Prospect Retro: Corey Koskie
With Corey Koskie aborting his comeback attempt due to post-concussion syndrome, he seems like a good candidate for a Prospect Retro, per request of a reader. So here it is.
Corey Koskie was drafted by the Twins in the 26th round in 1994, out of Kwantlen College in Canada. A big guy at 6-3, 215 pounds, he wasn't a hot draft prospect but they were intrigued with his power potential from the left side. He didn't do much in rookie ball, hitting just .234/.354/.355 in the Appy League after being drafted, though he did show good plate discipline with 18 walks in 107 at-bats. He'd have rated as a Grade C prospect at the time.
Koskie moved up to the Midwest League in 1995 and unleashed his bat, hitting .310/.370/.515 with a +26 percent OPS. His strike zone judgment slipped a bit, and his defense at third base clearly needed work. I gave him a Grade B- in the 1996 book, impressed with his offensive potential.
The Florida State League beckoned in 1996. He hit .260/.338/.420, hitting just nine homers, but his plate discipline was OK and his OPS at +10 wasn't bad for Fort Myers, a tough place to hit. Scouts said he improved his range at third base, but that his arm was inaccurate. Although I gave him a Grade C in the 1997 book, the Twins thought enough of him to put him on the 40-man roster to protect him from Rule 5.
Promoted to Double-A for 1997, Koskie hit .286/.414/.531 with 23 homers, 90 walks, and 106 strikeouts in 437 at-bats. He took a big step forward in plate discipline, boosted his power production, and posted a strong +23 percent OPS. There were reports he had some problems with breaking balls, but not enough to cut into his numbers obviously. At this point, his bat was very well respected, but he was a tad old for a Double-A prospect at age 24, and Twins management was again critical of his range at third base, with talk of him having to move to first eventually. I gave him a Grade B entering 1998.
Moved up to Triple-A Salt Lake, Koskie hit .301/.368/.539 with 26 homers and 105 RBI, 51 walks and 104 strikeouts in 505 at-bats. His plate discipline slipped, and the PCL environment was pro-hitting, giving him a solid but not awesome +14 percent OPS. I gave him another Grade B, and projected Koskie as a .260 hitter with 20-25 homer power at the major league level. He hit .138 in an 11-game trial with the Twins, but was impressive enough to enter spring training 1999 as the leading candidate at third base.
I remember reading back then about Twins manager Tom Kelly putting Koskie through his paces on defense that spring, working hard to improve his range. He hit .310/.387/.468 in his rookie year, then .300/.400/.441 in 2000, following that up with a 26 homer power outburst in 2001 at age 28.
Koskie was a solid major league player until injuries started taking their toll. A career .288/.374/.496 hitter in the minors, in the majors he hit .275/.367/.458, exactly what you'd expect from his MLEs. He had a fine career, and this was a good bit of scouting and player development for Minnesota, turning a 26th round pick from a small Canadian college into a major league third baseman.