David Fletcher Cooper
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 6' 0", Weight 200 lb.
- Schools University of California, Cal State Fullerton
- High School Tokay High School
- Debut April 29, 2011
Cooper hit .529 as a high school sophomore in 2003. He played well for the US in the 2004 World Junior Championship, batting .316. His six runs tied Andrew McCutchen for second on the team behind Justin Upton for the 4th-place team. As a junior in high school, he batted .463. He hit .529 with 13 home runs as a senior in 2005. Baseball America named him as a third-team high school All-American at first base. He was not drafted that year due to his strong college commitment.
David hit .305/.337/.404 as a freshman at Cal State Fullerton. He was then superb in the 2006 College World Series, hitting .533 to lead the event. His 7 straight hits tied Terry Francona for third on the College World Series record list, one behind Dave Magadan and Barry Bonds.
In the 2006 Cape Cod League, Cooper hit .304 for the Brewster Whitecaps. Transferring to the University of California, David improved to .382/.450/.627 as a sophomore. He was third in the Pac-10 Conference in average, 5th in OBP and 5th in slugging. Cooper was one of three players to split All-Conference honors at first base; Brett Wallace was one of the others. In the 2007 Cape Cod League, David hit .284 for Brewster.
Cooper showed major strides in power hitting in 2008 and was picked 17th in the 2008 amateur draft, chosen by the Toronto Blue Jays. It was the third-highest a University of California player had ever been drafted. Cooper was signed by scout Chris Becerra for $1.5 million within a week. He debuted as a pro on June 17, going 0 for 3 with a walk, run and RBI for the Auburn Doubledays against the Batavia Muckdogs. He played for three different teams that first season - Auburn, Lansing and Dunedin, putting up a batting line of .333/.399/.502 in 69 games. He was sent to the AA New Hampshire Fisher Cats in 2009, but fell to .258, although he did hit 32 doubles and 10 homers and drive in 66 runs in 128 games. Back at New Hampshire in 2010, his average remained pretty much the same - .257 - but his power numbera improved with 30 doubles and 20 homers in 132 games. He played exclusively as a first baseman dutring those first three seasons.
David Cooper started the 2011 season with the Las Vegas 51s of the Pacific Coast League. He was hitting .395 in 20 games when he got the call to Toronto, to replace Travis Snider, sent down because of a prolonged hitting slump. He got his first hit in the majors on May 1 as the DH for the Blue Jays while playing against the New York Yankees, but otherwise started his major league career in a deep slump, going only 2 for 17 over his first 5 games. He came out of his initial funk in a big way on May 10th. Coming into a game against the Boston Red Sox in the 6th inning as a pinch-runner after Yunel Escobar was hit by a pitch, he hit his first major league homer off Daniel Bard in the 8th to give the Jays a short-lived lead, then drove the game's winning run in the 10th on a sacrifice fly. He was sent back to the minor leagues after the game of May 15th, having hit .121 in 13 games. He continued to hit well at Las Vegas, however, winning the 2011 PCL batting title with a .364 average in 120 games, coupled with a league-high 51 doubles (but only 9 homers). He lost All-Star honors at 1B to Bryan LaHair. He was called back again to Toronto in September, and his his second major league homer on September 11th off the Baltimore Orioles' Tommy Hunter. He finsihed the year with a batting of .211/.284/.394 in 27 games.
Cooper started 2012 back at Las Vegas, where he hit .314 with 27 doubles and 10 homers in 68 games, driving in 52. He was called up to Toronto a first time when the Jays' starter at first base, Adam Lind, struggled badly in the early going and was sent down to Las Vegas to work on his hitting stroke. Cooper spent from May 25th to June 24th in Toronto, during which time he hit .292 in 24 games. He came back to Toronto on July 30th when Lind was placed on the disabled list with a bad back, and continued to hit well. Keeping his flair for the dramatic, he hit a pair of 9th-inning homers in close games shortly after coming back, on August 4th against the Oakland Athletics and August 8th against the Tampa Bay Rays. On August 13th, he drove in the winning run in the bottom of the 11th to give the Jays a 3-2 win over the Chicago White Sox. Overall, he played 45 games for the Jays, hitting .300/.324/.464 with 4 homers and 11 RBI. However, his season ended on August 22nd when he sustained a back injury diving back into first base on a pick-off attempt in a game against the Detroit Tigers.
When spring training rolled around in 2013, Cooper was still not healed and on March 13th, the Jays simply released him. He then had to undergo surgery on two vertebrae which were fused together with a titanium plate. It took him a few more months to be ready to return to the field. He only signed with the Cleveland Indians on August 13th. He hit .440 in 6 games for the AZL Indians, but only .192 for the AAA Columbus Clippers and the Indians let him go again at the end of August, only to sign him back in December. He was in spring training with the Indians in 2014 but was given his walking papers on March 2nd, in order to clear room on the 40-man roster for the recently-acquired Justin Sellers, who had a shot at making the opening day roster, while Cooper did not, given the time he had missed. However, the Indians left him an invitation to return to the team if he cleared waivers.