"I've had a lot of success and the chance to play with great players like Houston, (Oakland A's Closer Houston Street)" said Cox when asked about his time playing for Texas. "It was great to play for such a winning program and have the opportunity to compete for, and eventually win, a National Championship."
Selected in the 2nd round of the 2005 entry draft, the Yankees envision J. Brent Cox as a future setup man.
"As long as I'm helping the team win games, I really don't care if I'm a long reliever, setup man or closer," said Cox.
The rise through the system has been very impressive for Cox considering it was only last June when the Yankees signed him to his first professional contract.
"It's been a fast adjustment period, but I've been lucky to have great coaches and teammates and that has really help ease the transition for me," said the personable Cox.
Cox's pitching repertoire consists of a low 90 MPH sinking two-seam fastball, a sharp breaking slider, and an ever-improving changeup.
"My two-seamer is definitely my go to pitch because it turns into a lot of ground ball outs," said Cox. "But my work on the changeup is really starting to pay off because it has really helped me keep the left-handed hitters off balance."
Six appearances into the young season Cox, has compiled a 3.09 ERA with 12 punch-outs while holding Eastern League hitters to a .256 batting average in 11 2/3 innings pitched. Despite the lack of innings, Cox believes he's started off fairly well but he still sees plenty of room for improvement.
"I've had an decent start this year. I had one real bad outing where I just couldn't find the strike zone, but other than that I've been fairly solid so far," said Cox.
Thunder Manager Bill Masse believes that Cox has had his share of bright moments so far but he does need to become more consistent night-in and night-out.
"He's been average so far, we'd really like to see more arm strength out of him," said Masse. "The lack of arm strength and pitch velocity has really frustrated Brent. I really think that is the main reason why his control has been shaky at times."
Despite the inconsistent start Masse thinks Cox is a real asset to the team because he has such a competitive attitude.
"He just hates to lose," said Masse. "He's an amazing competitor even when he doesn't have his best stuff. he goes out there and competes like a big dog."
Cox agrees with his manager's statements that his competitiveness is one of his greatest strengths.
"As a relief pitcher you have to have a certain mind-set when you step on the mound. When I go out there, I expect to get the hitter out," added Cox.
His competitive edge and maturity have made him an instant hit with his fellow relief pitchers.
"He's a real good guy, we have a lot of fun joking around out in the bullpen. But on the flip-side, he's surprisingly mature for being so young," said relief pitcher T.J. Beam.
For J. Brent Cox he can only hope his tremendous success at Texas is a precursor to a wonderful career in New York.
Cox Brings a Competitive Edge To Trenton
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