Like father, like son, the saying goes. For Kody Milton, that saying is real. Kody, a senior from Arnold, MD, is the son of 11-year MLB veteran Eric Milton, who pitched for the Twins, Phillies, Reds, and Dodgers.
Needless to say, baseball runs in the Milton family as Kody emerged in high school as a highly-touted baseball recruit.
The primarily first and sometimes third baseman for Severna Park High School already committed to the University of Maryland in his sophomore year, the alma mater of both his parents.
However, the choice had everything to do with the campus and coaching staff, not with any family ties.
“It was always my dream to go there [Maryland]. On my visit, I really fell in love with it, actually getting to see all the parts of the school,” Kody said.
For Eric, it was nice that his son will be attending the same university that he went to.
“It’s nice that he’s really close to home and we’ll get to see him play a lot of baseball,” Eric said.
In fact, Kody has been trying to pave his own path for success in college and beyond. He wants to be known as Kody, not the son of a Major Leaguer.
However, without his dad, Kody might not be playing baseball. He was the main person who influenced Kody to play baseball in the first place.
“Baseball has always been my number one sport. He introduced me to it and I just fell in love with it,” Kody said.
Eric, after watching and coaching Kody his entire life, believes that he can far exceed what he did in the Major Leagues, thanks to his constant drive and persistent work ethic.
“He works harder than any other kid I’ve coached over the years. I almost have to tell him to calm down once in awhile, just take a break. All he wants to do is keep working and working,” Eric said.
Kody’s work ethic is something that has been instilled in him since he was young. It’s something that has stuck with him throughout his baseball career.
“They forced me to push myself, both mentally and physically. It really had changed me,” Kody said.
That drive doesn’t just pertain to the baseball diamond and the weight room. Academics are just as important, even more important for Kody.
“I take pride in my school work. I consider myself a good student. That’s something that I always care about,” Kody said.
It took a while for Kody to get noticed in the baseball world. Playing in Maryland, he didn’t get much exposure. It wasn’t until he joined Perfect Game USA in high school that he was able to get his name out there.
“I was lucky to have it. When I played locally, no one really cared, honestly. Once I started traveling, people started realizing I could actually play,” Kody said.
And after careful consideration, he chose Maryland over Michigan, and is excited to start next fall. While college will be fun, it’s also a completely different environment as Eric described.
“I don’t think any incoming freshman will be ready for what is to come in the fall. It’s gonna be an eye-opener. It’s a grind,” Eric said.
The added challenge is something that Kody is more than ready for, which will be easier since he’s already friends with other 2018 Terps commits. For Kody, already having friends on the team who currently play or who will play has helped him de-stress about college.
“I like getting to know all the guys. All the guys, we’ve made a lot of plans when we go there, like who we’re going to room with. We’re all just really excited,” Kody said.
As a father and a coach, Eric has enjoyed watching his son develop as a player, but watching Kody play is still the most stressful thing as a parent.
“It’s so nerve-racking. I’m just a ball of nerves. On another note, I’ve just been so proud of where he’s at and what he’s done,” Eric said.
Now in his senior year of high school, Kody has already set goals for himself for the rest of the year.
“I just want to win a state championship. I wanna win it so bad,” Kody said.