Regis alum tearing up Alaskan League
As anyone who has ever lived in Arizona will tell you, the dry heat of the desert can wear on you. So when Grand Canyon University outfielder and Regis Jesuit High School graduate Quin Cotton got the opportunity to escape the Copper State’s oven and head north to play in the Alaska Baseball League for the summer, he jumped at the opportunity.
The change in scenery paid off. Cotton’s sizzling .374 average for the Mat-Su Miners leads the ABL as the Grand Canyon sophomore is looking like the best hitter in a league full of Division I talent — and he’s hitting exactly 100 points higher than he did in 19 starts and 73 at-bats in his first season in Phoenix.
“One thing that being in Alaska has taught me is just to relax,” Cotton said. “During the spring, I was too emotionally invested in some of my at-bats, and if you do that, you’re drained emotionally at the end of a game and at the end of a season. Not stressing about the outcome of every single at-bat has helped me a lot.”
The small, scenic mountain and fishing towns where the five ABL teams are located certainly buoy the no-worries mental state of Cotton, who was selected to the league’s all-star game a few weeks ago and came in third in the home run derby.
Now, he said, it’s about translating this summer’s consistency to the college season. The finance and economics major who was selected by the Rockies in the 38th round of the 2016 draft has a chance to crack the GCU lineup after the departure of two of the Antelopes’ starting outfielders.
“I believe I showed some promise this spring, although I have to work on putting the bat on the ball and not striking out,” said Cotton, who was the co-Continental League player of the year as a senior at Regis Jesuit. “But my main concern now is just continuing to enjoy the game in this beautiful state. The ABL playoffs are right around the corner, and we’re in first place with a really good chance to make a run at the title.”