Minor Monday: Delmarva's Cannon on top pick Cowser: 'He has the ability to handle the big moment' - BaltimoreBaseball.com

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Minor Monday: Delmarva’s Cannon on top pick Cowser: ‘He has the ability to handle the big moment’

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

Delmarva catcher Jordan Cannon developed a tight bond with Colton Cowser as teammates at Sam Houston State.

From playing baseball to bass fishing, they were close friends even though Cannon was a senior and Cowser was a freshman.

The two are now reunited in the Orioles’ organization.

Cowser was selected with the fifth overall pick in this year’s Major League Baseball draft.  Cannon was selected by the Orioles in the 10th round of the 2019 draft.

“It’s going to be really cool,” Cannon told BaltimoreBaseball.com. “Me and him have talked every single day since I left Sam Houston. So for us to be in the same dugout again and in the same uniform is going to be pretty awesome.”

Cowser, a 6-foot-3, 195-pound centerfielder, hit .354 with 24 home runs and a 1.068 OPS from the left side of the plate in three seasons at Sam Houston State. Cowser was rated the No. 7 draft prospect by FanGraphs, No. 10 by ESPN and MLB.com, and No. 11 by Baseball America. He signed for a reported $4.9 million.

“It’s just kind of how I was raised to play the game,” Cowser told the Baltimore media on Friday. “I’m kind of an old-school player, be able to contribute on both sides of the ball. Say you are not having a great day at the plate, but you go out on the field and take away some [hits with] outs. There are always ways to contribute to the game of baseball.”

This past season as a junior, Cowser, 21, was named the Southland Conference Player of the Year, becoming the second player in Sam Houston history to earn the honor. He also earned All-SLC First Team, SLC All-Defensive Team, and SLC All-Tournament team honors, leading Sam Houston to the SLC title game. Cowser became the first player in program history to be named a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award.

“He showed up a really good hitter,” Cannon said. “You can tell he’s always a kid that has confidence, but it was never arrogance. I took him under my wing not because he was a great baseball player and a freshman, but because he was an even better guy. Me and him have probably been best friends since his first day on campus. He does all the right things — crosses the T’s and dots his I’s — takes care of his business off the field.”

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Cannon followed Cowser’s career at Sam Houston State after he was drafted by the Orioles. But their relationship stretches beyond the baseball diamond. They have an affinity for bass fishing. Cowser was comfortable hanging around Cannon and his roommates even though he was several years younger.

“We both liked to fish a lot and there was always something going on in our apartment,” Cannon said. “Colton was always there hanging out with me. I had a couple of roommates who wound up playing pro ball. It was good for Colton to be around guys that were older than him. From a growing-up standpoint, you want to be around guys that have been around the block a few times.”

Cowser is considered a natural centerfielder and that’s where he is likely to begin playing in the minors. The Orioles have Cedric Mullins in center field, and he is having a breakout year, earning a spot as the starting centerfielder for the  American League in the All-Star Game.

In 2019, Cowser led the 2019 Collegiate National Team in runs with nine. He was also named MVP of the Cuba series after leading the team in batting (.438) and runs (6) and tying for the team-lead in hits (7) during the five-game series. Cowser started eight of 14 games in right field.

Cannon knew that Cowser would be drafted.

“I knew he was going to be a high pick, but I never thought he’d be a No. 5 pick,” Cannon said. “When I first started playing with him, I knew this guy was going to go high. A few draft boards came out and he was going to be a first-rounder. He was going to be a top 14 pick and I was like, ‘Holy Cow.’ Looking back, you could see it. Just as a freshman there was never an arm that someone on the other team ran out there and beat him up. Never.”

Cowser will attempt  to make the transition from a talented college player to a productive professional.

“He has the ability to handle the big moment,” Cannon said. “He’s always been good at the big moment. You could run Texas A&M out there, a Friday night guy, and Colton is cool, calm and collected. There’s no crowd too big. No arm, too much stuff. He might get beat sometimes, but it’s never, ‘Man, that guy was way better than him.’ Tip your hat and he’ll be back in 30 minutes.”

Cannon is excited to have another talented player join the Orioles ‘organization. General manager Mike Elias has laid the groundwork for what he hopes is one of the best minor-league systems in baseball. He hopes that many of these young players will get their chance to play at Camden Yards over the next few years.

