The 27 year old batted just .163/.200/.267 in 92 plate appearances for the Marlins this past season, appearing in just 53 games (14 starts). Over parts of the past three seasons Cousins has received 188 plate appearances with the Marlins, hitting .183/.231/.291 over that span with a concerning 58 strikeouts (versus just 11 walks). His value has been largely in his defensive versatility as he’s capable of playing all three outfield positions. The former 2006 Draft pick (3rd Round) has hit a collective .279/.341/.451 in 2,161 plate appearances over the past seven seasons in the minor leagues, but was still thought highly enough of that Baseball America ranked him as the Marlins 9th best prospect heading into the 2012 season.
Cousins is likely best known for a collision at the plate early in the 2011 season which resulted in San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey missing the remainder of the season. Numerous people called Cousins’ contact at the plate a dirty play at the time. While he was a solid defensive replacement, he was never able to work his way into the Marlins’ plans long term given the remaining outfield depth within the organization.
Toronto figures to head into next season with a number of young players competing for time in their outfield – notably Moises Sierra and Anthony Gose – but there could be room off the bench for Cousins if he’s able to compete in Spring Training for a spot on the roster. Of course, that’s also depending largely on what other moves Toronto makes this winter.