There's a post I've been working on in draft mode for a few weeks now, but right when I was about to finish it, blogger attacked it, and now it's gone. While it was initially about my trip down to see the Round Rock Express play their Opening Day game, it turned into a post about how much I loved Kevin Kouzmanoff.
After playing his last game in the majors in 2011 with the Rockies, Kouzmanoff was released and toiled in the minors for the Royals (AA and AAA in 2012) and Marlins (2013). He did well at all levels, but never got a call up to the bigs. He signed a contract with the Rangers for 2014, and did really well in Spring Training, but, if you know anything about the Rangers, one of their best players is their third baseman, Adrian Beltre. Kouzmanoff started off the year in AAA Round Rock.
Here's the proof! I saw him go 2 for 5 at the plate, and put on a clinic at third, making some very good plays with the glove. Even though the Express lost in extra innings, I cheered like a crazy person every time Kouz stepped up to the plate or made a play in the field. I definitely got some strange looks from the crowd around me.
Well, Kouz got the call up to Arlington when Beltre went on the DL, and in his first 13 games, the Mashing Macedonian hit 6 doubles, 2 homers, and had 10 RBI to go along with a .362 average. He was named AL Player of the Week. Every Rangers fan was saying the same thing: Where did this guy come from?
Well, now that Beltre is off the DL and Kouzy took his place with some back issues (that may require surgery…ug), he may become a small footnote in the Rangers season. Here's hoping he gets right and can keep on contributing in the majors.
In the meantime, he's been added to my player collection. If you've got any extra Kouzmanoff cards, lemme know! I'll take 'em from any team he's been on (Indians, A's, Rockies, Rangers, and of course, Padres).
Here's my most recent addition, and easily the best card in the Kouz pages. Sticker auto, along with a jersey relic, numbered to 50. Not too shabby.
Now that Kouz is injured, I have less of a reason to check in on the Rangers games, so I'm back to only focusing on the Padres, which is depressing. Andrew Cashner is a great pitcher, but has had two rough starts, and there are only two starters who have batting averages above .200: Everth Cabrera and My Man Chris Denorfia.
Here's hoping that Cameron Maybin being back in the lineup will make a difference.
Did I really just say that? Sigh.