“It’s very exciting, all across the Orioles’ board,” Cannon said. “It’s pretty cool to watch and see kind of the turning the page in the organization. It’s really the Orioles getting their kind of guys. It’s fun to watch and be around every day.”

As for Cannon, he is still nursing a hamstring injury from earlier this month against Lynchburg. He heard a pop as he was running for first base and then had trouble walking.

Cannon hopes to get back on the field in the coming weeks. He is batting .223/.326/.393 with five homers and 22 RBIs in 31 games for the Shorebirds.

“I eased off the side of the field, kind of like an airplane running out of gas,” Cannon said.  “It’s slowly getting better. I’m about three weeks in rehab. Slowly taking my time, don’t want to rush it and re-injure it.”

Short start: Grayson Rodriguez lasted just 1 2/3 innings and allowed three hits and four runs with two walks and five strikeouts in a 6-5 victory over the Hartford Yard Goats on Saturday night. Nick Vespi, Ofelky Peralta, and Tim Naughton finished the game from the bullpen, combining to allow just one hit and an unearned run. Rodriguez is 7-1 with a 2.37 ERA in 14 starts.

Heating up: Delmarva outfielder Cristopher Cespedes has hit .300 with six doubles, six homers and 23 RBIs over a 22-game stretch. He has also had two grand slams and a three-run double.

Rutschman update: Top prospect Adley Rutschman homered from both sides of the plate, doubled and walked with the bases loaded in Bowie’s 20-7 victory over Hartford  on July 21st. Rutschman is batting .281/.408/.518 with 15 homers and 48 RBIs in 68 games.

Hard-fought wins: The Norfolk Tides’ pitching staff is on pace for 49 wins, the fewest in franchise history. The lowest win total since joining the Orioles’ organization in 2007 is 56 in 2011 (56-87)

27 Comments

27 Comments

  1. CalsPals

    July 26, 2021 at 8:24 am

    MLB.com says that the O’s should extend Mancini to a long term deal & keep him for when they’re competitive in the next 3-4 yrs, not a fan of the timeline, but I concur…go O’s…

  2. Baltimore Castaway

    July 26, 2021 at 8:27 am

    As difficult as it is to deal with, the Orioles are still in the first third of their re-build.

    Elias has drafted some very talented players but they still have a long way to go.

    Their System will look a whole lot differently by this time next year; a (presumably) deep International Signing Class, the June Amateur Draft, and perhaps some players acquired in Trades this week.

    This Team’s future is much brighter than before. Just how bright it gets remains to be seen..

  3. Orial

    July 26, 2021 at 8:41 am

    Number one: we gotta get Mr. Cowser to the barber. That style ain’t gonna cut it in today’s “looking good” sportswold. Line drive type hitter is exactly what this team and sport needs(can we say Red Sox?) His C+ draft rating makes him the perfect dark-horse candidate for anybody’s depth chart rating. He’ll fit right in. 2 “next starts” to keep an eye on–Rodriguez and Means. Always leery about these pitchers-but that’s me.

    • CalsPals

      July 26, 2021 at 8:54 am

      Totally agree with you, not trying to sound negative, Means was an AS as a rookie (could’ve EASILY been Mancini) on a team with few choices, really hasn’t impressed me since, exception being his no no, something always has had me wondering when the other foot would drop, his last five starts (rehab + 2) haven’t been the greatest, love his attitude & hope things work out, as you, still leery

    • CalsPals

      July 26, 2021 at 8:54 am

      …go O’s…

    • Camden Brooks

      July 26, 2021 at 10:21 am

      14 starts this year, and a sub 3.00 ERA on a terrible team, in a hitters park. Yeah, not impressive at all…

    • CalsPals

      July 26, 2021 at 11:05 am

      9 of 14 starts we’re on the road, obviously in other ballparks, era, 5.04 at home, 2.03 on the road, not bad, but since his injury ehhh, also he has been injured every yr since he came up, quite a bargain though considering he’s making less than $600,000…didn’t say I hated him, not much to look at in regards to seasons as he’s been hurt a lot, hope he does well, was just an opinion on a like opinion of someone else…go O’s…

  4. Bhoffman1

    July 26, 2021 at 8:52 am

    Again why was Rodriguez removed after just 1 2/3 innings. He was bound to have one bad start but he struck out 5 batters. Let him battle a little. Hope he’s not hurt

    • CalsPals

      July 26, 2021 at 9:33 am

      If he’s healthy, I totally agree, he should’ve tried pitching out of the inning, how are you going to learn to deal with adversity if someone always takes that challenge away?… go O’s…

  5. Bhoffman1

    July 26, 2021 at 8:53 am

    And how can Diaz be injured so much. Is the guy not conditioned or what.

