Q&A: O's prospect Cowser talks college, creativity and more

February 28th, 2023

SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Orioles had a top-five pick in the MLB Draft every year from 2019-22, so the organization is loaded with talent. Many of the up-and-coming youngsters are now experiencing big league camp for the first time this Spring Training.

We recently caught up with outfielder Colton Cowser -- MLB Pipeline’s No. 40 overall prospect who was selected by Baltimore with the No. 5 overall selection in 2021 -- to talk about the 22-year-old’s path to the pros, his time at Sam Houston State, his creativity, his woodworking hobby and more.

MLB.com: Your parents, Dale and Anna, were both high school soccer coaches. What led to you playing football and baseball instead of soccer?

Cowser: I played it when I was like 4, and honestly, that was the only time I ever played. I think I just started playing other stuff and I just never played soccer. I think they mainly put me in other sports because they dealt with soccer all the time, so it was like, “Go play something else, we’re tired of watching soccer.” But I don’t think I would have played anyways. I’ve got size 14 feet and I don’t think that works very well on the soccer field.

MLB.com: You didn’t get drafted out of high school and had only one scholarship offer at the time you decided to go to Sam Houston State. Did you use that as motivation?

Cowser: Yeah, I would say so. But also, I knew I could play, I just knew I had to do some developing. And I knew that Sam Houston was a great school to go to and probably have an impact pretty immediately. The coaches kind of gave me that message whenever they were recruiting me. I probably could have waited until after my junior year and probably had a couple more offers, but I felt like I had a great fit over at Sam.

MLB.com: What was your favorite part of playing at Sam Houston State?

Cowser: I would just say the miscellaneous stuff, like the bus trips, the locker room, things like that. Just kind of having a really close-knit group.

MLB.com: Who were your favorite players when you were younger?

Cowser: Growing up in Houston, there were the “Killer B’s” around the time when I was really growing up, so we used to watch all kinds of Astros games. And then, kind of coming full circle, I got to actually hit with [Lance] Berkman a couple of times when I was at Sam Houston and met [Craig] Biggio.

MLB.com: How beneficial of an experience was that?

Cowser: Very. Just to get to hit with them, and then they treat you like any other person -- it’s really cool to get to know them like that. I mean, I don’t know them that well, but I hit with them a couple times. It’s really cool.

MLB.com: You’ve spent time at all three outfield spots. Where are you most comfortable?

Cowser: I’m very comfortable in center, but I’m also pretty comfortable elsewhere. I grew up, actually, playing the corners, and then it wasn’t until high school -- when I actually started to get pretty fast -- and then I went ahead and started playing center, and I’ve been there ever since. I think I play that position really well. I’ll pretty much play anywhere.

MLB.com: You majored in construction management at Sam Houston State. What took you down that path?

Cowser: I wanted to be an architect, and they didn’t offer that at Sam. I feel like I’m really creative in that way, when it comes to design and stuff. Construction management kind of offered the best of both worlds -- getting to know the business side as well as the design side. Actually, I really enjoyed it. I learned how to use all those softwares and stuff like that. I think one of my finals we had to design a house, things like that. It was a lot of fun.

MLB.com: During the pandemic, you picked up woodworking as a hobby. How did that come about?

Cowser: Another one of the creative things that I did. I’ve always loved building stuff, and whatever kind of scrap wood we had in the garage, I would make whatever. Around that time, my buddy, he wanted to build a gun cabinet, and we didn’t know how to do that. But we ended up putting one together, and it ended up looking really nice.

MLB.com: Is that your favorite thing you’ve built?

Cowser: Yeah, I would say during that period. I built a couple chairs, things like that, but nothing crazy.