Target of teasing? Cowart No. 1 with a bullet
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Kaleb Cowart gave his Angels teammates some prime hazing material heading into his first Major League Spring Training.
While going through airport security on his way from Georgia to Arizona, the 20-year-old third baseman and avid hunter didn't realize he left a handgun bullet in his book bag. So he got stopped by TSA, caused a scene, spent an extra half-hour getting interviewed, tweeted about it, then didn't hear the end of it.
"First day," Cowart said. "First day of camp I was getting picked on about it."
On Friday, prior to the first full workout, Angels manager Mike Scioscia made Cowart explain himself to the entire room of 64 players. And on Tuesday, as part of the presentations every newbie must give in the pre-workout meetings, Cowart was getting set to present on gun safety, deer hunting and, as the cherry on top, mating season.
"It took awhile just to get all the stuff together," said Cowart, who had to run to Office Max five separate times because of pictures he forgot to print out for his poster boards. "Once I got all the stuff together, it was 20, 30 minutes. But just to get all the stuff together took awhile."
Cowart is the Angels' No. 1 prospect, the only one in the organization ranked in the Top 100 by MLB.com (67th), and is slated to take over as the full-time third baseman in two years. But here, heading into his first season of Double-A, he's just like any other first-timer, giving embarrassing presentations and even sharing a locker.
His focus is to improve on his greatest weakness, consistency from the left side of the plate, and to soak in these next few weeks.
"I'm having a blast, just being around these guys," said Cowart, the switch-hitter who batted .276 with 16 homers and 103 RBIs at both Class A levels last year. "I couldn't be more excited about this year and what's going on here in Spring Training."