Today’s alumni report features a player who was part of the Chinooks inaugural season roster, Chris Cotton. Chris is from Shreveport, Louisiana and attended Louisiana State University. In 2012, the left-handed pitcher helped his team make a deep run in the college world series. Because of LSU’s post-season success, Cotton didn’t arrive to the Chinooks until late June.
Cotton’s time with Lakeshore was short, but he made quite the impact during his time as a Chinook. Chris joined the starting rotation and made three starts for the Chinooks. In 16 innings of work on the mound, Cotton only allowed one run. He ended with a 2-0 record and a 0.56 ERA. Most impressively, in just 16 innings, Chris struck out 13 batters and only allowed 1 walk. Cotton would leave the Chinooks right after the 4th of July due to an innings restriction set by his university, but there is little question that he would have continued to turn some heads throughout the Northwoods League if he had finished out the season.
Chris would return to LSU for another season as a Tiger before being drafted in the 2013 MLB Draft. The Houston Astros selected Cotton in the 14th round with the 407th pick overall. He was assigned to the Tri-City ValleyCats, who belong to the New York-Penn League. During his time with Tri-City, Cotton appeared in 8 games, 6 of which he started. He would end his season with a 3-3 record and a 1.74 ERA. In 31 innings of work, he struck out 21 batters and walked only 2 batters. Similar to his time in Lakeshore, one of Chris’s best qualities is not giving up many walks.
After a successful run with the Chinooks and an impressive first year in the minors, it shouldn’t be long before Chris Cotton sports a Houston Astros uniform.
The Lakeshore Chinooks are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 21st season of summer collegiate baseball, the Northwoods League is the largest organized summer collegiate baseball league in the world with 18 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 115 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including MLB All-Stars Max Scherzer (DET), Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYY), Allen Craig (STL) and Ben Zobrist (TB). All league games are viewable live and free of charge via the Northwoods League YouTube channel. For more information, visit lakeshorechinooks.com.