|Brian Mark Kowitz|
August 17, 1969 |
|June 4, 1995, for the Atlanta Braves|
|Last MLB appearance|
|June 16, 1995, for the Atlanta Braves|
Brian Mark Kowitz (born August 17, 1969) is an American former professional baseball player for the Atlanta Braves, Detroit Tigers, and the Toronto Blue Jays from 1990 to 1996.
Brian was awarded a scholarship to play baseball for Clemson University where he won an ACC Championship, earned All ACC and Academic All American honors, and an ACC Player of the Year award as well as All American honors. He attended Clemson University and as a freshman in 1988, Kowitz claimed one of the starting outfield spots for the Tigers and won a dramatic game against the Georgia Bulldogs at home with a Blast over the centerfield wall in the bottom of the 10th inning to win the game. Kowitz was an ACC ALL Tournament Team selection as a freshman. As a sophomore in 1989, Kowitz was named to the ACC ALL Tournament Team and to the second Team All ACC Team. Clemson won the ACC Championship. As a Junior 1990 at Clemson, Brian Kowitz was named ACC Player of the Year as he hit .403 and was among the leaders in NCAA Division I in runs (87, second, first in ACC) and tied for 7th in hits (102, first in ACC). He stole 34 bases (first in ACC) in 66 games and drove in 60 runners. In 1990 Brian also lead the ACC in doubles and triples. His 37-game hitting streak was the best in NCAA Division I in 1990 and second in Clemson history to Clemson HOF Rusty Adkins. He was second in the Atlantic Coast Conference in batting average and made the ACC All-Star team as an outfielder. In addition Brian was named to the ALL Regional Team in Austin TX in their quest to reach the College World Series. Brian was also an ACC ALL Tournament Team selection. Baseball America named him as a second-team All-American outfielder. Brian had a 37-game hitting streak which was the 2nd longest in Clemson University's history.
Brian began his minor league career as a left-handed outfielder with the 1990 rookie-league Pulaski Braves. He batted .324/.382/.538 with 13 steals in 43 games. He was 8th in the Appalachian League in average and made the Appalachian All-Star team as an outfielder; he was selected as the 8th-best prospect in the league by the managers.
Before the end of the season, he was promoted to Class AA Greenville. Brian started the 1991 season with the Class A Durham Bulls where he hit .254/.303/.353 with 18 steals. He returned to Durham once more in 1992 and posted a .301/.373/.429 line with 22 steals. He was 6th in the Carolina League in average and made the league's All-Star team. He became a regular for the Greenville club in 1993 and batted .278/.363/.378 with 13 steals. He made it to AAA that year with the Richmond Braves and batted .267/.340/.422 for Richmond, scoring 10 runs in 12 games with them.
He was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 8th round of the 1990 amateur draft. Brian was promoted to the Atlanta Braves on June 3, 1995 when All-Star outfielder David Justice was put on the disabled list. Brian made his debut the very next day. He was used a pinch hitter in the 5th inning, in a game against the Houston Astros. He doubled down the left-field line for his first at bat, but the Braves lost 6-2. He appeared in only 9 more games, until David Justice returned, then Brian returned to Richmond. Brian's coach was Ned Yost who later became the head coach for the World Series Champions, Kansas City Royals.
On December 5, 1994 he was again drafted by the Minnesota Twins as part of the Rule 5 draft but was sent back to the Braves on April 25 of that year when he failed to stay on 25-man major league roster.
Brian signed with the Detroit Tigers in 1996. He played in spring training with the Tigers. He was sent to the Toledo Mud Hens. Brian was released in May, and was signed by they Toronto Blue Jays. He finished the year with the Syracuse Chiefs. Brian retired from baseball at the end of the 1996 season.
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