Some More Thoughts on Kaleb Cowart | The Golden Sombrero Baseball Blog | MLB, Fantasy, College & High School Baseball News

Some More Thoughts on Kaleb Cowart

Kaleb Cowart entered the draft in 2010 as a guy who was perceived differently between organizations.  As is the case with all exceptional two-way guys, the question ultimately comes down to which spot will allow the player to reach the big leagues faster.  Here’s why: if the player can reach the bigs fast enough but then fails, the other option now becomes the only option.  Rick Ankiel, Tim Wakefield, Joe Savery, Matt Bush, and Mike Dunn all share a common history, they tried and failed to stick with the role their organizations drafted them to fill.  Now they all are seeing varying levels of success at roles the organizations did not initially feel fit the player or team best.

Cowart currently is trying his luck at third with the Angels and is likely to start the year in Single A.  As an 18-year-old, Cowart was one of the youngest players in his draft class and has terrific power and arm tools.  His hands at third play at average and his feet are good enough, but he is never moving back to a MIF position.  His hit tool grading lags behind the power, but he is athletic and has a chance to pick it up quickly now that he is a baseball player every day and not a student-athlete.

With only 26 professional at-bats under his belt, Cowart already falls within the top 100 prospects in the game, although he is probably around three years away from Anaheim.  As is the case with most 18-year-olds, especially those who split amateur time between the mound and the dish, Cowart has below-average plate discipline and questionable pitch recognition.  He lands are a little heavily, and as a result he fails to hit against a firm enough front side to stay behind secondary stuff, but this can be corrected by convincing him to take a less exaggerated load.  This will also allow his eyes to stay on a single plane, which in turn will allow him to recognize pitches earlier and more consistently, from both sides of the plate.

Personally, I considered Cowart a better fit on the mound prior to the draft.  His arm was one of the five or six best in his draft class and his feel for a borderline wipeout slider made him a sure bet to reach the majors if health permitted.  I understand the Angels’ interest in finding a long-term solution at third, but everyone in baseball has rotation and pen spots to fill each season, and the Angels are definitely no exception.  Nevertheless, a strong showing from Cowart at third in Single A to start the season could have him in the high Minors by the fall, with a chance to break in while still comfortably within his early 20’s.

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