Garrett Cooper made the leap from the Sky Sox to New York Yankees late last week.
On Monday, his bat fully joined him on the trip.
Cooper went 3 for 4 with two doubles. He drove in a run and scored the other for the Yankees in a 4-2 loss to the Twins.
Cooper had started his career 0 for 8 with five strikeouts, but after a double off Red Sox ace David Price on Sunday he is on a mini-tear of 4 for 6 with three doubles.
“After getting that first hit, I feel like I got comfortable in the box,” Cooper told NJ.com. “You try to get that first one out of the way, then you can relax up there and do what you normally do.”
Cooper’s normal this year in Colorado Springs was decidedly abnormal. He hit .366 with 29 doubles, 17 home runs and 82 RBIs in just 75 games in a breakout year at age 26. He had never slugged higher than .467 over a full minor league season. This year he was at .652.
That earned him a Triple-A All-Star appearance and then a trade from Milwaukee to New York. The Yankees originally indicated he would play at Triple-A but then bumped him up and his debut with the organization came as the starting first baseman in a Friday night game against archrival Boston in Fenway Park.
"It's been something you can’t even talk about,” Cooper told the YES Network after the trade. “I was getting off the plane after an hour of sleep after the All-Star Game in Tacoma and I was getting ready to play the game yesterday for Colorado Springs and I had 10 missed calls and text messages from my head coach. I was thinking, ‘Well, I either got traded or called up the big leagues.’”
When Cooper called Sky Sox manager Rick Sweet, Sweet first asked him if he was ready to play in the game that day. Cooper said yes. Then Sweet said, “Just kidding, you’ve been traded to the Yankees.”
Yankees GM Brian Cashman called a short time later, telling Cooper his travel plans would grow a bit more complicated and he would be meeting the team in Boston.
“It’s been a whirlwind,” Cooper said.
Cooper, the youngest of seven children, said most of his siblings were too excited upon hearing the news to even complete their day of work. Most instead left and scheduled flights to Boston.
Clearly he's the pride of his family, and now, with a line of .286/.286/.500 that easily bests what New York has received from its first basemen this year, Garrett Cooper could become the pride of the Yankees.