    • Baltimore Castaway

      July 26, 2021 at 9:04 am

      Am fearful this Diaz guy is just not going to work out. Hope that I’m wrong on this. He’s been around this team for what, three years now?? Doesn’t seem to have gotten through his thick head that the big Club in Baltimore really needed and still needs him… reminds me of a Cuban version of the other Classic underachiever in the System, Hunter Harvey…

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        July 26, 2021 at 2:51 pm

        You’re a cold man BC.

        • Baltimore Castaway

          July 26, 2021 at 3:02 pm

          BRR,

          I really do hate to sound this way. BUT, these two have been paid A LOT of money thus far to be Baseball Players and neither one of them are producing. That’s issue #1 I have with each of them. Issue #2 is that it seems that it doesn’t really bother them too much that they are each NON-Factors for this team. Shame on them.. Harvey was drafted as a high first round starting pitcher and then HE decided that he would be a bullpen guy…really??? A Totally Wasted Draft Pick.

          Diaz was the headliner of the return from the Dodgers for #13. He was paid a $7+M bonus, of which the Dodgers had to also pay a matching $7+M penalty for going over slot. A complete and total waste of Money and effort for both teams.

          The only difference is that at least Diaz doesn’t have a goofball hillbilly mop of hair to make him look like a total fool also..

    • CalsPals

      July 26, 2021 at 4:44 pm

      Maybe we can get Cowser & Harvey to the same barber:)….go O’s….

  6. Orioles20

    July 26, 2021 at 9:28 am

    Cowser seems to be a very good pick. Hopefully we see him soon being a college bat. The outfield which we thought had plenty of depth obviously doesn’t. Probably should’ve traded Santander last offseason. Diaz can’t stay healthy and doesn’t do a damn thing when on the field. Thanks duquette for that one. But the outfielders in Bowie and below seem to be studs. Stowers has really been impressive since his promotion to Bowie. As for Rodriguez maybe he’s wearing down a bit. No all star break this year so maybe he’s a bit fatigued. If not so be it one bad outing happens every once in a while.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      July 26, 2021 at 12:13 pm

      Should have traded Santander last offseason? Uh … bad idea. Why not trade all our best players while we’re at it?

      • Orioles20

        July 26, 2021 at 2:43 pm

        Look at his numbers you ain’t getting anything for him now. Idc if he’s been banged up or not. I’m sure there were teams lined up for him last year like the Marlins.

        • Boog Robinson Robinson

          July 26, 2021 at 2:59 pm

          Outside of Mountcastle, his bat has the most potential on the team. This is baseball, you don’t dump players after ½ a cold season, or even a full season sometimes. He’s fought through injurie before, I’d wager a Grecian Urn that he’ll work through this season as well.

  7. Nellie

    July 26, 2021 at 12:01 pm

    Cowser and Norby. Will Clark and Pedroia? Maybe?

    • CalsPals

      July 26, 2021 at 12:19 pm

      Maybe, 1st & 2nd, Mountcastle or Mancini at 1st, Cowser OF, who knows, definitely see Norby at 2nd…go O’s…

  8. Nellie

    July 26, 2021 at 2:21 pm

    I’m talking about style of play. Tough SOB’s, hopefully.

    • CalsPals

      July 26, 2021 at 2:24 pm

      Like that…go O’s…

  9. Buzz1979

    July 26, 2021 at 5:58 pm

    Bowser, “glad to have yahs on our show tonight!”

  10. Buzz1979

    July 26, 2021 at 8:11 pm

    That is one bad haircut at the top!!!

    • Birdman

      July 26, 2021 at 9:51 pm

      Maybe he’s been cutting his own hair, avoiding barbers due to Covid.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      July 27, 2021 at 4:22 pm

      It’s called a buzz cut.

  11. Buzz1979

    July 26, 2021 at 9:50 pm

    Looks like Moe, the bully, in the old Calvin and Hobbes cartoon!

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