19 outbreak, here at Sox On 35th we are working to bring you more prospect interviews as we, fans, prepare for the final wave of talent to hit the South Side. The next man in our interview series is the team’s 27th ranked prospect Codi Heuer.
Heuer, 23, was the 6th round pick of the White Sox back in the 2018 draft from Wichita State. He went 6-5 with a 4.31 ERA as the ace of the Shockers’ rotation and was converted to a reliever to start the 2019 season in High-A Winston-Salem. The 22-year-old made his way to Double-A Birmingham, posting a 2.39 ERA across two levels and 42 appearances in 2019. Heuer firmly put his name on the map for all Sox fans during 2020 Spring Training, during which he gave up just two runs in 6 appearances.
Codi was kind enough to take the time to answer my questions on his playing career and his life growing up, as well as give White Sox fans a better sense of just who this up-and-coming flamethrower is. Read his answers below!
When did you start playing baseball, and when did you decide you wanted to make a career out of the game?
I started playing baseball as early as I can remember. As early as I could walk, my dad and I were playing catch with either a baseball or running routes with a football. I loved sports growing up and my parents had me playing all sports as soon as I could. I always wanted to make a career out of sports, but I didn’t know which one until high school.
You were drafted in the 6th round by the White Sox in 2018. When did you start getting calls from teams, and when did you have an idea that you were going to be taken by the Sox?
I was in contact with teams the whole time throughout the process leading up to the draft. With that being said, I didn’t have any idea that the White Sox were going to pick me until about 3 picks or so before they actually took me off the board. I was talking to my agent at the time, and that’s when I was told that the White Sox were going to take me.
2019 was your first full season in the White Sox organization, and you’ve already gotten some time in AA at just 22 years old. What have you learned about yourself, your game, and your approach in this time?
2019 was an awesome year for me. I learned a lot about my game and myself in just one full season. The thing that stays consistent with me no matter what level I find myself playing in, is to control what I can control. I can control how hard I prepare and work before I play but there are a lot of things that I can’t control in the game of baseball. As long as I take care of what I can control good things usually happen. At the end of the day once that ball leaves my hand then I’m at the mercy of the game. Once I figured that out, that helped me not put any added pressure on a situation as well as not make an already very hard game to play that much harder. Its all about staying simple for me; I’ve always been very competitive, and the idea of attacking who ever is stepping into the box, no matter who it is, has been a huge part of my game.
Going into your second full season in the White Sox organization (however long the season might be), is there an aspect of your game you want to focus on improving to help your chances of getting to the next level?
Going into my second full season, there are always things to work on. As of right now for me it would be to continue being a student of the game and take everything day by day. I try to find something to get better at everyday, and that’s the mentality you have to have to get to the next level.
This year you earned an opportunity to be on the Spring Training roster, and you had been dominating in 6 appearances before the season was postponed. What was your experience like in your first big league camp? Were there a lot of opportunities to learn from guys who had already made it to the big leagues?
I’ve had an awesome experience in my first big league camp. I got the chance to be around a lot of guys with a lot of experience and I got to soak up all the information I could. We have a very talented and experienced group of catchers, so being able to throw to them in-game and then get to establish a relationship with them and pick their brains off the field as well was big for me.
What’s something most White Sox fans don’t know about you?
I think that White Sox fans don’t know a lot about me, but if I had to pick one thing it would be where I am from. Most people don’t know that I am from Missoula, Montana born and raised.
Let’s set the stage: Guaranteed Rate Field, Top of the Ninth, 4-3 Sox. The bullpen door opens, and you walk out. What song are you walking out to?
I would have to go with “Wherever I May Roam” by Metallica. That was my walkout in AA and I liked it then so I may have to keep it.
Do you have any advice for young ballplayers hoping to be where you are some day?
For any young players aspiring to play at this level I would say to work as hard as you can. Just think that there is always someone out there trying to outwork you and to find something everyday to get better at. If you just focus on getting better at something little everyday those things add up over time. Also don’t look too far ahead and don’t take for granted that you are playing a game at the end of the day so have fun with it.
On behalf of the entire Sox On 35th team, I’d like to thank Codi for taking some time out to answer questions for us – it is always nice to get to hear a little bit from the guys who we look up the box scores for throughout the season. We wish Codi nothing but the best, and hope to see him on the South Side soon.
You can follow Codi on Twitter: @C_Heuey12
Featured Photo: Hannah Stone/Birmingham Barons