Garrett Cooper Would Probably Take a Mulligan on 2018: Miami Marlins Review

Throughout the 2018/2019 offseason, Marlin Maniac will devote one article each for every player who appeared in the Miami Marlins system for the 2018 season. Every. Single. Player. This is Part 163 of 286. For the first 100, click here.

Garrett Nicholas Cooper is a 6’6″, 230 lb. first baseman and outfielder from  Manhattan Beach, California. Born on Christmas Day, 1990, Cooper played high school ball at Loyola in Los Angeles, and originally played his college ball with El Camino College.

Eventually, Cooper joined Auburn University, and was later drafted in the sixth round of the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft by the Milwaukee Brewers. After coming to terms with them for a $30,000 bonus, he worked his way up through their system until mid-2017. That’s when the New York Yankees sent Tyler Webb in exchange for Cooper’s services.

Soon after acquiring him, Cooper made his major league debut with the Yankees. He impressed in a small sample size, going 14-for-43 with five doubles and a triple for six RBI. He ended up with a solid .326/.333/.488 line in 13 games.

Just after the 2017 Winter Meetings, the Yankees sent Cooper and left-hander Caleb Smith to the Miami Marlins for minor league pitcher Michael King.

You can follow Cooper on Twitter at the memorable handle, @CoopaLoop1.

Players chosen as Cooper were, with the 182nd overall selection, have made it to the majors 20 percent of the time. Cooper is one of five with a positive overall WAR. The group is led by Pat Neshek (2002, Minnesota Twins, 10.9 career WAR).

Cooper played the first four games of the season for the Marlins in 2018, starting twice in right field and once at first base. He only went one-for-seven, with a walk, an RBI, three strikeouts and a HBP. He got beaned in the fourth inning of Miami’s 2-1, 17-inning win over the Chicago Cubs, then two games later, ended up going on the disabled list with a right-wrist contusion. It would keep him out of action until a rehab assignment with the Jupiter Hammerheads, in the high-A Florida State League on June 18th.

Cooper rejoined the Marlins just prior to the all-star break, and appeared in their next 10 games, starting seven with three in left, three at first, and once in right field. He went six-for-26 with one double, one RBI, and three walks. During that time, he collected a pair of two-hit games. On July 10th, he went two-for-four with an RBI in an 8-4 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers.

On July 24th, Cooper was again placed on the DL, this time with a right wrist sprain. On August 31st, he underwent a procedure to repair the ECU tendon in his wrist, and didn’t again appear with the Miami Marlins through the season.

After the Miami Marlins acquired slugger Pedro Alvarez earlier this month, first base has become a kind of logjam. Along with Alvarez and Cooper, Peter O’Brien is the current front-runner for the position, but it’s really wide open. That being said, Cooper isn’t tied to first base, either.

In his small sample size at each position, Cooper has put up a perfect fielding percentage for the Marlins. He had nine chances in left (including an assist), 29 chances at first base, and four in right field without an error. That kind of versatility is something the Marlins like, as evidenced by Miguel Rojas‘ continuing infield adventures and for the past few seasons Derek Dietrich playing wherever needed. Although he’s a natural fit at first, he’s nearly as comfortable in left field.

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