Collin Cowgill joins the Oakland Athletics outfield featuring Jai Miller, Ryan Sweeney and Michael Taylor. (Photo credit: Diamondbacks)
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Former Kentucky baseball first-team All-America outfielder Collin Cowgill has been traded by the Arizona Diamondbacks to the Oakland Athletics as part of a five-player deal, it was announced on Friday night.
Cowgill was included in a trade to the Athletics, along with Diamondbacks top prospect, right-hander Jarrod Parker and Triple-A right-hander Ryan Cook. The Athletics shipped big league lefty Trevor Cahill and lefty Craig Breslow to Arizona.
A native of Lexington, Ky., Cowgill had a dynamic season in 2011 for the Diamondbacks Triple-A affiliate, the Reno Aces. Cowgill was tabbed as the Pacific Coast League Rookie of the Year for Reno after turning in a historic season, also earning PCL post-season all-star honors and Baseball America Triple-A All-Star accolades.
In 98 games for the Aces, Cowgill hit .354 (140-for-395) with 13 homers, 70 RBI, 24 doubles, eight triples and 30 stolen bases. The leading vote getter for the PCL All-Star game, Cowgill received his first MLB call-up on July 27, playing in 36 games for the National League Western Division Champion Diamondbacks. Cowgill hit .239 (22-for-92) in sporadic playing time as the right-handed bat in the lineup against left-handed pitching, totaling three doubles, one homer and nine RBI, swiping four bags. Cowgill was tabbed by Baseball America in a voting of the circuit coaches as the best defensive outfielder, the best baserunner, the most exciting player and the best outfield arm in the PCL.
Cowgill, the 2004 Kentucky High School Mr. Baseball out of Henry Clay, appeared as a pinch hitter for the Diamondbacks in the MLB Division Series, lacing a two-RBI single in his lone playoff at bat. Following the season, Cowgill traveled to Venezuela to participate in the offseason Liga Venezuela Beisbol for the Bravos de Margarita.
The 5-foot-9, 185-pound slugger will join an Athletics team that doesn’t feature any big-name outfielders, including Jai Miller, Ryan Sweeney and Michael Taylor, with Cowgill the youngest of the group. Drafted by the Athletics and famed general manager Billy Beane in 2007, Cowgill elected to return to Kentucky for the 2008 season. While with the Diamondbacks, Cowgill played in a young, talent-laden outfield that included Justin Upton, Chris Young and Gerrardo Parra.
Cowgill completed a decorated career at Kentucky in 2008 as the fifth-round selection in the MLB Draft by the Diamondbacks. A first-team All-America outfielder in 2008, Cowgill finished his UK career batting .306 (171-for-558) in 165 games, totaling 166 runs, 35 doubles, 37 homers, 140 RBI and 32 stolen bases. Cowgill’s leadership and intense approach to the game help power UK from a late-place finish in the Southeastern Conference in 2005 to the first league championship in program history in 2006. During that historic season, Cowgill hit .296 with 16 homers and 61 RBI. After sitting out 2007 due to a hamate injury, Cowgill batted .361 with 19 homers, 60 RBI and 23 stolen bases in 2008, leading UK to a school-record 44 wins.