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Elephant Rumblings: A’s sign two-way international prospect Bjay Cooke

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MLB: Houston Astros at Oakland Athletics D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Wednesday, Athletics Nation!

And g’day, Bjay! Welcome to the Oakland Athletics organization!

With the phenomenal success of Shohei Ohtani as a two-way player, we shouldn’t be surprised to see more aspiring stars follow suit going forward. On Monday, the A’s picked up their own two-way prospect, Bjay Cooke. He announced the signing himself on Twitter:

Melissa Lockard at The Athletic profiled the 19-year-old from Australia yesterday, pointing out that the A’s have had several players from the Land Down Under in the past—most recently ace reliever Liam Hendriks, who left for the White Sox in free agency after the 2020 season. Former Athletics Grant Balfour, Travis Blackley, Luke Hughes, and Rich Thompson also hail from Australia.

But Cooke, who plays infield between pitching appearances and occupies a spot in the batting order, will be the first Aussie to begin his professional baseball career in the Athletics organization. Bjay (short for Bailey-Jay) was signed by A’s international scout Dan Betreen, who praised the 6’2” righty for his velocity on the mound (“easy low 90s and touched 93/94 a few times”) and his bat speed, strike zone feel, and “swing decisions” at the plate, per Lockard.

Be sure to check out Melissa’s full story at The Athletic! Her Oakland A’s MiLB roundups for the website are also fantastic and worth a regular look.

Cooke has actually posted evidence that he can touch as high as 96—and listen carefully to the commentator who thinks he’s seen Bjay throw even faster. He also showcases his bat with a pair of choice rips in this clip.

This youngster clearly has a lot of talent, and it will be exciting to see him develop in the A’s organization. Welcome to pro baseball, Bjay! Hope to see you going toe-to-toe with Shohei at Henderson Field (I’d vote to keep that name at the A’s next home) in a new stadium at Howard Terminal in a few years.

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