Angels prospect Kaleb Cowart opened this season as the fourth-youngest player in the Double-A Texas League, and he’s currently experiencing the growing pains that often come with being a youngster in the upper levels. However, although the 20-year-old third baseman is hitting just .204/.271/.317 through 38 games, he has the highest ceiling of any position player in the Angels’ system.
Cowart’s complete tool set––potential plus hit and power with a plus-plus arm and solid glove––coupled with his maturing skills made him Baseball Prospectus’ no. 1 prospect in the Angels organization and no. 42 in baseball entering this season.
The Georgia native is certainly no stranger to the prospect world. Selected 18th overall by the Angels in 2010, Cowart also had first-round potential on the mound. As an amateur hurler, he flashed a lively low-to-mid 90s fastball and hard slider out of his 6-foot-3 frame. But, as Cowart explains in the following video, he preferred hitting, and the Angels believed in his potential as a position player.
The switch-hitting Cowart has an advanced line-drive stroke from his natural right side but often flashes more sock as a lefty. He admits it can be more difficult to maintain his left-handed swing and keep it from getting too long and loopy, and the early small-sample numbers reflect that. Through those 38 games, Cowart is 9-for-24 (.375) with four doubles and a home run from the right side. As a lefty, he’s just 20-for-118 (.169) with six doubles, a homer, and 32 strikeouts.
When Cowart’s Arkansas Travelers club visited Texas in April, I spoke with him about his solid 2012 campaign, his development as a switch-hitter, and his versatile baseball background.