Throughout the current offseason, we’re checking out every player to appear at any level of the Astros system in 2022.
Everette Cooper is a six-foot, 165 lb. outfielder from Nassau, Bahamas. Born on September 16, 2002, Cooper signed his first professional contract with the Houston Astros on July 2, 2019, still just 16-years-old.
The 2021 season would see Cooper join the DSL Astros for a 46-game look. He slashed .163/.255/.184 with 34 strikeouts in 110 plate appearances. Four times he had a two-hit game, but he also endured an 0-for-20 stretch late in the season. That streak took his average from .189 all the way down to .149 before he closed with a two-for-four night.
Cooper earned a lateral promotion to the (also) rookie-level FCL Astros in 2022. He played for both the Astros Blue and the Astros Orange, appearing in 29 games in total. He only hit .127 and struck out 33 times in 81 plate appearances. He put up his best game of the season on June 20 in a 9-2 win over the FCL Cardinals. Cooper went three-for-four with two runs scored.
Cooper played 106 innings in the outfield, making a total of two errors in left and posting an overall .926 fielding percentage. Cooper should begin the 2023 season with another look at the rookie level.
Jackson Loftin was the 13th round choice of the Houston Astros in 2022, 403rd off the board. Eight players have graduated from the 403rd selection to an eventual appearance in the majors, most notably Cedric Mullins.
Loftin is a six-foot-two, 200 lb. infielder from Spring, TX. Born on May 14, 2000, he was taken out of Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, OK. A late bloomer, Loftin had spent three years with Sam Houston State hitting .211 in 76 games before his coming out with the Golden Eagles. He then slashed .349/.477/.572 in 58 games for ORU, with 10 homers, 54 RBI, and 25 stolen bases.
At any rate, Loftin showed enough for a mid-level draft pick. The Astros assigned him directly to the FCL Astros Blue, where he went four-for-16 over a four-game look before a quick promotion.
Loftin joined the Low-A Fayetteville Woodpeckers in the second week of August. Although he only went 14-for-78 through 23 contests, he showed enough plate discipline to rack up a walk-rate just under 10 percent. He also hit a pair of home runs and stole six bases in his pretty short look. On August 13, in a 6-4 loss to the Down East Wood Ducks, Loftin went two-for-three with a solo homer and a pair of RBI, his first professional home run.
Defensively, Loftin has appeared at shortstop (93 1⁄3 innings, .979 fielding percentage), third base (59 innings, 14 errorless chances), and second base (61 innings, 29 errorless chances). His power profile shows that he’s well worth a continued look through Houston’s minor league system. He should start 2023 back with Fayetteville. Look for him to challenge for a major league roster spot sometime in 2026.