With the 80th selection in the 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft the Seattle Mariners selected outfielder Austin Cousino from Kentucky University. Many baseball scouts believe he was arguably one of the best outfielders in college baseball this past season. At 5’10 and 185 pounds, Cousino is very athletic and is one of the best defenders in terms of outfielders in the entire draft.
He starred in his first college season in 2012 by winning the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year honors, and then leading the U.S. college national team in hitting average (.351) during the summer. But he hasn’t hit for as much average or power since then, and his strike-zone discipline has gotten worse which is the cause for his draft stock to fall. At the next level he projects to be a contact hitter with limited occasional gap power.
From an overall standpoint he has maintained his standard of fine center-field play. He has solid speed and gets great reads and jumps, allowing him to chase down balls from gap to gap. He even has an average arm, which is better than that of most center fielders.
If the Mariners end up striking gold with him then he could end up being a top of the lineup caliber hitter. He is a bit of an unfinished project, but has a tremendous amount of potential. Having the combination of athleticism, left-handed hitter, and consistent contact Cousino will more than likely jump right into a top of the lineup guy in low-A ball next season if he signs.