Neil Devlin "Catching Up" with Former Regis Jesuit Grad Quin Cotton

Neil Devlin
Senior Writer

College baseball as a freshman? It’s usually an up-and-in pitch for incoming schoolboys and Quin Cotton got one in 2017 at Grand Canyon University.

He didn’t fall off the face of the planet, although 73 at-bats and a .274 average weren’t in the hopes of the former Regis Jesuit star. And he had no excuses.

 “I had the opportunity to be playing left field and (designated hitter),” Cotton said, “but the game sped up on me too much and I didn’t make the most of my opportunity.”

He suddenly rediscovered his baseball game in -- of all places – Alaska ... in summer, of course. It wasn’t the Final Frontier in all aspects. In fact, Cotton, who played for the Mat-Su Miners and was named Alaska Baseball League Player of the Year in 2017.

“It’s one of the coolest experiences I’ve had,” he said. “In the summer, the sun’s out for 18, 19 hours a day. It’s a little different coming home from the game.”

It got better – Cotton, who switched to right field, was the WAC’s 2018 player of the year. He’ll also go into his junior baseball season with a chance to graduate at the end of it with a major in finance and economics, and a minor in sports management.

“It didn’t start out that way, but my advisor told me about it and I thought I might as well,” Cotton said of his three-year plan instead of four. He had attained extra credits from Regis and has taken summer classes at GCU in addition to fully understanding the one-helps-the-other thing in academics-athletics.

“I was a little busier than I wanted to be playing summer ball all over the place and an extra class isn’t the easiest thing,” he said, “but it took my mind off baseball a little bit.”

It certainly didn’t hurt his numbers beyond his 3.5 grade-point average. In 2018, Cotton batted .390 that put him 14th nationally and was the best at GCU since 2012. His 94 hits were 11th nationally and the most at GCU since 1992. He also scored 36 runs, tops for the Antelopes since 2003.

A multiple All-American as a prep Raider, he was a 38th-round draft choice of the Colorado Rockies. The 5-foot-11, 200-pounder has batted first-to-fourth for the Antelopes and calls power “the next part of my game I have to develop.”

He hit five home runs and had 43 runs batted in a year ago.

And Cotton may or may not be around for a fourth season. He could start work on a masters’ degree while playing his senior season, although his college career, too, may be done early.

“It depends,” he said. “It would be hard to leave Grand Canyon, but at the same time playing professional baseball is something I’ve been looking forward to for a long time.”

He’ll turn 21 in a couple of months and is the only child of former sports writers, father Anthony at Sports Illustrated and the Washington Post, and mother Theresa Smith at the Orange County Register.

While his commitment to GCU as a prep senior was somewhat surprising, Cotton offers no apologies or regrets. Just happiness.

“All things considered,” Cotton said, “it was the best choice for me. The coaching staff, the people they have here, the weather is great, of course, and instead of being indoors and not having to deal with that (as in Colorado) is great. It’s the best opportunity for me to develop as a player and as a person.

“It’s so rewarding, more than I can ask for … it’s definitely the best decision I ever made.”




Quin Cotton

Class of 2016 / OF

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2016
    Commitment: Grand Canyon
  • Primary Position: OF
  • High School: Regis Jesuit
    State: CO
  • Height: 5-11
    Weight: 205lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/R


OF Velo
Exit Velo

Scouting Report

A 5-foot-11, 190-pound right hand hitting outfielder who ran a 7.03 60.  Narrow stance at the plate with a long stride on the pitch.  Displays quick hands and a level path through the ball.  Ball had good carry and left the yard repeatedly during the live round.  Good lower half produced an exit velocity of 100 MPH.  In the field he is quick to balls in the gap and fields through ground balls well.  Showcased an above average arm at 85 MPH with good accuracy to the bag.  He was identified as the most complete player 2016 at this event.

Currently ranked No. 12 in the 2016 class. 5-foot-11, 175 pounds. Bats and throws right. Cotton hit 3-hole, and was one of the best players on the field today between Team Colorado, Missouri, and Mississippi. In the first game Cotton showed explosive line drive power to right center hitting a double and triple driving in 5 RBI's. Shows speed on the basesCotton was named to the Junior Sunbelt All-Tournament Team.

5-foot-11, 175 pounds. Bats and throws right. Impressive looking athlete. At the plate has no wasted movement from a balanced athletic stance. Load is smooth and stride is short. Bat speed and lower half are explosive. Has line drive gap to gap power that produced the 2nd fastest exit velocity at the tryout at 91 mph. Shows power potential. In the outfield displays confidence with good actions. Throws from a high 3/4 arm slot at 84 mph with good carry. Ran a 6.80 60 time. Was the most athletic looking player at the tryout. High 2016 player to follow in our state.


Currently ranked No. 12 in the 2016 class. 5-foot-10, 165 pounds. Bats and throws right. Most athletic looking player on the field. Hits from an open stance, smooth load back, and above average bat speed. Now hitting 3-Hole for Regis Jesuit. Underrated power. 4.3 on the round, home to first.  3-4 on the day. Cotton is having a good season at the plate hitting .447 with 3 triples and leading the Raiders with 21 hits.

Currently ranked No. 12 in the 2016 class. 5-foot-10, 165 pounds. Bats and throws right. Most athletic looking player on the field. Hits from an open stance, smooth load back, and above average bat speed. Now hitting 3-Hole for Regis Jesuit. Underrated power.


When you watch Cotton you ask what he can't do. Plus runner (Sub 7.00 60 time), plus arm (Mid 80's from outfield), and explosive bat speed that produces underrated power from the lead-off position. Quin might be the best lead-off hitter in the state, and you can see him potentially being a No. 3 hole hitter for Regis as soon as this season.



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