Sean Coughlin Named Diamondbacks Minor League Player of the Year

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Former Kentucky first-team All-American catcher Sean Coughlin has been selected as the Arizona Diamondbacks Minor League Position Player of the Year, it was announced by Futurebacks.com.

Coughlin, a 13th round selection in the 2007 MLB Draft by the Diamondbacks, had a breakout year in his second full professional season. A 6-foot-1, 215-pound backstop, Coughlin advanced to the Double-A Mobile BayBears of the Southern League in 2009, before injury cut his season short in July, breaking a bone in his hand during the Southern League All-Star game.

A native of Morrison, Colo., Coughlin started the year with the Visalia Rawhide of the California League, joining fellow former UK All-American Collin Cowgill on the Rawhide. After batting .260 (27-for-104) with 18 runs scored, seven doubles and 20 RBI in just 27 games, Coughlin advanced to the BayBears, a pitcher-friendly ballpark in Mobile, Ala. While with Mobile, Coughlin hit .304 (49-for-161) with 24 runs scored, eight doubles, seven homers and 20 RBI in 50 games. Most impressively, while in Mobile, Coughlin drew 35 walks and struck out just 19 times, totaling a .432 on-base percentage and a .484 slugging percentage. Overall in 2009, Coughlin batted .287 (76-for-265) in 77 games, with 15 doubles, 11 homers and 40 RBI.

While at Kentucky, Coughlin established himself as one of the top power-hitting catchers in the college game, earning first-team All-America accolades in 2007 by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. As a senior, Coughlin totaled a .344 (76-for-221) average, with 53 runs scored, 16 doubles, three triples, 13 homers and a then-school record 73 RBI. While helping UK to its first Southeastern Conference Championship in his inaugural year in Lexington in 2006, Coughlin batted .325 (66-for-203) with 13 doubles, 17 homers and 55 RBI.

Coughlin joins a long list of former UK standouts recently succeeding in professional baseball, as Cowgill (2005-08), Sawyer Carroll (2007-08), John Shelby (2004-06), Ryan Strieby (2006), Chris Rusin (2006-09) and Scott Green (2005-08) all rank among the top prospects in their respective organizations. Michael Bertram (2003-06), Zach Dials (2006), Andrew Albers (2005-08), Tyler Howe (2007-08), Clint Tilford (2007-09) and Chris Wade (2007-09) are among the former UK standouts playing minor league baseball. Philadelphia right-hander Joe Blanton (2000-02), Toronto reliever Scott Downs (1995-97), New York Mets infielder/outfielder Andy Green (1997-00) and Arizona right-hander Brandon Webb (1998-00) are former UK stars playing in the big leagues in 2009.