Chris Cowell bio
Player: Chris Cowell
Jersey Number: 29
School: University of Richmond
Hometown: Devon, Pa.
Height, Weight: 6-4, 215
Best Baseball Memory: Reaching conference championship back-to-back years.
Greatest Baseball Accomplishment: Hitting 20 home runs last year.
Favorite Player Growing Up: Chipper Jones. He makes hitting look so easy.
Most Influential Player/Role Model: Parents. They shaped who I am today.
Favorite Food: Chipotle burrito.
Favorite Pregame Meal: Chicken sandwich.
Off-field hobbies: Going to the beach basketball.
Favorite Movie or Book: “The Dark Knight.”
Chris Cowell believes he can be a power-hitting catcher in the pros, much like he was in college at the University of Richmond. One look at his 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame, and that’s easy to believe.
That same frame, though, makes playing defense a greater challenge.
Cowell said the prototypical big-league catcher is about four to five inches shorter than he is. And of the other four Grand Junction Rockies catchers, two are 5-10 and two are 6-foot.
“The big thing for me,” Cowell said, “is trying to stay flexible. Being taller, I want to stay as low to the ground as I can, and that comes with being more flexible. ... I’ve got a lot more ground to cover, going up to down, as opposed to a guy that’s 5-11, 5-10 ... but I just stay with it, and it’s worked so far.”
Cowell believes he has the throwing arm to make it in the majors, and he has experience doing something many catchers don’t get to do in high school and college: He called pitches at Richmond. That experience, he said, gave him a good understanding of how to pitch to hitters and call a game and sequences.
Cowell realizes he has much to improve upon, and that’s his goal this season: Get better every day.
“I’ve been working with the roving catching instructor, and just within two days I’ve learned a ton,” he said. “Right now I’m just trying to be a sponge and absorb everything that’s being thrown at me.”
He doesn’t lack confidence when it comes to hitting, especially coming off a senior season in which he led the Atlantic 10 Conference in home runs and finished with a .371 average, 20 home runs and 58 RBI.
He rebounded from a junior season in which his numbers dropped after a breakout sophomore campaign that included 17 home runs. The steady diet of breaking balls and pitches off the plate that he saw as a junior got ripped by the confident senior.
“That’s what I expect from myself,” he said of his spring showing. “I consider myself a power hitter, so for me that means driving the ball to the gaps and driving it out of the park.”
— Tim Harty