Prospect Countdown #46 : Aaron Cox

Top 100 Los Angeles Angels' Prospects Countdown, #46 : RHP Aaron Cox (photo : Jerry Espinoza)

Aaron Cox, Right-Handed Pitcher

HT : 6'3
WT : 205
DOB : August 5, 1994 (21), in Dorchester, New Jersey
Throws : Right
Bats : Right
School : Gannon University (Erie, PA)
Acquired : Drafted in 19th Round of 2015 MLB Draft
Last Year's Ranking : Unkranked


Aaron Cox text a friend daily, who happens to be the best baseball player in the world. Yes, Cox is the brother of Mike Trout's girlfriend, but he's also becoming a fantastic pitcher in the Los Angeles Angels farm system. Though the texts rarely have to do with baseball, Cox isn't just riding on the coat tails of Trout on his way to the top, as he's proven to be a good fresh arm for the Angels. As he progresses on the mound, we'll continue to have him as one of our main focuses for what he does on the field as opposed to who his connections may be.


SCOUTING REPORT:

Cox has a large frame, which has been a key attribute to his move to the mound. A two-way player in college, and multi-sport athlete in high school, Cox's athleticism is very evident while he's on the mound, and he's still filling out into his already athletic frame.

Cox can be registered as a raw power pitcher who is beginning to polish out. He has a nice stride to the plate, using his long legs to drive off his back leg to create power. He has good fluid mechanics that he repeats.

As he delivers the pitch, he keeps the ball behind him keeping it hidden from the batter while staying low to the ground. As he progresses, he should be able to replicate his arm angle which can drop at times.

Cox comes equipped with a strong fastball with some diving action in the low to mid 90's, touching 96. With his rawness, there is some struggle in commanding it at times, which should also improve as he polishes out.

Cox's slider has a big break to it, coming in tight with velocity. It sits in the mid 80's, and can both freeze batters and set him up to elevate his fastball. There are no signs yet as to whether Cox has another off-speed pitch yet.

The Angels have allowed Cox to figure things out his own way on the mound, but are coaching him to stay as a power arm out of the bullpen. He attacks hard, which could mean he's one of the power arms that fits well in the back end of the bullpen in the future.

Scouting Report from Jerry Espinoza - Scouting Analyst/Photographer for Scout.com


STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN:

Cox finished his star studded high school career with multiple accolades, consisting of All-Conference honors three times. This came with First-Team honors as a junior and senior, and All-Conference Second-Team honors in basketball. Cox helped Millville High School to a Conference Championships all four years of high school.

As a freshman at Gannon University, Cox continued his stardom, reaching for the school single-season records, and team leads in multiple categories. His seven home runs were the second highest in school history for a single-season, missing the record by two. While on the mound, Cox struck out 81 batters, a school record for one season. 19 of those strikeouts came between two outings, and he never saw less than four strikeouts in any of his starts. He was named the PSAC Freshman of the Year, and earned All-PSAC Western Division Second-Team accolades. Cox finished the year with a .275/.329/.496 slash and 2.50 ERA with seven wins on the mound.

In his second year at Gannon, Cox fell off slightly at the plate, batting .262/.338/.356 with no home runs. On the mound however, he became the team's ace, and posted a 3.67 ERA with 10 of his 11 starts going for complete games. He struck out 89, breaking his original single-season record, while walking just 23, and holding bats to a .224 average.

In his final year at Gannon, Cox reached for the record books once again hitting eight home runs, one away from the single-season record, all while hitting .316/.389/.624 with nine doubles, 32 RBI and 30 runs scored. On the mound, Cox matched most of his career numbers, posting a 3.74 ERA, 5-5 record with 81 strikeouts and 15 walks.

Cox went from a two-way stud to relief arm in the Angels system this past season when drafted, and shined in pro ball as well. Cox finished his first pro season as the premier reliever for Rookie Orem, posting a 3.08 ERA and 1.237 WHIP, while striking out 8.3 per nine. In a 15 game stretch from late June to mid August, Cox had 12 scoreless outings, holding bats to a .215/.276/.278 slash, while allowing just four runs in 22.1 innings.

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EXPECTED FUTURE:

Cox had large success in Rookie Ball, despite being over a year and a half younger than the average talent of the league. Usually, this would mean a promotion and skip over Low-A straight to High-A, but with the age and rawness of Cox, it's likely he'll spend 2016 in Low-A Burlington.

The Angels don't have many power arms in the system, and Cox fits every bit of a fun bullpen arm for the future. It's doubtful he'll be a closer, but a late inning arm at the least. He's far from the Majors, but the tool box is beginning to show that he may be a threat to become something special at the back end for the Angels in the future.



For more updates on the Los Angeles Angels, their prospects, and our Top 100 Prospects Countdown, follow us on Twitter, @AngelsOnScout. Keep up with our countdown on Twitter with the hashtag, #LAATop100Prospects.

This article was published by Taylor Blake Ward, who serves as a Senior Publisher for Scout.com, and can be found on Twitter, @TaylorBlakeWard.



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