Mark Kotsay did enough with his bat to have had a respectable major league career.
After all, not everyone can splice 127 home runs over a 17-year career in the majors (including four seasons with Oakland). Kotsay, the new manager of the Athletics (according to a source), he even received votes for the AL Most Valuable Player Award in 2004.
But none of this compares to what he did at the college level – with both his bat and his arm – during his time with Cal State Fullerton.
Kotsay was a complete talent with the Titans, playing not only an everyday left fielder for three years, but also helping out on the mound as a reliever.
His talent was embodied in the decisive game of the 1995 College World Series, when he detonated two home runs, drove in five runs and withdrew the last five outs to finish lifting the title.
But Kotsay was not a one-game thing.
The legendary day consolidated a second-year campaign in which he finished with averages of .422 / .492 / .776 (1,268 OPS) with 21 homers, 90 RBIs and 15 stolen bases, while on the mound he posted a 0.31 ERA. with 11 saves. Kotsay was recognized with the Golden Hooks Award, which is awarded to the best amateur player in the country. In addition, he was named the Most Outstanding Player of the 1995 College World Series.
In his junior year, Kotsay hit .402 with a 1,284 OPS, 22 home runs, 20 stolen bases and 91 RBIs. Although Cal State Fullerton fell short on its way to the College World Series, Kotsay enjoyed another great season, being selected ninth in the Amateur Draft by the Marlins in 1996.
Kotsay was immortalized in the Omaha College Hall of Fame in 2014 – and continues to rank well in the record books. His .517 average (23-15) equals him for the best in tournament history, while his 1,103 slugging is 200 points better than his closest pursuer (Marshall McDougall, .881). Kotsay is also the only one with multiple grand slams in the College World Series.
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When Kotsay was the college Ohtani