Spring Training Report: 3/28/2014

Garrett Cooper split last season between Helena and Wisconsin after being selected by the Brewers in the 6th round of the June draft.  (Photo: Brad Krause)
Garrett Cooper split last season between Helena and Wisconsin after being selected by the Brewers in the 6th round of the June draft. (Photo: Brad Krause)

COOPER PRIMED TO PLAY BOTH CORNERS IN 2014

A common theme among Milwaukee’s prospects this spring has been versatility. After all, the more you can do, the better your chance of seeing the field.

It’s no different for Brewers slugger Garrett Cooper, who is looking to add third base to his resume this season.

“I’ve been working at third and first” said Cooper, “splitting time and just doing defense for both spots so this upcoming season they can play me at either corner spot.”

“They told me they just want me to have versatility moving up through the organization” Cooper continued, “because with third base, they like to have guys that can play multiple positions.”

Whether he sees the bulk of his time defensively at first or third remains to be seen, but regardless of position, Cooper is looking for bigger things at the plate this season.

After being selected out of Auburn University by Milwaukee in the sixth round of last year’s draft, Cooper made a quick impression with his bat, homering twice in his pro debut. He belted four home runs in his first 16 games at Helena and quickly earned a promotion to Class-A Wisconsin.

Cooper joined the Timber Rattlers on July 13th and saw action in 32 more games, batting .287 with a pair of home runs and 20 runs batted in.

The 6’6″ Cooper is excited to be playing once again this spring, and is hoping to see a rise in his power numbers at the plate in 2014.

“It’s great to be back out here” said Cooper. “Hitting-wise I’ve just been working every day with our new coordinator that came in this year, Jeremy Reed, and hopefully tapping in to more power than last year, so just looking for a great season. Just to go out and compete every day and hopefully just keep moving up through the organization.”

Cooper could move up to Brevard County to begin the season or he may return to Wisconsin depending on where the Brewers have a need for him. But no matter where he is assigned to begin the year, the right-handed hitting slugger will continue to look to do whatever he can to assure that he sees his name on the lineup card each day.

BIG LEAGUIN’

The Brewers played their second to last Spring Training game on Friday night, hosting the Kansas City Royals at Miller Park in Milwaukee. The Royals came out on top by a score of 5-4. Outfielder Ryan Braun led the way for the Brewers offense, going 2-for-3 with a three run home run in the third inning. 21-year-old pitcher Wei-Chung Wang pitched two scoreless innings. Minor league infielders Elian Herrera and Irving Falu each made an appearance for Milwaukee. Herrera had an RBI single in his lone at bat, while Falu went 0-for-2 after entering the game in the seventh inning.

ON DECK

The Brewers minor league squads were scheduled to wrap up their spring training slate of games on Saturday against the Los Angeles Dodgers affiliates, but the Dodgers decided to cancel Saturday’s games. Milwaukee’s affiliates will break camp in the next few days, with Nashville, Huntsville, Brevard County and Wisconsin beginning play on Thursday, April 3rd.

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