LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Former Kentucky first-team All-America outfielder Collin Cowgill has been called up to the Arizona Diamondbacks and will make his big-league debut on Tuesday, it was announced.
A native of Lexington, Ky., and the 2004 Kentucky High School Mr. Baseball out of Henry Clay, Cowgill has been summoned from the Triple-A Reno Aces for his MLB debut, with Arizona facing the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park at 10 p.m. ET on Tuesday night. Cowgill - who stared at UK from 2005-08 - is the third former Wildcat to play in the big leagues in 2011, joining right-handed starter Joe Blanton (Phillies) and southpaw reliever Scott Downs (Angels).
"We are very excited for Collin and the entire Cowgill family," UK head coach Gary Henderson said. "He has certainly earned the call with his play in Triple-A this year. Collin and his family mean so much to our program and it has been a true honor to coach him during his career and continue to develop a friendship throughout his time in professional baseball. Collin is exactly the type of player it takes to win baseball games, no matter the level, and we cannot wait to watch his development in the big leagues."
Cowgill has dominated the Triple-A Pacific Coast League through 98 games, batting .354 (140-for-395) with 24 doubles, eight triples, 13 homers and 70 RBI, stealing 30-of-33 bases. The 5-foot-9, 185-pound right-handed hitter, Cowgill posted a 51-63 walk-strikeout ratio, totaling a .430 on-base percentage and a .554 slugging mark. Cowgill was named the leading vote-getter in the Triple-A All-Star game earlier in July and prior to his promotion was regarded as a contender for Triple-A MVP honors.
During his decorated four-year career at Kentucky, Cowgill helped the Wildcats win their first ever Southeastern Conference Championship as a sophomore in 2006, batting .298 (67-for-225) with 16 homers and 61 RBI. After missing 2007 due to a hand injury, Cowgill returned for an All-America campaign in 2008, joining fellow All-America selection Sawyer Carroll in the outfield. A first-team Academic All-America selection, Cowgill batted .361 in 2008 with 15 doubles, two triples and 19 home runs, adding 60 RBI, stealing 23-of-27 bases in 2008. Following the 2008 season, Cowgill earned first-team All-America honors from the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and second-team honors from Rivals.com and Baseball America. During his UK career, Cowgill batted .306 (171-for-558) in 165 games, totaling 166 runs, 35 doubles, 37 homers, 140 RBI and 32 stolen bags.
In 353 career minor league games after signing as a fifth-round pick of the Diamondbacks in 2008, Cowgill has totaled 46 homers and 225 RBI, stealing 70-of-86 bases with a .299 career average (408-for-1365).