Colton Cowser: From Top Prospect to Major League Struggles
A Rising Star in the Minors
Colton Cowser, a top 50 prospect, had an impressive 2023 season in the minors. After a late call-up to Norfolk in 2022, Cowser quickly made a name for himself. He ended the year as the MVP of the Triple-A championship game and proved to be one of the best players at the highest level of the minors. His performance exceeded expectations and raised hopes for his future in the majors.
A Surprise Rise to Triple-A
Selected as the fifth overall pick in the 2021 draft, Cowser was initially seen as a value pick for the Orioles. However, he quickly outperformed expectations and rose to Triple-A in his first full professional season. With a hot start for the Tides in 2023, Cowser showcased his skills as a disciplined and powerful left-handed hitter. He became a front-runner for a potential call-up to the Orioles roster.
Struggles in the Majors
Despite his impressive performance in the minors, Cowser’s time in the majors did not live up to expectations. After receiving his long-awaited call-up on July 5, Cowser showed promise with a walk and an RBI single in his debut game. However, he struggled to find consistent success at the plate, resulting in a low batting average and OPS. Cowser’s lack of multi-hit games became a cause for concern, leading to his eventual return to the minors.
A Return to Form in Norfolk
After his stint in the majors, Cowser returned to Norfolk for a second act with the Tides. He quickly regained his form, embarking on a six-game hit streak and showcasing his defensive prowess. Despite some struggles in September, Cowser ended the regular season on a high note by hitting a grand slam in the Triple-A National Championship game, earning him MVP honors.
Looking ahead to the 2024 season, it is expected that Cowser will break spring training as part of the Orioles’ 26-man roster. While he may not be a regular starter in the outfield, Cowser has the potential to provide valuable depth off the bench. Unless a major free agent signing occurs, Cowser and Heston Kjerstad are likely to be the main outfield bench options for the Orioles. However, there is always the possibility of Cowser being included in a blockbuster trade if the Orioles pursue a player of Juan Soto’s caliber.
Colton Cowser’s journey from a top prospect to his struggles in the majors has been a rollercoaster ride. While his time in Baltimore may not have gone as planned, Cowser’s impressive performance in the minors and his potential for the future make him an exciting player to watch. As he continues to develop and refine his skills, Cowser has the opportunity to become a key contributor for the Orioles in the coming seasons.
Colton Cowser’s Rise to Prominence in the 2023 Baseball Season
A Top Prospect’s Journey from Minor Leagues to the Majors
Colton Cowser, a highly-touted prospect, exceeded expectations in the 2023 baseball season. The young outfielder started the year with the Norfolk Tides, the Baltimore Orioles’ Triple-A affiliate, and showcased his skills as one of the best players at the minor league’s highest level. However, Cowser’s time in the majors was underwhelming compared to his exploits in the minors.
Selected as the fifth overall pick in the 2021 draft, Cowser quickly proved himself as a valuable asset to the Orioles organization. Despite initial perceptions that he was a value pick to save bonus pool money, Cowser’s performance on the field surpassed all expectations. In his first full professional season, he rose to Triple-A, displaying a remarkable ability to drive the ball to all fields and a disciplined approach at the plate.
Throughout the 2023 season, Cowser consistently outperformed his competition, putting himself in contention with other highly-ranked position players like Jordan Westburg and Heston Kjerstad for a spot on the Orioles’ roster. With an impressive start for the Tides, Cowser slashed .295/.437/.495, showcasing his offensive prowess by driving in runs, scoring runs, and working walks.
Despite some injuries in May, Cowser continued to shine at Triple-A, collecting hits, maintaining a high average, and displaying his skills as the primary leadoff hitter for the Tides. As Cedric Mullins, the Orioles’ outfielder, went down with an injury, many fans hoped Cowser would be his replacement. However, Cowser’s own injury prevented him from receiving the call-up to the majors.
Finally, on July 5, Cowser received his long-awaited call-up to the major league roster. In his debut game against the New York Yankees, Cowser showcased his ability to get on base, working a walk and picking up an RBI single. Although the hits didn’t come as frequently as they did in the minors, Cowser’s discipline at the plate remained evident with a .381 on-base percentage.
Despite his initial success, Cowser struggled to find consistency in the majors, resulting in a low batting average and OPS. Recognizing the need for further development, the Orioles sent Cowser back to Norfolk in August. He quickly regained his form, embarking on a six-game hit streak and making impressive defensive plays.
While September proved to be a challenging month for Cowser, his performance in the Triple-A National Championship game stood out. Cowser’s seventh-inning grand slam secured the victory for the Tides and earned him the MVP honors.
What’s Next for Colton Cowser?
Looking ahead to the 2024 season, it would be a significant disappointment if Cowser didn’t break spring training as part of the Orioles’ 26-man roster. Although the starting outfield of Austin Hays, Cedric Mullins, and Anthony Santander is well-established, Cowser has the potential to provide valuable depth off the bench. With Aaron Hicks likely not returning and Ryan McKenna’s future uncertain, Cowser could become a key outfield bench option for the Orioles.
However, there is always the possibility of Cowser being included in a blockbuster trade. While the Orioles have made it clear that their top prospect, Jackson Holliday, is off the table, Cowser remains the highest-ranking prospect that could realistically be included in a trade. Unless the Orioles pursue a major free agent signing in the outfield or aim for a trade of significant magnitude, Cowser is expected to play an important role on the 2024 Orioles roster.
Colton Cowser’s journey from a top prospect to a major league player has been filled with ups and downs. Despite his underwhelming time in the majors, Cowser’s performance in the minors and his potential for the future make him a player to watch in the coming seasons.