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Henry Cotto

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1993 Stadium Club #565 Henry Cotto

Henry Cotto

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[edit] Biographical Information

Henry Cotto played with four big league teams in a decade in the majors but is perhaps best known for his time with the Seattle Mariners from 1988 to 1993. In 1992, he had 9 hits in 18 pinch at-bats. The next year, with the Florida Marlins, one of his highlights was a 7th-inning pinch hit single against the New York Mets, which drove in a run and helped his team win 2-1.

Cotto was born in New York, NY but his Puerto Rican family moved back to the island when he was three months old (New York Times, March 24, 1985). Pedrín Zorrilla scouted him for the Chicago Cubs, with whom he broke in during the 1984 season. He was the fourth outfielder on their division-winning team. Cotto went to the New York Yankees in 1985, suffering a bizarre injury that May. While using a Q-Tip on the bench, he was bumped by Ken Griffey and sustained a punctured eardrum. He shuttled between Columbus and New York from 1985 to 1987 before sticking for good with Seattle.

In the 1987 Baseball Abstract, Bill James referred to Henry Cotto as the prototype of the overrated young player, who is given plenty of chances to play in spite of a lack of production, because he has a decent (but empty) batting average and because he "looks like a baseball player". He contrasted him with teammate Ken Phelps, a much more productive player who lingered in the minor leagues for years without getting a serious look in the big leagues in spite of excellent power and on-base percentages, because his batting average was low and he looked a bit clumsy.

After his big league career, Cotto played for the Yomiuri Giants in Japan in 1994. He returned to the U.S. the next year, playing briefly for the Nashville Sounds in the Chicago White Sox organization before retiring in July. He began coaching in the Seattle Mariners system since 1996.

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