Cousino named Baseball America pre-season All-American

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Kentucky sophomore centerfielder Austin Cousino – the 2012 Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year – has been voted second-team Baseball America preseason All-America by MLB scouting directors, it was announced on Thursday afternoon.

Cousino is the first UK player to earn preseason All-America honors through Baseball America and the annual MLB scouting directors vote since Chris Bisson was a third-team honoree in 2010. Baseball America annually polls major league scouting directors to vote on the team and make their selections based on performance, talent and professional potential.

Cousino joins junior southpaw Corey Littrell and sophomore two-way standout A.J. Reed as preseason All-America honorees. Littrell and Cousino were named second-team by Louisville Slugger and third-team preseason All-America by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. Reed, a 6-foot-4, 245-pound lefty and first baseman, was also named third-team preseason All-America by the NCBWA.

A native of Dublin, Ohio, Cousino had one of the best seasons in program history as a freshman in 2012, leading the Wildcats to a school-record 45-win campaign. UK soared to its first ever No. 1 national ranking, sitting as the nation’s top-ranked team for three weeks, while Cousino became the first Wildcat to win SEC Freshman of the Year.

During his 2012 season, Cousino started 62 games in centerfield and as the leadoff hitter, batting a team-high .319 (83-for-260) with 61 runs, 20 doubles, two triples, nine homers, 41 RBI and 15 steals. He totaled a .408 on-base percentage and a .515 slugging mark, totaling 18 two-out hits and nine two-out RBI. He reached base safely in 59 of his 62 games and with 28 multiple-hit games, ranked second in UK single-season history. In SEC play, Cousino led UK with a .302 average, with 10 doubles, six homers and 17 RBI.

Defensively, Cousino dazzled in shattering the UK single-season record for putouts by an outfielder, hauling in 142 putouts and leading the club with eight outfield assists. He finished the year ranked third in UK freshman history in RBI, second in homers, 12th in average, second in doubles, seventh in walks and third in steals. In UK single-season history, Cousino ranked 12th in hits, 11th in doubles, second in at bats, sixth in starts and ninth in hit by pitches (13).

He ranked among the SEC leaders in nearly every category, checking in ninth in slugging, second in runs, seventh in hits, second in doubles, eighth in homers, third in total bases, sixth in HBP, fifth in steals, first in at bats and second in plate appearances.

After the year, Cousino and Reed became the first UK players to earn consensus freshman All-America accolades. Cousino was also named second-team All-SEC, to the All-SEC Defensive Team and the All-SEC Freshman Team. During the summer, Cousino was the leading hitter for the USA Collegiate National Team, pacing the club during its five-game swing in Cuba and its bronze medal finish during Honkbal Week in the Netherlands. He hit .351 during the summer to pace the 22-man USA roster, managed by Tennessee head coach Dave Serrano.

Kentucky, ranked a school-record No. 8 in the preseason, opens its 2013 season on Feb. 15 in Spartanburg, S.C., against UNC Asheville at 12 p.m. ET.

2013 Preseason All-America Teams
First Team
C Andrew Knapp, California
1B Brian Ragira, Stanford
2B JaCoby Jones, Louisiana State
3B Colin Moran, North Carolina
SS Trea Turner, N.C. State
OF Phillip Ervin, Samford
OF Aaron Judge, Fresno State
OF Austin Wilson, Stanford
DH Kris Bryant, San Diego
UT Marco Gonzales, Gonzaga
SP Mark Appel, Stanford
SP Sean Manaea, Indiana State
SP Carlos Rodon, N.C. State
SP Ryne Stanek, Arkansas
RP Colby Suggs, Arkansas
UT Marco Gonzales, Gonzaga

Second Team
C Spencer Navin, Vanderbilt
1B Conrad Gregor, Vanderbilt
2B Tony Kemp, Vanderbilt
3B D.J. Peterson, New Mexico
SS Brandon Trinkwon, UC Santa Barbara
OF Michael Conforto, Oregon State
OF Austin Cousino, Kentucky
OF Derek Fisher, Virginia
DH Daniel Palka, Georgia Tech
UT Michael Lorenzen, Cal State Fullerton
SP Jonathon Crawford, Florida
SP Ryan Eades, Louisiana State
SP Bobby Wahl, Mississippi
SP Trevor Williams, Arizona State
RP Corey Knebel, Texas
UT Michael Lorenzen, Cal State Fullerton

Third Team
C Ty Ross, Louisiana State
1B Kevin Cron, Texas Christian
2B L.J. Mazzilli, Connecticut
3B Eric Jagielo, Notre Dame
SS Adam Frazier, Mississippi State
OF Jared King, Kansas State
OF Jason Monda, Washington State
OF Mason Robbins, Southern Miss
DH Johnny Field, Arizona
UT Aaron Brown, Pepperdine
SP Dillon Overton, Oklahoma
SP Adam Plutko, UCLA
SP Karsten Whitson, Florida
SP Kevin Ziomek, Vanderbilt
RP Andrew Mitchell, Texas Christian
UT Aaron Brown, Pepperdine