There’s a picture online of Cody Minnis, playing in a collegiate wood-bat league this summer, that depicts him colliding with an outfield wall and beginning his descent toward the ground on the other side (no, he didn’t make the catch, he says).
Despite the snapshot, Valencia High coach Mike Killinger believes the 2017 Viking grad’s career is hardly on its way down.
Minnis, who recently returned from Colorado where he hit .352 for the Summit Extreme Black Diamonds in the Mountain West Summer College Baseball League, will head to Cal State Fullerton this fall, and Killinger says he “hasn’t blossomed all the way.”
“He was really small as a freshman (at Valencia),” Killinger said. “Over the course of his entire career, he got bigger and faster and stronger. The kid hasn’t seen the top yet.”
As a junior in 2016, Minnis had a solid, if not spectacular, varsity debut. He hit .300 in 70 at-bats. However, in 2017, he hit .371 in 97 at-bats, drove in 17 runs and stole 11 bases on 12 attempts.
Cal State Fullerton, with which Valencia assistant coach Rex Ives has a connection, saw Minnis play in the Ryan Lemmon Invitational tournament in Irvine over spring break and then again against Thousand Oaks on April 29.
Minnis went 6-for-11 with two doubles in the tournament and 2-for-3 against Thousand Oaks.
What specifically did Fullerton like?
“They liked his speed, the switch hitting, his bat control and his defense,” Killinger said.
Minnis put the bat to work for the Black Diamonds this summer, reporting in early June to a team that was coached by College of the Canyons assistant Garrett Rieck and that featured 2017 Valencia player Tyler Erne.
Minnis had 25 hits in 24 games, scored 28 times and was selected to the league’s all-star game.
After returning earlier this month, he’s been recharging. Soon he’ll begin lifting and dialing in his swing to prepare to compete for a starting spot at one of the nation’s premier college baseball programs.
“I grew up watching them. It was kind of a no-brainer,” Minnis said of why he chose Fullerton. “They have a great program. They just know what they’re doing over there. Their academics seem to fit me pretty well. They had my major, criminal justice. It was a no-brainer.”