Cousins in outfield bench mix
When the Marlins head to Spring Training in mid-February, most of their regular position spots will be set. Pretty much the only job unsettled is third base, where prospect Matt Dominguez still must show he is big league ready. If the 21-year-old is, there will be little drama when manager Edwin Rodriguez fills out his lineup card.
What will be up for grabs are a few bench spot, particularly in the outfield. Heading into Spring Training, the Marlins are planning on going with Logan Morrison in left, Chris Coghlan in center and Mike Stanton in right.
A candidate to keep a close eye on is Scott Cousins.
Typically, the Marlins prefer their prospects who aren’t in the lineup every day to get steady playing time in the Minor Leagues. Cousins may be an exception. A third-round pick in 2006, he will turn 26 on Jan. 22.
A left-handed batter and thrower, Cousins has the strongest outfield arm in the organization. He is a plus defender in all three outfield spots.
Cousins has had plenty of Minor League seasoning, including 118 games at Triple-A New Orleans in 2010, where he batted .285 with 14 homers and 49 RBIs.
Late in the season, Cousins also saw action in 27 games with the Marlins, and he hit .297 with two doubles, two triples and two RBIs. His first big league hit was a walk-off, game winner to beat Atlanta. He also came through with some timely pinch-hits, going 5-for-17 (.294) in that role.
Even though he is seeking his first MLB homer, he has 55 as a Minor Leaguer. Also as a Minor Leaguer, he did something yet to be accomplished by a Florida player — hit for the cycle.
Entering Spring Training, Cousins will be looked upon as a fourth outfielder. But that doesn’t mean he won’t eventually develop into a quality every day player. In 2006, the Marlins acquired a player from the Reds who was a similar type of player. Back then, Cody Ross was an unheralded 26-year-old who was looking to prove he could play every day.
– Joe Frisaro