Former Kentucky Wildcats outfielder Austin Cousino, a third round draft pick by the Seattle Mariners, spoke to Wildcat Blue Nation this afternoon in a phone interview.
Daniel Solzman: Austin, thanks for joining Wildcat Blue Nation today. How are things treating you as you settle in with the Everett Aquasox?
Austin Cousino: It’s been good. I just got out here and played two games. I’m excited to get my professional career underway. So far, so good.
Daniel Solzman: How did you feel to hit your first professional home run on June 16th?
Austin Cousino: It was nice to get the first one out of the way. I’m excited to get my first hit. It was all in good fun in the clubhouse. It was a memorable first hit.
Daniel Solzman: When did you find out that the Seattle Mariners were interested?
Austin Cousino: About an hour before Friday’s draft. It was the first time.
Daniel Solzman: How did you react when you found out you were drafted in the third round?
Austin Cousino: I was excited. My family was excited. It was fun time for them. I just wanted to get in the organization and start playing ball again and work my way up.
Daniel Solzman: In what ways has Coach Gary Henderson prepared you for the next level?
Austin Cousino: He’s helped me a lot in a lot of different ways. I’ve grown up and matured. Basically, he convinced me in making baseball a profession in a lot of those aspects. (inaudible) Just growing up as a player, (inaudible) get better and do those little things daily. I think that’s what helped me the most.
Daniel Solzman: Of your three years in a Kentucky uniform, what is the one thing that you are most proud of?
Austin Cousino: The thing I’m most proud of in college we did well in my three years there. We had a very good team in my freshman year. We underachieved and came back with a very good team for my junior year. It kind of put Kentucky on the map again, I think. I know a lot of people thought how we had a lot of experience. The last three years we had a pretty good record. We won against the top ten a lot.
I was proud of the fun experience.
Daniel Solzman: You’re a three time member of the SEC All-Defensive team and as of two, a two-time recipient of the Rawlings Gold Glove Award. Is there an outfielder that you model your defensive game after?
Austin Cousino: I don’t think so. I’m always kind of catching and making (inaudible). To find the ball out there is just something that I was blessed with. I take pride in my defense. I love playing defense. (inaudible) When I watch plays, I go to the ballpark, how they approach the game.
Daniel Solzman: You were a two-time member of the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team. How honored were you have been able to represent the country for two summers?
Austin Cousino: Absolutely an honor. It was probably the two best summers of my life right there. With those players and coaches, you just pick up so much about the game. The different aspects (inaudible). The best players in the country come together. It was a fun experience on and off the field.
Daniel Solzman: Were you surprised at all by the year that A.J. Reed put up this season with the Cats?
Austin Cousino: No. I think everyone knew A.J. had all that potential. He just needed to put it all together and figure it out. (inaudible) He did some work in the offseason. Obviously, grown up and matured over the course of three years at Kentucky.
Daniel Solzman: Who was your favorite player growing up?
Austin Cousino: I’ve always liked Pete Rose and probably Jacoby Ellsbury once he got (inaudible)
Daniel Solzman: Thanks again for joining us.
Austin Cousino: No problem.