Collin Cowgill has the tools to become a dynamic catalyst

Collin Cowgill 2 polaroidIn yesterday’s win over the Padres, Collin Cowgill went 2-for-5 with a grand slam in the seventh inning.

“It was a special day,” Cowgill said. ” It was my first time being in an Opening Day lineup. … It was just an outstanding day for us and I’m looking forward to keeping this going.”

“It was just a humbling experience today,” he said.

Cowgill wasn’t sure if he had hit a grand slam initially.

“I saw Carlos Quentin going after it, and as soon as I saw it kick … I was just trying to get a triple. But sure enough, I get to third, and Tim Teufel said it was a home run. So, I got to enjoy it for about 90 feet, but I’ll take it.”

Cowgill became the first Met since Todd Hundley in 1995 to hit a grand slam on Opening Day.

“Collin took the opportunity and ran with it, which is what we talked about all spring,” Terry Collins said after the game. “I’m not sure I’ve been around a guy that competes like this guy does. It is max effort in practice, it is max effort in a game, and you just liked his energy.”

Michael Baron, Contributor

Cowgill seems to approach every situation with the same mindset, whether it was during Spring Training or yesterday after the bell rang. I almost want Cowgill to pull back a bit, but this is his brand of baseball, and the only way he knows how to play the game. He represents the kind of energy the Mets need on this roster — while he appears to be selective at the plate, he makes a lot of contact, uses the entire field and, as he told me during camp, can occasionally hit one out of the park like he did yesterday. It remains to be seen how all of this translates over the course of a 162-game season, because Cowgill doesn’t have a track record. But he’s young enough, hungry and he’s been given an opportunity to succeed — something he didn’t get with Oakland. In a way, Cowgill is still developing; if he can become the dynamic catalyst his talent calls for, he can go a long way toward solving the team’s problems in the outfield both in 2013 and in the future.

To listen to Cowgill’s entire talk with reporters, click the play button below: