NEW YORK -- Kaleb Cowart, the No. 1-ranked prospect in the Angels' farm system, is having a rough first season in Double-A. And once again, it's batting from the left side of the plate against right-handed pitching that's giving him the most trouble.
But the Angels aren't ready for the 21-year-old third baseman to abandon switch-hitting.
"He's a switch-hitter," said Angels assistant general manager Scott Servais, who oversees scouting and player development. "He'd be just coming off the Draft right now, if you look at the fact he didn't go to college and signed out of high school. He's fine. I don't see anybody, at this point, taking the switch-hitting away from him."
Cowart, also ranked 82nd overall by MLB.com, was the Angels' Organizational Player of the Year last season, batting .276 with 16 homers, 103 RBIs and 14 steals in two Class A levels.
But he hasn't handled the big ballparks of Double-A very well, posting only a .213/.275/.294 slash line with five homers in 114 games for the Arkansas Travelers. He's batting .269 against lefties and .197 against righties, splits that are even more drastic than 2012 (.293 against lefties and .269 against righties).
"He's a natural right-handed hitter, so the left side of the plate is still a little bit of a struggle," Servais said of Cowart, taken 18th overall in 2010. "He's working at it, trying to make a few adjustments. He needs to do a better job of using the whole field. I think as a left-handed hitter, he tends to get a little bit too much pull in his swing at times. That happens with a lot of players, especially switch-hitters that are right-handed throwers. They tend to pull a little more as left-handed hitters."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.