Collin Cowgill, opening day hero (USAT Images)
As many of you know, we have a deep history of Collin Cowgill appreciation around here, dating back to the outfielder's days as an Arizona prospect. Cowgill had a terrific year at Double-A in 2010, batting .285/.360/.464 with 16 homers and 25 steals, and he followed it with a ridiculous partial season at Triple-A in 2011. That year, he hit .354/.430/.554 with 45 extra-base hits (13 home runs) and 30 stolen bases in just 98 games at Reno, earning a late-July promotion to the big leagues.
But Cowgill, now 26, hasn't really made much noise at the major league level just yet — or at least he hadn't, until Monday.
Cowgill entered the 2013 season as the Mets' lead-off hitter and everyday center fielder, and he opened with a 2-for-5, 4-RBI performance in a win over San Diego. In the seventh inning, he hit a bases-loaded missile over the left-field fence. Not surprisingly, he was the most heavily added position player in Yahoo! leagues the following day (6,726 adds).
It's not often that I'll endorse pick-ups like this one, where fantasy owners are clearly chasing the prior day's stats, but I'm gonna make an exception with Cowgill. In this case, we're talking about a player who is A) leading off for his team, B) not involved in a platoon, and C) capable of delivering useful power/speed numbers. And here's the thing you really have to like about Cowgill's short-term potential:
4/3 — LHP Clayton Richard
4/4 — LHP Eric Stults
4/5 — RHP Alex Sanabia
4/6 — RHP Ricky Nolasco
4/7 — RHP Jose Fernandez
That's the full lineup of opposing starters scheduled to face the Mets this week. Cowgill gets a pair of not-great lefties (check his career splits), then Sanabia, Nolasco and a 20-year-old rookie making his MLB debut (and who might be spectacular. Can't say. Read about him here).
I'm relatively confident you'll like the statistical returns over the next few days. Cowgill is owned in just 9 percent of Yahoo! fantasy leagues at the moment, but you can expect that number to rise as the hits pile up. Add while you can.
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