Talk about a guy – a big guy – who has battled back from athletic heartbreak to succeed.
Cale Coshow, at 6-foot-5, 260 pounds, our No. 26 prospect, is impressive on the pitching rubber. The 23-year-old from Edmond, Okla., could pass for a football lineman, which he once was.
Attracting Division I scholarship offers. But he also was a top pitcher in baseball and had a reason for choosing that sport.
“I thought I would have a better chance of making it to the top level in baseball,’’ said the personable Coshow. “It made sense for me to put on the glove and hang up the pads.’’
Understand what stock this big guy comes from. His dad, Larry, played football at the University of Oklahoma for Barry Switzer. His mom, Julie, played the clarinet in the Sooners band.
And the day he was cut from the Sooners baseball team was one of derision in the Coshow household.
“I was always a Sooner and nothing but a Sooner,’’ said Coshow. “This was heartbreaking. So I drove 40 miles to an NAIA school, Oklahoma Christian and pitched there. Things work in mysterious ways. The Yankees drafted me in the 13th round in 2013.’’
A draft that is producing for the club like few others. The Yankees found a pitcher who was raw, but could hit 96-97 mph with a cutting fastball mixed with a change and a hard slider.
The figuring was to tame Coshow’s wild stuff and put him in the bullpen, which is where he mostly was in the Gulf Coast League, Staten Island and Charleston in 2014. In 2015, however, this former Sooner began showing excellent potential.
After going 0-0, 1.12 and picking up seven saves in Charleston to start 2015, Coshow earned a promotion to Class-A Advanced Tampa, where, it was decided, since his feel for his change and slider were improving.
He made none starts for the T-Yanks, putting together a 7-2, 2.24 mark in 16 appearances with a strikeout-walk ratio of 56-11. That earned him a shot at Double-A Trenton, where he compiled a 2-3, 3,51 effort in six starts.
Some of his Double-A starts were impressive, others not as much. Bur he did pitch consistently and stayed within himself better and better as he moved along.
“The hitters were a lot tougher in the Eastern League,’’ Coshow said. “You really need to be on top of all your pitches to get batters out at this level.
“I am really happy the Yankees gave me a chance to see what I could do at this level in 2015. I can’t wait until next season. The coaches have been great with me, and I just want to keep improving.’’
Coshow will no doubt open 2016 by helping anchor the Trenton staff. .
He may have been quite raw to start at Oklahoma Christian, but Coshow has some mound ingredients that are really starting to cook.