The Padres announced their list of non-roster invitees to Major League Spring Training today, and new among the mix is veteran outfielder Collin Cowgill, who has agreed to a minors pact with the team.
The 30-year-old Cowgill spent the 2016 season in the Indians organization, with most of his work coming in Triple-A. In addition to nine Major League games and 14 plate appearances, Cowgill logged 103 games and 407 plate appearances with Cleveland’s Triple-A affiliate in Columbus, batting .234/.311/.320. A veteran of six Major League seasons, Cowgill is a career .234/.297/.329 hitter in 759 PAs between the Angels, A’s, Diamondbacks, Mets and Indians. While he doesn’t have a track record of producing at the plate, Cowgill has typically graded out as an above-average baserunner and corner outfielder. He’s also plenty capable of playing center field as well, though UZR and DRS rate his work there less favorably.
Cowgill enters a crowded outfield mix in Padres camp. Alex Dickerson, Manuel Margot, Hunter Renfroe and Travis Jankowski are all but assured to have roster spots and see considerable playing time during the regular season. Cowgill will battle with fellow non-roster invitees Rafael Ortega, Jabari Blash and Nick Buss for a reserve spot on the bench, though the Padres are already carrying multiple center-field capable outfielders in Margot and Jankowski. Beyond that, Christian Bethancourt will probably see occasional reps in the outfield, and infielder Cory Spangenberg has seen brief time in the outfield as well (in 2015).