There is a lot to be said about making a first impression inside and outside the world of baseball.
For Rattler first baseman Garrett Cooper he made an immediate impact in two levels of minor league baseball after being drafted in the sixth round from Auburn University by Milwaukee in June.
Cooper blasted two home runs in his first two career professional at bats for the Pioneer League Helena Brewers on Opening Night.
Milwaukee wasted no time promoting him to Single A Wisconsin after 16 games with the Helena Brewers where he batted .274 with four home runs and ten runs batted in.
The 22-year-old is showing more signs of improvement given the blazing stretch of games in August where he produced a nine-game hitting streak and accumulated ten multi-hit games for the Timber Rattlers.
The tall 6’6” Alabama native maintained momentum despite a stop on the seven-day disabled list midway through the month.
In 15 games, he has accumulated 24 hits on 58 at bats to give him a .414 batting average and walked six times for an On Base Percentage of .477.
His first career home run in the Midwest League was a towering shot well over the wall in left-center field in the Rattlers’ 5-1 loss to Burlington July 29, according to the Post-Crescent in Appleton.
Milwaukee may have had their eyes set on the Auburn Tiger early on given his success in the Southeast Conference.
Cooper collected 20 extra base hits and belted seven home runs with 37 runs driven in during his senior campaign.
His .481 On Base Percentage put him second in the SEC and drew 37 walks to rank third.
Returning from injury
Cooper spent the winter following his junior season adding additional weight would strengthen him up after getting hurt at the tail end of the season.
The first baseman had this to say to WSMV TV following the draft:
“After my junior year and getting hurt at the end of the year I wanted to put on weight and thought that would pay dividends in my senior year,” Cooper said. “I think it helped, hitting over .350 with seven bombs. We ended the season on a sour note but for myself I felt like I had a great season and that showed with the draft this year.”
The 6’6” first baseman now weighs 230 pounds but given his recent minor league success it has not slowed him down.
Ross returns from Tommy John Surgery
Right-hander Austin Ross missed a majority of the 2012 season following Tommy John surgery after just three appearances with High A Brevard County but is starting to bounce back.
After spending a huge portion of the 2013 season with the Arizona League Brewers rehabilitating the repaired throwing arm – he made eight trips to the pitching mound for Single A Wisconsin.
He allowed just three earned runs in the course of his last five starts spanning 24 innings for the Timber Rattlers. In addition, he allowed 17 hits and walked seven batters in the span of games where he posted a 2-0 record.