When Andy Cosgrove signed on to play baseball with the University of Washington about five years ago, the Juanita High Rebel figured he was on the path to remain in the Seattle area forever.
Turns out his trail would burst wide open and he’d eventually be traveling to different parts of the United States and setting up shop behind the plate on a plethora of baseball diamonds.
Following a season at UW, he traveled down the coast to Santa Barbara City College, then came came summer ball in Alaska and then a jaunt across the country to North Carolina State University, where he was a 17th-round selection by the Minnesota Twins in the 2017 MLB Draft. He played for two seasons at rookie-level Elizabethton in the Twins organization and now catches for the Southern Illinois Miners.
Cosgrove has enjoyed his baseball journey and has notched a feather in his cap with the Miners.
The 2014 Juanita graduate will represent the squad at the 2019 Can-Am League versus Frontier League All-Star Game on July 10 at Palisades Credit Union Park in Pomona, New York.
“I’m pretty excited for it,” said Cosgrove, who spoke with the Reporter on July 3 during a road-trip stop with the Miners in Florence, Kentucky, to play that city’s Freedom squad.
The 22-year-old will join teammates Bryant Flete, Chase Cunningham and Gianfranco Wawoe at the all-star game. The Miners — a professional baseball team based in Marion, Illinois — had compiled a 25-20 record at press time.
Also at press time, Cosgrove was hitting .290 with six doubles and 11 RBIs in 24 games played during his first year with the Miners. In his 179.1 innings behind the plate, he sported a 1.000 fielding percentage with 166 putouts and 19 assists.
“I think a lot of my catching stuff came from a lot of work I did during my time with the Twins,” he noted about learning from coach Tanner Swanson, who also coached at UW when Cosgrove was there.
Swanson’s research yielded that catchers having one knee on the ground helps them receive the ball better and become stronger defensive backstops, said Cosgrove, adding that it’s improved his throwing and boosted his confidence.
Along with solidifying his catching technique, Cosgrove has become more adaptable and flexible as far as living on the road and playing with different squads. He lived near the beach in Santa Barbara for six months, ventured up to Alaska for two months and now resides in Raleigh, North Carolina, in the offseason with his girlfriend and their Husky dog.
“Being able to survive … new teammates … dealing with different types of people,” Cosgrove noted as some of the components of moving around the country’s basepaths.
Cosgrove estimates he’s been in the Seattle area for two months total over the last four years. The former Kirkland National Little Leaguer, who was born and raised on Finn Hill, is thrilled to be featured again in the Reporter.
“Baseball is such a cool game. It’s cool to visit a lot of different places,” said Cosgrove, who hit .363 with 65 hits and 41 RBIs with a .460 on-base percentage during his three years at Juanita. He earned first-team 3A all-KingCo honors his junior and senior years, second-team all-state honors as a senior, and second-team all-league honors as a sophomore.
Through Cosgrove’s time playing with all his different teams, connections have been made that surfaced when he glanced around the Miners clubhouse. Every player knows someone who he played with at one time.
“It shows how baseball seems big and also can be a small world at the same time,” he said.