HOLLY SPRINGS – Former Edenton Steamers pitcher Austin Cox (photos courtesy of the Kansas City Royals) saw his dream come true Thursday night (5/4), making his Major League debut with Kansas City.
Trailing Baltimore, 8-7 through five innings, the Royals turned to Cox out of the bullpen to start the sixth inning. The 6-4, 235-pound lefty didn’t disappoint, throwing two complete innings of hitless baseball. He walked one and struck out one.
Drafted in the fifth round of the 2018 Major League Baseball Draft by the Royals, Cox began his professional career with Burlington, where he finished 1-1 with a 3.78 ERA across 33 1/3 innings of work. A year later, he went a combined 8-6 with a 2.76 ERA between Single-A Lexington and High-A Wilmington. He struck out 129 in 130 2/3 innings. After the COVID-19 pandemic halted play in 2020, Cox started 2021 at Double-A Northwest Arkansas. A 4-1 record with an impressive 3.00 ERA earned him a promotion to Triple-A Omaha to close out the season. Unfortunately, his two appearances for the Storm Chasers weren’t as productive as he surrendered 10 runs – all earned – on nine hits in just five innings on the mound.
Game Rewind: Austin Cox was solid in his MLB debut.
— Bally Sports Kansas City (@BallySportsKC) May 4, 2023
Cox rejoined Omaha in 2022, making 29 appearances, including 24 starts. He proved reliable, striking out 105 across 147 1/3 innings to earn a 4.21 ERA with a 7-7 record and one save. Prior to being called up to join the Royals, he was 1-0 with a 2.21 ERA in five appearances for the Storm Chasers. In 20 1/3 innings of work, he struck out 22 while giving up just five runs on 15 hits.
During the 2017 season, Cox made one appearance in relief for the Steamers. With the score knotted at 10 at the top of the eighth inning (of a seven inning, game 2), he gave up one run on one hit, walked one and struck out three. Edenton would then answer with three runs of their own in the bottom of the eighth to walk off and give Cox the win.
Cox’s debut occurred prior to fellow CPL alum turned Major Leaguer Braden Shewmake, who was previously announced yesterday. Thus, Cox becomes the sixth CPL alum to debut in 2023 and Shewmake is the seventh. Further, they are the 170th and 171st overall respectively. Finally, Cox is the 21st former Edenton player to reach the big leagues.
About Coastal Plain League:
The Coastal Plain League is the nation’s premier summer collegiate baseball league. The CPL is currently comprised of 14 franchises playing in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. To date, the CPL has had nearly 1,750 alumni drafted and 170 alums make their Major League debut. Most notable alumni include Justin Verlander, Ryan Zimmerman, Mark Reynolds, Kevin Youkilis, Chris Taylor, Alec Bohm, Jake Cave, Chas McCormick and NFL Super Bowl champion Russell Wilson. For more information on the Coastal Plain League, please visit the league website at www.coastalplain.com, and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok @CPLBaseball.