Jays' Cooper Off To Hot Start

TORONTO — First baseman David Cooper improved his power numbers last season, and this year he appears to be improving his other numbers, like batting average and on-base percentage.

His season so far at Triple-A Las Vegas seems to be a continuation of his major league spring training, where he hit .378/.400/.511 over 27 games and 45 at-bats.
In his first 19 games with Las Vegas he was batting .408/.452/.645 with two homers and 19 RBIs.

"(He has) a very classic lefthanded swing," Toronto manager John Farrell said during spring training. "He's put up some very good at-bats against lefthanders. I think he's felt more comfortable as camp went on. I think his confidence is growing."

Cooper was a first-round pick in the 2008 draft (17th overall) out of California. The native of Stockton, Calif., played his first two full seasons as a professional at Double-A New Hampshire where he batted .258/.340/.389 in 2009 and .257/.327/.442 last year. His home runs and RBI totals improved from 10 and 66 in 2009 to 20 and 78 in 2010.

"I had a great relationship with Ralph Dickenson, our Double-A hitting coach last year," Cooper said. "We worked on a few things and definitely got things back to where I wanted them to be."

He also likes the philosophy of major league hitting coach Dwayne Murphy which involves looking for a certain pitch in a certain zone and then driving it. "I like it a lot," Cooper said. "I like the aggressiveness that it involves. I'm 100 percent on board for that."


• Lefthander David Purcey, a first-round draft pick in 2004, was designated for assignment on April 12 and traded to the Athletics on April 18 for righthander Danny Farquhar, 24, who returns to the organization.

• Lefthander Luis Perez, 26, who was 1-0, 7.20 at Las Vegas in one start, made his major league debut April 16 and in his first two outings, both in relief, he allowed four hits, one walk and three runs in 22⁄3 innings.