Prospect Profiles: Jason Cooper and Kevin Kouzmanoff

Numbers 15 and 16 on my list are both college sluggers.

16. 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff
How Acquired: 2003 Draft (6th Round)
College: Nevada
ETA: 2007

Year League Age AB 2B HR SB BA OBP SLG
2003 SSA 22 206 8 8 2 .272 .342 .437
2004 A- 23 473 35 16 5 .330 .394 .526

Along with Pat Osborn, Kouzmanoff gives the Indians organization a pair of decent prospects at third base, an organizational black hole in recent years. Kouzmanoff had a fantastic year in his first season in a full-season league, although he posted those numbers at the age of 23. He’s starting this year in Kinston, but I’d like to see what he can do in Akron before the season’s over. He’s not going to be a star by any stretch of the imagination, but he does everything well enough. BA’s John Manuel pegs him as Casey Blake with less power.

15. OF Jason Cooper
How Acquired: 2002 Draft (3rd Round)
College: Stanford
ETA: 2006

Year League Age AB 2B HR SB BA OBP SLG
2002 A- 21 55 5 4 0 .255 .339 .564
2003 A- 22 262 17 12 3 .298 .385 .553
2003 A+ 22 218 17 9 3 .307 .380 .528
2004 AA 23 422 24 14 2 .239 .321 .424
2004 AAA 23 52 1 3 1 .173 .295 .365

After a great 2003 campaign split between Lake County and Kinston, the AA level proved difficult for Cooper, and thus far a return engagement hasn’t been good. A couple things are working against Jason. First of all, he’s at best a left fielder, thanks to a poor throwing arm. Secondly, there’s a lot of outfield competition in the organization, from Sizemore and Crisp in Cleveland to Gutierrez and Snyder in the high minors. He was left eligible for the Rule 5 draft, one of the better position players unprotected, but didn’t get picked. He’s a guy who has good power potential, but like a lot of power hitters has to be able to control the strike zone. So far in Akron, he hasn’t been able to do that, posting a poor 25:8 SO/BB ratio. His stock is falling rapidly in my opinion.

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