- Full name Scott Michael Jeffrey Cousins
- Born 01/22/1985 in Reno, NV
- Profile Ht.: 6'1" / Wt.: 200 / Bats: L / Throws: L
- School San Francisco
- Debut 09/03/2010
Drafted in the 3rd round (95th overall) by the Miami Marlins in 2006 (signed for $407,500).
View Draft ReportScouts hungry for a player to run up their draft boards were rushing in to see Cousins, a legitimate prospect as both a hitter and pitcher. His two-way talents and efforts in leading San Francisco into the West Coast Conference championship series had scouts comparing him to former Santa Clara star Mike Frank, who reached the big leagues with the Reds in 1998. Unlike Frank, who reached the majors in a year, Cousins isn't a finished product and has significant upside. He missed five starts with tendinitis but still is a pitcher for some, having touched the low 90s at times with two breaking balls and a decent changeup. However, he was sitting more in the mid-80s of late, and his offensive potential was outshining his pitching. He's a self-made player with an excellent work ethic and uncomplicated approach at the plate. Cousins is a 6.8-second runner over 60 yards (he ranked second in the WCC in steals) and has good range and ballhawking instincts, leading some scouts to profile him as a center fielder in the Mark Kotsay mold. However, his loft power and improving strength have some projecting him as a prototype right fielder.
Organization Prospect Rankings
A two-way star in college, Cousins climbed through the system a level at a time. He earned a September callup in 2010 and made the Marlins' Opening Day roster last year, though he had a poor camp and benefited from an injury to DeWayne Wise. Cousins served as a defensive replacement and pinch-hitter, making his biggest headlines when he flattened Giants catcher Buster Posey on a play at the plate. Hip and ankle injuries nagged Cousins even before a bulging disk in his back ended his season in mid-June. He has solid tools across the board, projecting as a possible .280 hitter with 15-20 homers if he can work his way into the everyday lineup. One of the best athletes in the system, he has the speed to steal 20 bases and enough range to patrol all three outfield spots. His plus arm is strong enough for right field. Cousins' bugaboo throughout his ascent has been a lack of consistency, which was only exacerbated by a bench role. When he's cold, he tends to chase pitches out of the zone. He has the talent to make a bigger impact than he made in 2011, but he'll need better health and an opportunity.
two-way star in college at San Francisco, Cousins has played at every level during his five-year march through the system. He got off to a slow start in 2010 by hitting .210 in April and separating his shoulder when he ran into an outfield wall in May. He rebounded to bat .335/.386/.544 in the second half of the minor league season and performed well during a September callup. Cousins owns average to plus tools across the board. He projects as a .280 hitter with 15-20 homer potential. A streaky hitter, he gets in trouble when he chases pitches outside the zone. He also tends to overthink instead of trusting his natural ability. He credited a tip from veteran Doug Mientkiewicz with helping him solve lefties, against whom he batted .319 last year. Cousins has the speed to steal 20 bases a year and to cover enough ground to play center field. He has plus range and arm strength and the outfield instincts to match. Cameron Maybin's failure to secure Florida's center-field job and his subsequent trade leave the door open for Cousins, though the Marlins say they will try Chris Coghlan there first. He'll have to make more consistent contact to win it. He may have to put some time in as a fourth outfielder first, but he has the tools to be a productive everyday player.
It has taken Cousins three pro seasons to break into the Marlins Top 10, but that's mostly because he was stuck in a highly talented system. A two-way star at the University of San Francisco, he signed for $407,500 and steadily has increased his profile. Managers voted him the most exciting player in the Florida State League in 2008, and he fit neatly into the No. 5 batting slot behind Logan Morrison and Mike Stanton as Double-A Jacksonville won the Southern League title in 2009. The best defensive outfielder in the system, Cousins is a tooled-up option at all three outfield spots. He has the ability to stay in center if necessary, and his plus arm profiles well for right. He shows the potential to hit for average and power, and he took a big step forward with his basestealing instincts last year. Cousins still struggles at times against lefties. His refusal to stay patient at the plate causes him to fall into some prolonged funks, and he needs to improve his consistency. With Jeremy Hermida traded to the Red Sox, Cousins could get a shot at winning the left field job this spring and he's already been added to Florida's 40-man roster. Some believe he has perhaps the highest ceiling of any Marlins position prospect besides Stanton.
