ROUND ROCK, Texas -- Former Kentucky baseball star Collin Cowgill has been named 2011 Triple-A Pacific Coast League Rookie of the Year, the league office announced on Tuesday afternoon.
A native of Lexington, Ky., Cowgill was tabbed the league's top rookie after a voting of the 16 PCL managers and media representatives from across the league. The award was created in 1998 and honors a player's outstanding achievement during his first year at the Triple-A level.
Cowgill dominated the PCL this season with the Reno Aces, batting .354 in 98 games, with 24 doubles, 13 homers and 70 RBI, stealing 30 base and scoring 95 runs. Despite a MLB call-up to the Arizona Diamondbacks on July 23, Cowgill still ranks second in the PCL in batting average and on-base percentage.
The top vote-getter and the starting centerfielder in the Triple-A All-Star Game, Cowgill is the first Reno player in franchise history to earn PCL Rookie of the Year accolades and is the second Arizona player in franchise history to earn the honor.
In the annual Baseball America minor league survey of the top baseball tools in each respective minor league circuit, Cowgill was named the “most exciting player”, “best defensive outfielder” and the “best base runner” in the PCL.
Cowgill, the 2004 Kentucky High School Mr. Baseball out of Henry Clay, is fresh off his best career big league game, batting 4-for-4 on Sunday night with a double and his first MLB home run against the San Diego Padres.
As a first-team All-America selection in 2008, Cowgill completed a storied career that saw him lead his 2006 UK club to the Southeastern Conference Championship. In his UK career, Cowgill batted .306 (171-for-558) in 165 games, with 166 runs, 35 doubles, 37 homers and 140 RBI, swiping 32 bases. As a junior in 2008, after staring in the Cape Cod League, Cowgill hit .361 with 19 homers to lead UK to a school-record 44 wins. Following the 2008 season, Cowgill was a fifth-round pick of the Diamondbacks.