Diamondbacks Reward Cowgill's Triple-A Success
PHOENIX—Collin Cowgill twice has been compared to Dustin Pedroia this season, once by a Pacific Coast League opponent and more recently by Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers. Cowgill could not imagine a higher compliment.
"I love watching that guy play," Cowgill said. "He's one of the guys if he's on TV and he's hitting, I'll watch. That's a guy who gives everything he's got every day, and nobody will ever question that. He's a guy I feel like anybody should want to play like."
At 5-foot-9, 185 pounds, Cowgill is of similar stature to Pedroia. But it's the style of play, and the numbers produced, that lead others to the comparison. Cowgill, 25, was promoted to the big league club on July 26 after hitting .354/.430/.554 with 13 home runs, 70 RBIs and 30 stolen bases in his first season at Triple-A Reno.
"I'm not saying he's Pedroia, but he kind of reminds me of him in his approach," Towers said. "He's a small guy who is very aggressive at the plate, has surprising power for a small guy and knows how to play the game."
A Southern League postseason all-star in his only year at Double-A Mobile in 2010, Cowgill put up even better numbers at Reno under the tutelage of manager Brett Butler. His 30 stolen bases are a career high, and he was three homers short of his season total at Mobile with a more refined approach as the No. 2 hitter in the lineup.
"I wasn't going to swing at everything because I wasn't the guy who was going to drive in runs, I was the guy that was going to score them. I felt like if I swung at better pitches and got in better counts, that was my job," said Cowgill, a 2008 fifth-round pick from Kentucky.
Taking spring training lessons from Diamondbacks baserunning coach Eric Young, Cowgill also became a more discerning basestealer.
"With EY, it's more reading the pitcher," he said. "Pick something up. I really took that into account when I'd be on the bench watching. Anything you can use to gain an advantage."
• The city of Missoula planned to purchase Ogren Park from the group that worked to build the facility, Play Ball Missoula, for $2 million. The park would be managed by Mountain Baseball, which owns the Rookie-level Missoula franchise.
• Center fielder A.J. Pollock was hitting .328/.366/.483 in the second half for Mobile, vaulting him into ninth in the Southern League batting race. The 23-year-old, who missed all of 2010 with a fractured elbow, was hitting .303/.355/.443 in 465 at-bats for the year.