Oct. 28, 2008


LEXINGTON, Ky. — Former Kentucky slugger Collin Cowgill has been tabbed the best power hitter in the 2008 Arizona Diamondbacks draft class, Baseball America announced in its annual draft report card.

Cowgill, a 2008 first-team All-American and native of Lexington, Ky., was selected as the player with the best power out of the Arizona draft class, while former UK pitcher Scott Green was tabbed as having the best fastball out of the Detroit Tigers draft class. UK freshmen Andy Burns and Alex Meyer also garnered a mention in the draft breakdown.

“The good thing about being 5-foot-9 for outfielder Collin Cowgill is he’s short to the ball, with a compact swing and a high finish that produces loft power,” Baseball America’s John Manuel details in the National League Draft breakdown.

Green, who hit 97 mph after beginning his professional career, joined former Ole Miss pitcher Cody Satterwhite and Arizona ace Ryan Perry among the mentions of the best fastballs out of the Detroit class.

In addition, Meyer, a freshman right-hander, was listed as the No. 2 player in the top-five ranking of high school players who choose to not sign to play professional baseball and attend college. Meyer, considered the top recruit in the Southeastern Conference, was a cornerstone of the top recruiting class in UK history, ranked No. 4 by Baseball America. Meyer, a 6-foot-8, 205-pound right-hander, was picked in the 20th round by the Boston Red Sox.

Freshman infielder Andy Burns, a native of Fort Collins, Colo., and draftee of the Colorado Rockies also choose to decline offers to play professional baseball to attend Kentucky. Burns, a 6-foot-2, 185-pounder, earned Aflac All-America honors for Rocky Mountain High School. After being drafted, Burns spent the summer playing in the Northwoods League, one of few 17-year old incoming college freshmen to participate in a highly competitive summer collegiate league. Burns, who hit .488 with 10 homers and 34 RBI a year ago as a high school senior, was picked as the ninth-best prospect in the Northwoods League by Baseball America following the summer.

“The Rockies wanted 2B/3B Andy Burns, the best hitter out of Colorado’s prep ranks in years, and followed him this summer in the Northwoods League, but Burns followed through on his commitment to Kentucky,” Manuel detailed.

UK signees Robbie Ross, Blake Brewer, Corban Joseph and Seth Lintz – all drafted players who signed with their respective clubs before the signing deadline, also earned mention in the draft breakdown. Ross, a southpaw and Lexington native, was tabbed as the Texas Rangers’ draftee with the best fastball and the best secondary pitch. Joseph, an infielder from Tennessee, was tabbed as the best pure hitter in the Yankees draft, Brewer the best fastball in the Marlins draft and Lintz the best secondary pitch in the Brewers draft.

Cowgill, a former Kentucky High School Mr. Baseball out of Henry Clay, had a career year as a fourth-year junior, earning first team All-America honors and first-team All-SEC accolades. Cowgill hit .361 with a team-best 19 homers and 60 RBI, swiping 23-of-27 bases while adding seven outfield assists during 2008, helping lead UK to a school-record 44 wins and an NCAA Regional runner-up finish.

Cowgill, a 5-foot-9, 195-pound right-handed hitter, needed just 20 games in the Northwest League to rank as the league leader in home runs, cranking out 11 roundtrippers for the Yakima Bears. Cowgill, a fifth-round pick by Arizona, hit .304 (24-for-79) with three doubles, one triple and 28 RBI while suiting up for Yakima. After dominating Northwest League pitching in 20 games, Cowgill was promoted to the Midwest League, where he hit .249 (50-for-201) with 13 doubles, three triples, one homer and 17 RBI.

Green, a 6-foot-8, 245-pound flamethrower, worked 56.2 innings in 2008 for UK, earning a 6-4 record and a 4.76 ERA, posting two saves. Green, a third round pick of the Tigers, worked 15 games in the Midwest League, earning a 1-2 record and a 3.57 ERA in 17.2 innings. Green, a native of Louisville, Ky., notched two saves and struck out 15, walking only five and allowing a 219 opponents batting average.

Kentucky, winners of a school-record 122 games over the last three years, opens its season on Feb. 20, with a season-opening tournament at Coastal Carolina in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

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