(KMOV)-- Cory Cowsert faced three hitters pitching for the Southern Illinois Miners last night. He struck out all three. After the game, the lefty reliever was called into the manager’s officer and informed he’d been signed by the New York Yankees.
Cowsert is from Pacific, Mo. He pitched at Meramec Jr. College and Central Methodist University with only moderate success. In his final season at Central Methodist he was 5-6 with an e.r.a. of 5.66. He wasn’t drafted, but didn’t give up the dream of playing in the big leagues. Following his college season he went to a tryout camp in Kansas City, where a scout saw him throw and recommended him to the Southern Illinois Miners of the independent Frontier League. He pitched last summer for the Miners and was 2-0, but again had a lofty e.r.a. of 6.30. It appeared his career might be stalling out. But with help from pitching coach Justin Lord, Cowsert saw his fortunes change. “He did everything in his power to make me a better pitcher”, said Cowsert of his coach. “I worked hard in the off season, and little things led to big things”.
This season Cowsert has been dominant out of the bullpen for the Miners. He’s 3-0, with an e.r.a. of 0.55. He’s struck out 22 hitters in just 16 innings. He was impressive enough for the Yankees to sign him, and send him to their Class A team in Tampa, Florida. “I’m just happy that I got my foot in the door. Now I’m available to the Yankees should something happen. I hope to have a good year, and see how it works”, said Cowsert.
Growing up in Pacific Cowsert was a huge Cardinals fan. He was hoping to pitch for St. Louis some day, but said “If I can’t be with the Cardinals, the Yankees are the next best thing”. Cowsert will leave for Tampa on Thursday, and hopes to make his debut in the Yankees minor league system this weekend.