Before 2009: Cooper was selected by the Yankees in the 9th round of the 2005 draft, and has been in their organization ever since. Always a disciplined contact hitter with little power or speed, Cooper was brought through the system somewhat slowly, spending parts of his first two seasons at Short Season-A Staten Island.
However, he spent all of 2007 in High-A Tampa, hitting .259 with three home runs and 10 RBI in 32 games.
He returned to Tampa in 2008, and hit .311 with a home run and 22 RBI in 66 games before earning a call-up to Double-A Trenton on the first day of July. Cooper would bat .232 with no home runs and 17 RBI in 52 games for the Thunder, earning a championship ring along the way.
2009: Cooper, for the most part, was a part of the everyday lineup in Trenton in 2009. At times used as a fourth outfielder and having missed over a month of the year with an oblique injury, Cooper played in 81 games with the Thunder in 2009. He hit .240 with one home run and 31 RBI. However, he also committed just one error and struck out just 27 strikeouts in 258 at-bats.
After 2009: Cooper will be 26 years old when the 2010 season starts, and is likely to return to Double-A to at least start the season. While none of his numbers will stand out, Cooper is very consistent and doesn’t really hurt you in any way. If he can perhaps put together a little stronger start to his year next season (he hit .185 in April in 2009) he might be able to earn his first call-up to Triple-A Scranton.
Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com