TRENTON, NJ – Cale Coshow remembers being cut from the University of Oklahoma’s baseball team after the 2012 season.
“I almost gave up baseball,” Coshow said Friday night prior to the Double-A Trenton Thunder’s Eastern League game with the Richmond Flying Squirrels. “I was really down when they took my scholarship away.”
Coshow, who was contacted by Oklahoma Christian, where he played the 2013 season, the same day the Sooners cut him, has a lot of OU blood in him. His dad, Larry, played football for the Sooners under Barry Switzer, while his mom, Julie, played the clarinet in the band.
After starring at Deer Creek High in Edmond, Okla, in both football and baseball, Coshow chose baseball, something he is happy he did at this point. The Yankees thought they saw something in Coshow, who turned 23 July 16, at Oklahoma Christian, also in his home town of Edmond, and took him in the 13th round of the 2013 draft.
“Its been quite a road,” said the personable, 6-foot-5, 260-pound Coshow. “”I really didn’t have to work hard (in sports) in high school. Getting cut (at Oklahoma) showed me I had to, and I have ever since.
“I also learned, after what happened at Oklahoma, if somebody thinks you can’t play, somebody else will.”
That “somebody else” was the Yankees, who liked Coshow’s size and velocity at Oklahoma Christian, drafting him despite a 3-5, 4.56 mark as a starter with the Eagles in 2013. They are quite pleased with what Coshow has shown them in 2015. After scuffling a bit in his first two seasons in the low minors, going 1-4 as a reliever and spot starter, he’s had a breakout season in 2015.
He began the year as a late-inning reliever with the Low Class-A Charleston RiverDogs, putting together an 0-0, 1.13 mark in 11 appearances with a strikeout/walk ratio of 20-4. Promoted to High-A Tampa, he was an impressive 7-2, 2.28 in 29 appearances, the last 11 as a starter, with a strikeout/walk ratio of 82-19.
At Trenton, he is 0-1, 4.50 and makes is third Double-A start vs. Richmond in Trenton Saturday night.
“What is really impressing me about both Cale and Rookie Davis is both are not afraid to be aggressive and go inside hitters,” said Thunder manager Al Pedrique. “They can throw all their pitches for strikes as well.
“They are showing they belong at this level, and it’s nit all that easy with a promotion late in the season.”
“I’m enjoying starting,” Coshow said. My pitching coaches, Tim Norton at Charleston, Tommy Phelps at Tampa and Rosie (Jose Rosado) here, have really helped me with all my pitches. I’m really happy the Yankees gave me the chance to come to Trenton this season.
“The guys (in the clubhouse) here took me in. I’m really enjoying it.”
And the Yankees are enjoying watching Coshow emerge. He throws a fastball that sits between 94 and 96 mph, a biting cutter, a curve that breaks hard and a changeup he is working on.
“The changeup is pretty important to me,” he said. “My other pitches are fast. I really need something slower to throw at some hitters. “It’s coming along. Right now, my cutter is my second-best pitch.
“Up here (in the Eastern League) the hitters have a better plan at the plate. I really need the change.”
The Yankees love hard throwers, and feel, at this point, Coshow will mature into a solid starter. His velocity is even more impressive in the bullpen.
“My goal this year was to hit 100,” he said with a bit of a grin. “I hit 99 in Charleston when he was in the bullpen. Now that I’m starting, I’m working hard on all my pitches and my command.”
Coshow, with his performance in 2015, is turning out to be a 13th-round steal.