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Diary of a Mad Sportswriter: Former Phillie Cook finally a pro

Diary of a Mad Sportswriter

Stan Hudy is a sportswriter for The Saratogian and Community News. He covers high school and youth sports in the Saratoga County area as well as writing a weekly book review on sports books. He's not just a "stick and ball" sportswriter, he's willing to take on any sport as well as any subject.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Former Phillie Cook finally a pro

Signs with independent league Rockford Riverhawks

SARATOGA SPRINGS – Former Saratoga Phillie big man Bryan Cook (Nova Southeastern) has finally been given the opportunity with a professional baseball team and made his presence known quickly.

Cook signed with the Rockford Riverhawks of the independent Frontier League for the 2008 season and hit his first professional home run Wednesday in the fourth inning in a 10-4 loss to the Windy City Thunderbolts. On Saturday the rookie slugger doubled home the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth inning as Rockford dropped Evansville, 2-1.

The 6-foot-5, 230-pound slugger set a franchise record with Saratoga last season with five home runs, batting a disappointing .196 in 30 games with 20 hits including three doubles. He drove in 15 run and scored 17 times.

Just as he found his swing late in last year’s NYCBL season, the senior exploded at Division II Nova Southeastern.

Cook hit a team-high .418 starting all 51 games for the Sharks. In 184 at-bats he belted out 77 hits with 17 doubles, triple and 17 home runs with 48 RBI and scored 77 runs himself. He boasted a .799 slugging percentage and took 35 walks while striking out 28 times for a .513 on-base percentage.

The spring led to him earning seven different awards, including: ABCA/Rawlings South Region Baseball Player of the Year, ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America First Team, All-Sunshine State Conference Player of the Year, NCBWA All-South Regional First Team, DAKTRONICS All-Region First Team, All-Sunshine State Baseball First Team and CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team (4.0 in Psychology).

Despite all of his accolades, Cook remained undrafted in this year’s MLB Player Entry Draft in early June. Still hopeful, Cook received his chance as a free agent signee with the Rockford Riverhawks.

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