Garrett Cooper still looking for his Miami moment

Miami Marlins rookie Garrett Cooper recently returned to the field after a long stint on the disabled list and slashed .261/.320/.304 in the last 9 games since. Sadly for him, the Los Angeles native missed out on his first game at Dodger Stadium as a big leaguer when the Marlins were there to play the Dodgers in April.

“That was the team I followed growing up,” Cooper said. “I played there in high school, so at least I have that for now.”

Despite being considered as a power bat, Cooper has gone 26 big league games without a home run. Which means he is entering the second half of the season still looking for his highlight moment in Miami. He already got hit first career hit off David Price and the Boston Red Sox as a member of the New York Yankees last year.

“The first couple games were a little big of a blur,” Cooper said, “and then once I got my first hit, I kind of eased into the rest of the season.”

Cooper and Caleb Smith was traded to the Marlins for pitcher Michael King and future considerations in 2018. Before that he was acquired by the Yankees in a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2017 for pitcher Tyler Webb and made his big league debut at Fenway Park. His first hit was a double off Price, which earned his plenty of jeers from the Boston crowd.

“They let me hear it the first three games ,” Cooper said. “That’s something you’re not used to in the minor leagues but those first few games in Boston were something else.”

By having his first big league experience with the Yankees prepared Cooper for the rest of his career, whether it’s Miami or anywhere else.

“New York is New York,” Cooper said. “Playing sports there is a huge task. You’re dealt with 60-80 media people every day at the clubhouse. So it’s a little bit different here. It’s a bigger market in terms of how they follow their sports.”

Given the nature of baseball, Cooper is due for a power surge. He’s one swing away for his big Marlins moment.

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About: Tony Capobianco

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Sports Kave senior writer

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