Cowgill Named Ninth-Best Prospect in Diamondbacks System

Jan. 28, 2009

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Former Kentucky standout Collin Cowgill, a Lexington, Ky., native and 2008 first-team All-American, has been selected the ninth-best prospect in the Arizona Diamondbacks system, Baseball America announced on Wednesday.

Cowgill, a graduate of Henry Clay High School and the University of Kentucky, becomes the second former Wildcat and Lexington native listed as one of the top 10 prospects in their respective Major League organization, as John Shelby was selected the seventh-best prospect in the Chicago White Sox system in November by Baseball America.

"After sitting out the 2007 college season with a broken hamate bone in his left hand, Cowgill hit .290 in the Cape Cod League that summer but declined to sign with the Athletics as a 29th-round pick," Baseball America's Will Lingo detailed in his background breakdown of Cowgill. "Arizona took him 24 rounds higher last year and signed him for $155,000. He again showed aptitude with wood bats, as he led the short-season Northwest League with 11 homers in just 20 games there before getting promoted."

A 5-foot-9, 195-pound right-handed hitting outfielder, Cowgill had a prolific career at Kentucky, earning first-team All-America honors in 2008, while leading UK to a school-record 44 wins and an appearance in the Ann Arbor Regional Championship game against Arizona.

"He combines a good approach at the plate with great bat speed, allowing him to consistently put a charge in the ball," Lingo said during a breakdown of Cowgill's strengths. "He's a confident hitter who will wait on his pitch and crush mistakes. He's also an adept outfielder, with instincts and enough speed under way to play center field, though ultimately he'll probably be better suited to a corner."

As a redshirt junior in 2008, Cowgill hit .361 with 19 homers, 23 steals and 60 RBI, setting the school-record with 80 runs scored. As a sophomore in 2006, Cowgill helped lead UK to its first Southeastern Conference Championship in program history, batting .298 with 16 homers and 61 RBI. A 2008 first-team All-SEC and All-Defensive team selection by the league's coaches, Cowgill finished his UK career ranked third in home runs, ninth in RBI and fourth in runs scored.

A two-time, first-team CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American at Kentucky, Cowgill had an explosive professional debut, hit .304 with Yakima in the rookie league, pacing the league with 11 homers and a .785 slugging percentage in just 20 games. The former Kentucky High School Mr. Baseball earned a promotion to low class A South Bend, suiting up with former UK catcher Sean Coughlin on the Silver Hawks.

"The Diamondbacks compare him to Cody Ross for his ability to swing the bat and play anywhere in the outfield," said Lingo, when discussing the future of Cowgill with the Diamondbacks. "With his age and what he has shown so far, Cowgill will get the chance to jump to Double-A out of spring training."