Exclusive: Keep An Eye on Red Sox Prospect Kole Cottamby Jamie Gatlin November 30, 2021 1 comment
The Red Sox farm system has been on the rise over the last few years. One player who has flown under the radar is Kole Cottam. The Tennessee native was selected by Boston with the 110th overall pick in the 2018 draft. While Cottam is coming off his best minor league season, he has had a unique journey thus far.
College Career and Draft
Before joining the Red Sox, Cottam hit .326 in 150 collegiate games. While he was an on-base machine, he also managed 27 home runs. Thanks to his impressive performance, the Red Sox prospect was a finalist for the Dick Howser Trophy in 2018, which is awarded to the top player in collegiate baseball. It all led to an unforgettable draft experience that ended with Cottam in Boston.
“The draft process was stressful but fun,” said Cottam. “The four days leading up to the draft, I was able to work out for the Cubs, Padres, Red Sox, and the Rockies. Fenway was just incredible taking batting practice and being able to talk to some of the guys. I was in Knoxville for the draft and got to experience that with my family, and hearing them call my name was incredible.”
Over the years, Cottam has steadily moved through the system. In 2021, he got his first taste of Double-A ball and in 21 games, hit .282 with four homers. Despite the increased pressure, he recorded 22 hits, including 10 that went for extra bases. His success was partly due to a 2020 full of uncertainty.
“2020 was tough not being able to play,” said Cottam. “I did get to spend a lot of time with my family, and it was the first time my brother and I were back at the same time in a while. I was able to play in a small 40 game league in Lexington. Having that time off put baseball and the importance of staying consistent in perspective “
This one was a missile by Kole Cottam for his fourth homer of the year!!! 110 MPH off the bat!! pic.twitter.com/JvRs19HDU1
— Greenville Drive (@GreenvilleDrive) June 20, 2021
Special Season in 2021
During his time in the minors, Cottam has played alongside some of the organization’s top prospects. In 2021, the Tennessean got to see the development of Triston Casas firsthand.
“The development he’s had over the past two years has been unbelievable,” said Cottam. “I don’t think there is anyone who has taken care of their body the same. His intent and work ethic are unmatched. He pushes everyone on the field and invites the best out of everyone. He pushes me, and I try to push him to get the best out of each other.”
Their success continued in the Arizona Fall League, where they thrived against some of the best prospects in the game. In 15 games, Cottam posted a .275 average with 10 runs batted in. The University of Kentucky product finished with a .510 slugging percentage and drew five walks in what had been a memorable stint in Scottsdale.
“The environment in Arizona is great… There are so many great players from different organizations and guys I played against growing up. I’ve been bouncing ideas off other people, and the walk-offs have been fun. It’s been an exciting and unbelievable experience.”
— Jamie Gatlin (@JamieGatlin17) November 3, 2021
As Cottam’s focus shifts to next season, he will start closer to the majors. The former fourth round pick will be looking to continue improving his game.
“I want to build on what worked last year and keep everything consistent. In 2022, my goal is to take my game to the next level on both sides of the ball heading into Spring Training next year.”
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