YAKIMA, Wash. -- In his first week as a professional baseball player, former Kentucky outfielder Collin Cowgill has picked up right where he left off at UK, earning Northwest League Player of the Week honors, it was announced.
Cowgill, a former Kentucky High School Mr. Baseball and Lexington native, had a monster week in his first week removed from amateur baseball. A fifth-round pick in the 2008 MLB Draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks, Cowgill is playing for the Yakima Bears (Wash.) in the short-season Northwest League. In six games to open the season, Cowgill hit .292 (7-for-24), with two doubles, three home runs and nine RBI, drawing four walks and slugging .750. Cowgill, who went hitless in his professional debut, tallied a hit in each game the rest of the week, including pivotal homers in wins over Salem-Keizer.
A first-team All-America selection in 2008, Cowgill hit .361 with 19 home runs and 60 RBI, swiping 23-of-27 bases for UK a year ago, leading UK to a regional championship appearance and a school-record 44 wins.
A look atop the Northwest League leaders is quite similar to looking at the 2008 Southeastern Conference stats, as Cowgill and former UK outfielder Sawyer Carroll rank among the league leaders in nearly every offensive category. Carroll, a supplemental third-round 2008 MLB Draft pick by the San Diego Padres, is also on a tear in the Northwest League, suiting up for the Eugene Emeralds.
Carroll, a 6-foot-4, 215 pounder from Henryetta, Okla., ranks second in the league with a .414 average, ranking as the league leader in total bases (19), as well as ranking third in on-base percentage (.485). Cowgill ranks as the league leader in total bases (19), RBI (9) and home runs (3), ranking second with a .704 slugging percentage.
UK’s first-ever consensus first-team All-American, Carroll hit for an SEC-leading .419 average, belting 19 homers, 22 doubles, three triples and a school-record 83 RBI in 2008. Carroll, who reached base safely a staggering 62 times in 63 games for UK in 2008, has reached base safely in every game as a professional, adding four multi-hit games in seven contests.