BALTIMORE -- In an effort to get their former top prospect back on track, the Angels have told third baseman Kaleb Cowart to scrap switch-hitting and focus solely on batting from the left side of the plate.
Cowart, taken 18th overall out of high school in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, went into the 2013 season as the Angels' top-ranked prospect by MLB.com. But the 22-year-old has struggled in Double-A, posting a .221/.279/.301 slash line last year and batting .226/.298/.325 through his first 101 games this year.
During a breakout season in 2012, Cowart fared better from the left side (.828 OPS) than the right side (.764). His splits flipped in 2013 (.539 OPS from the left side, .705 from the right side), and they're pretty even in 2014 (.627 OPS from the left side, .613 from the right side).
There's still a possibility Cowart could eventually transition to a pitcher, which he excelled at for Cook High School in Adel, Ga., but the Angels want to see if he can turn it around at the plate by focusing only on being a left-handed hitter.
"We're trying to simplify things for him a little bit," assistant general manager Scott Servais said of Cowart, who's currently deemed the Angels' No. 4 prospect. "He's done that I think for like the last week. We'll see if that helps."
A similar move helped former Gold Glove Award first baseman J.T. Snow, who came up as a switch-hitter and transitioned to batting only left-handed near the middle of what ended up being a successful 16-year Major League career.
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.Less