No one can accuse Cousins of holding back. In mid-April, he went after a foul ball and went sliding into a low concrete wall at Jupiter. Though he sustained a deep bone bruise in his knee that had trouble healing, he pronounced himself ready to go after three weeks. The Marlins kept holding him out until the bruising stopped clouding his MRI exams. Finally, after two months, Cousins returned to action in a summer also complicated by the loss of a beloved uncle. By August he had been promoted to Double-A, where he played a key role in Carolina's run to the Southern League championship series. He later went to the Arizona Fall League, where he more than held his own while initially sharing center-field duties with fellow Marlins prospect John Raynor. Cousins was a two-way player in college, and some clubs liked his potential more as a pitcher. Florida zeroed in on his athleticism and never has regretted its decision. He's a potential five-tool player with bat speed and strength, though he can get too aggressive at times. He has plus speed but is still learning to use it to steal bases. He's capable of playing all three outfield positions, with the range for center field and the arm strength and accuracy for right. Cousins will return to Double-A to open 2009 and soon could bid for a spot in the Marlins outfield.
One of the best athletes in the system, Cousins took a huge step forward in his first full pro season. Playing mostly right field in an all-prospect Greensboro outfield that boasted Greg Burns in center and John Raynor in left, Cousins finished third on the team with 18 homers, stole 16 bases and made several leaping highlight catches at the wall. Some teams liked Cousins better as a pitcher out of college, but the Marlins never were tempted to bypass his bat. There's a Chipper Jones-style looseness to his lefthanded swing, and he improved his plate discipline as the year developed. Cousins made some mechanical adjustments with hitting coordinator John Mallee to bring his stride under control and keep him from jumping at pitches. A potential five-tool player, he should get more out of his speed once he learns to read pitchers and get better jumps. Defensively, his arm strength and accuracy are both above-average, and he could play center full-time if needed. Cousins shows solid makeup and should open the year in high Class A.
Minor League Top Prospects
A two-way player in college at San Francisco, Cousins didn't focus on hitting full-time until signing as a third-round pick in 2006. He emerged with a solid season in 2007, then played his way out of the FSL with a dominating two months. He has natural loft in his swing, which is more conducive to hitting for power than for a high average. He did bat .304 at Jupiter, however, and his solid batting eye should allow him to maintain a healthy on-base percentage. His speed, range and arm are all plus tools, and he could be a 20-20 player in the majors. The Marlins have deployed him mainly in right field, though he takes good enough routes and covers enough ground to play center.
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Defensive Outfielder in the Miami Marlins in 2011
- Rated Best Athlete in the Miami Marlins in 2011
- Rated Best Defensive Outfielder in the Miami Marlins in 2010
- Rated Most Exciting Player in the Florida State League in 2008
- Rated Best Defensive Outfielder in the Miami Marlins in 2008
Background: A two-way star in college, Cousins climbed through the Marlins system a level at a time. He earned a September callup in 2010 and made the Opening Day roster last year, though he had a poor camp and benefited from an injury to DeWayne Wise. He served as a defensive replacement and pinch-hitter, making his biggest headlines when he flattened Giants catcher Buster Posey on a play at the plate. Hip and ankle injuries nagged Cousins even before a bulging disk in his back ended his season in mid-June. Scouting Report: Cousins has solid tools across the board, projecting as a possible .280 hitter with 15-20 homers if he can work his way into the everyday lineup. One of the best athletes in the system, he has the speed to steal 20 bases and enough range to patrol all three outfield spots. His plus arm is strong enough for right field. His bugaboo throughout his career has been a lack of consistency, which was only exacerbated by a bench role. When he's cold, he tends to chase pitches out of the zone. The Future: Cousins has the talent to make a bigger impact than he made in 2011, but he'll need better health and an opportunity.