By Nick Patterson Herald Writer
EVERETT — The Everett AquaSox have added perhaps the biggest name from the 2014 amateur draft the Sox will see this season.
Austin Cousino, the Seattle Mariners’ third-round pick in this year’s draft, joined the team Sunday to bolster the Sox’s outfield.
Cousino, a 21-year-old from Dublin, Ohio, was selected as a junior out of the University of Kentucky. The 5-foot-10, 185-pounder batted .308 with four home runs, 38 RBI and 19 stolen bases in 61 games with Kentucky this spring.
The Sox have gotten used to seeing Seattle’s first rounders. Everett was the starting point for each of Seattle’s past two first-round picks, with catcher Mike Zunino (third overall) spending a month with the team in 2012 and third baseman D.J. Peterson (12th overall) doing the same last season.
However, there’s a good chance Cousino will be the highest draft pick to play in Everett this season. Seattle’s first two picks this year, outfielders Alex Jackson (sixth overall) and Gareth Morgan (74th overall), were both selected out of high school, and high schoolers typically spend their first season playing for Peoria in the rookie Arizona League. Morgan has already signed with the Mariners, but has yet to be assigned to a minor-league team. Jackson, who’s being advised by Scott Boras, could negotiate all the way up to the July 18 signing deadline.
Two other players joined the Sox on Sunday. Right-handed pitcher Oliver Garcia, a 23-year-old from the Dominican Republic who pitched for Everett in 2012, arrives after spending the first half of April with High Desert of the high Class A California League, where he had a 1.59 ERA in five relief appearances. Right-handed pitcher Troy Scott, a 20-year-old from Lake Elsinore, Calif., who was Seattle’s 18th-round pick in 2013, spent last season with Peoria, where he had a 4.76 ERA in nine relief appearances.
True to his word
When AquaSox manager Dave Valle was asked before the season began about his managing style, he replied with the following:
“I like aggressive baseball.”
So far Valle has been true to his word, at least on the basepaths.
In Everett’s first two games the Sox attempted nine stolen bases. That included four attempts at swiping third. Those nine attempts came from six different players, including the likes of Phillips Castillo and Kyle Petty, who are not renown for their speed. The Sox were successful on five of those nine attempts, including 2-for-4 trying for third.
It’s been a rainy start to the 2014 season for the Sox. Each of Everett’s first three games has been affected by wet conditions. Both Friday’s season opener and Sunday’s contest required the tarp to be on the infield before the game, preventing the teams from taking batting practice on the field. Saturday’s game wasn’t wet before the game, but the rain came midgame to make it damp for the players and fans.